Sometimes life happens. Just boom and you’re on your ass looking for the bus you’re certain just hit you. Other times you’re swimming about with no drive or end goal pulling a Dory from Finding Nemo. (Aside, did you hear they are making a sequel called Finding Dory.)
I like planning. Planning trips, workouts, shopping lists, books I want to read, you name it – I will find a way to plan for it. Just call me Listy McListerson.
A couple of years ago I developed a workout strategy so when my family took a trip to Hawaii I could take surfing lessons and then not die after. It worked in that I wasn’t sore at all and had a great time, but I had a really hard time “popping up,” my little bro who did nothing in preparation did fine/felt great blah blah blah. Don’t get me wrong, that’s pretty awesome, in some ways I wish I could just go with the flow/pick up on stuff like that.
I’m also a fitness trend junkie. I like trying everything. Zumba, Spinning, Treading, Body Pump, Pilates, Yoga, Yogalates, Tai-Bo, 30 Day Shred, Wii Fit, Running, Bellydancing, Pole Dancing Fitness Class, Bikram (Hot) Yoga, Rock Climbing – etc. If I’ve read about it and it comes to St. Louis and is decently affordable I will try it.
For the past year or so I’ve really wanted to try Barre classes. I grew up taking dance (tap/ballet/jazz(modern)) classes and for years have missed it. I know for a fact that my early exposure to dance made me flexible and extremely comfortable in exercise classrooms with their intimidating wall-to-wall mirrors. Since Zumba hit the scene I have belonged to 3 different gyms and have never had a problem randomly showing up to class and picking up the steps. I love it.
The gym I currently belong to has 2 Barre classes at stupid times (10am for the SAHMs). They have another location that is less convenient but does have Barre after work. I’m thinking about switching but messing with my routine drives me nuts. < ---CrazyPlannerProblems.
I’ve also wanted to train and complete a triathlon since 2010. My then gym had a 30 day Iron Man challenge which sounded like a great way to go into the heat of summer and stay after it. I got a work sheet, the distances (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bicycle ride and a full marathon of running- 26.2 miles) and went to town logging every week and working harder than I had in a long time.
At the time I hadn’t swam (swum?) in years. Not laps anyway. It took 2 weeks to get my stroke/breathing right and the first time the breast stroke felt right again I was hooked. I did all of the biking inside. Yes, 112 miles of bike riding on stationary bikes. This is when I really got into Spinning class (they stated that 1 Spinning class = 14 miles) and decided I wanted a bike again. There is something about riding a bicycle outside that really makes me feel like a child again, once your butt gets reused to the seat. Ouch.
I am not a born runner. I am not a natural runner. I am still learning. That said, I am a runner.
I am a runner because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far. I am a runner because I say I am. And no one can tell me I’m not.
On that same family trip to Hawaii I got it into my head to buy some Vibram Five Finger Shoes and start running. I didn’t know that much about them but I figured I could also use them for surfing since the coral can mess your feet up pretty badly. I truly think those silly aqua shoes taught me how to run.
In high school I ran track. Well I did all of the jumping events and barely ran track. Every year I would develop horrible shin splints and hobble through the 4 x 400 meter relay we were required to do at certain meets. I was awful to say the very least. Handing off the baton scared me and have I mentioned that for most of my life I’ve had reoccurring nightmares about being chased and not being able to run?
I started running in 2010 with Vibram shoes and haven’t had a problem with my shins since.
I only use those shoes now for walks in the trails around my office. But in terms of teaching my feet how to strike and my body to adjust I think there is something to the barefoot running stuff.
I finished the Iron Man Challenge, got my t-shirt and decided that I wanted to run a half-marathon. In St. Louis the large marathons and half marathons are in the spring and fall, when the weather is somewhat bearable. When I finished this challenge it was the middle of July and the next half was in October. I didn’t know if I could get to 13.1 miles of running in 3 months. I bailed until spring 2011.
I didn’t know much about training for running events. I did know that I really enjoyed my Ironman workouts. So I kept at ‘em. I was swimming regularly and feeling pretty great. I did my first race less than a month before the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon, the St. Patrick’s Day 5 mile run. Man, did I hurt. You see I’d been only training inside on treadmills and the small indoor track above my gym. My body wasn’t remotely ready for the pounding that running on asphalt is. I adjusted. I started running outside. Thankfully daylight savings hit so I could safely run outside after work. I am so not a morning person. I ran on trails. I found that runners are some of the nicest, happiest exercisers out there. This old man would be running on my normal Queeny Park day, he had to have been in his 70’s, every time I would see him it made me stronger. “If he can do it, so can I!” I’ve lived a lot of my life by looking to others and saying to myself that very thing. The week before the half I was ready. I hadn’t read all the literature so I didn’t know about tapering, but I was kind of doing it naturally. Until disaster struck that is. I went for a swim the Thursday before the race. Felt great. A friend needed a girl sub for their indoor soccer league. Okay. I grew up playing soccer; I’m in great shape what can possibly go wrong? Famous last words. I ended up spraining my left foot pretty badly, twice during that game. Stupid, stupid, stupid. My boyfriend got a giant Tupperware bucket thing and bags and bags of ice- which is where my foot lived for the next 2 days while I decided what to do. I went to the marathon expo and saw one of their docs who said I could run on it. DING DING DING, that’s all I needed to hear.
To make a long and rambling story not even close to shorter I finished the half, slowly. And with a giant, squishy sprained ankle/foot thing going on. It’s still not quite right. Do not run 13.1 miles on a bad ankle sprain. It is not smart.
I took a month off, had x-rays done and felt pretty stupid. I continued to run the rest of the year. The problem was that I was bit by the running bug. I didn’t want to stop.
Last year I spent a lot of time strengthening my foot/ankle. The only race I did was the zombie themed Run for Your Lives 5k Obstacle course with my boyfriend in August. I survived, he did not.
Otherwise last year I was fitness bored. I didn’t have a goal. I was turning 30 and lost some of my joie de vivre. I got chubby and kinda said “eh.”
So I think for me I really have to stay hungry. Not for food, but for life. For dance and fitness and moving my body. Our bodies are amazing and they do not want to be stuck behind desks all day to be followed by sitting on couches at night.
DJ and I are going to play some tennis at the amazing parks in our neighborhood. I’m running again and my foot is better than it was. I’m dancing and swimming and stretching and swinging and I hope you do the same.