Saturday, November 19, 2011
One of my favorite Spark calendar quotes is the one by George Sheehan, that says "Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training and some are not." I was intrigued enough to look him up on Google, and I find that George Sheehan was a runner and a writer about running, among other things. Here's the Wikipedia entry I found.
What brought it to mind was a conversation that started at the gym last night. Being about a day behind in my training cycle, I was climbing on a spin bike on a night when there were no classes. As I started to crank up, a young man in one of the trainer shirts came up, pointed at my Mud Run t-shirt and asked whether I had participated in that run.
Of course I was happy to tell him that I did, and discovered that he, a personal trainer there at the gym, had also done the Mud run. In his case, it was in a banana suit (as part of one of those 3-person tied together teams). We ended up chatting for most of my workout, as I cranked the resistence up or down, stood on the pedals and dripped sweat.
We talked of athletic dreams. He pointed out one of the guys on a treadmill in the cardio theater and told me this gent was working on running a marathon in every state, and was up to something like 28 states. I had seen said gent in the weight room, pumping some serious iron. Matter of fact, most of the time when I'm in the free weights room, most of the folks around me are sweaty men, lifting serious iron. Hmmm. I must look pretty silly with my little dumbbells and lighter settings on the cable machine. But I do it.
Ryan (that's the trainer's name) tells me that he, too, is looking to do triathlons. He is doing a half Ironman distance one. He advised me to practice transitions, especially from bike to run, as one's legs get fatigued and it is a different motion... takes a bit to get your running legs under you. Good advice. I felt like I got some free training tips.
I came home to Spark after my workout and found someone else bubbling in her blog about how good it felt to been perceived as an athlete... and into my brain pops this quote. Her point was that she didn't do anything particularly dramatic to become an athlete. She just started being more active and making better choices in her eating... she started Sparking! This is open to everyone.
I agree. We won't all be stars on the track. Some of us may be limited by conditions beyond our control. But we can all become the best us we can be. And what I am finding is that the effort is what is respected by those stars... the kids who are winning the golds respect the back of the pack who are out there putting forth the effort! I don't think I ever "got that" as a kid who was picked last for sports teams. Maybe it is that all of us have matured since then.
Here is to the community of athletes... to the respect we bear one to another... and that "we" includes every one of you reading this, whether you know it or not... at the beginning of your journey, nearing the end, in maintenance, or even backsliding. Just for today, keep a training promise to yourself. You're worth it!
Life's good. Spark on!
Friday, November 18, 2011
We all live on budgets, right? Losing weight usually means some of our wardrobes become, uh, "loose". But, not being infinitely wealthy, it takes time to replace them. Priorities being what they are, the work wardrobe comes first. The workout wardrobe helps support staying the new size, so it's up there, too. (Doesn't have to be fancy, but *does* have to not get in the way!)
Undies? Essential! Clothing for special events (like weddings)... just has to be fit in.
The last domino to fall for me? Sleepwear! Two years ago, when I had the parathyroid surgery, I bought a pair of pajamas that fit me THEN. But I dropped another 25 pounds in the next year. And I hadn't bought a new robe... I was still slopping around in one that had belonged to my mother (she's been gone 15 years now... you get the idea). It too had become far too large for my shrinking frame.
I'll be celebrating another trip around the sun in a few days. Yesterday was mom's birthday. How appropos that the package from L. L. Bean arrived yesterday... flannel p.j.'s, a new robe, and fleece lined slippers. I tried them on... they are "small"... and they fit. When I woke this morning and found that I didn't have to cinch in the drawstring... ahhh!
Yes, I feel pampered and rewarded. And this, too, is important to success in maintaining healthy habits.
Life's good... Spark on!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I had forgotten how HUGE a high a morning workout gives me. See those bubbles? Soda is NO match for endorphin bubbles.
A good night's sleep, a morning workout, and a healthy breakfast... I feel like the world is open and ANYTHING is possible. It does mess with the steel cut oats timing, though, so mornings I do this I will have to have different breakfast arrangements. This morning it was grape juice, a blueberry muffin (small) and skim milk.
No promises this will continue once the snow starts flying around here, but this morning? As a plan B? Um... I may have rediscovered an addictive practice.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Yesterday I wrote about keeping those small promises so we have the momentum to keep the larger ones. Today my after-the-work-day pep talk is about having a plan B, in case the prime objective gets derailed by what we sometimes refer to as "life happening".
I kept my promise to do a weight training workout after work yesterday. Today was the annual chili cookoff at work. I wasn't planning on having a competitive entry this year, but I couldn't really come up with a proper side dish to take in, either.
What I ended up taking as my contribution was a crock of split pea soup I made last weekend! Funny thing, many people saw the green pot, assumed it to be really spicy, and didn't interpret it as split pea soup at all. Some didn't even try it. Still, it got eaten, which was the goal.
Tonight I was going to swim after work... but as I drove toward the gym it became apparent to me that this was probably not the best way to spend the immediate after work hour on chili cookoff day. 'Nuff said. I came home. Glad I did because one of the kittens had managed to trap herself in the bathroom with the litter box, by closing the door (probably chasing a jingle ball) essentially trapping her brother OUTSIDE of the litter box room!
Which brings us to plan B. I am a classic morning person. The gym (and pool) opens at 5 a.m. Hee-hee. So, I have now packed tomorrow's breakfast AND lunch, and am thinking early bedtime tonight, followed by early up and have breakfast after that swim... as a morning workout instead.
See? Plan B. Take care of those rocks. The pebbles and sand will take care of themselves.
Life's good. Spark on!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I've long observed that the most empowering thing I can do is to keep a small (or large) promise to myself. The small ones are in fact more important, because they maintain momentum to meet the larger ones.
Pulling myself back up by the bootstraps on Monday, I vowed that I would work out after work, NO MATTER WHAT! I put together in my mind the plan: Monday treadmill run, Tuesday back to the weight training, it should not be as punishing as Friday's workout was, the second time through the workout. Wednesday swim as reward. Thursday spin class. Friday, weights again, so that Saturday becomes a rest day... i.e. walking only.
It was so important to get the training cycle off to a good start. And then my work day slopped over. Only by half an hour, but what a difference that half hour makes in attitude.
As I directed the automobile away from work, I had to talk to myself the entire way, about that promise keeping, and the importance of getting back on the routine. If I have any hope of remaining fit through the Winter, I have to make this adjustment!
I talked myself into allowing the treadmill workout to be at home. "BUT YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY DO IT!" I firmly told myself.
Got home, got inside... immediately changed to running togs. As in immediately! Read e-mail. Saw there was one that merited a phone call, but firmly put it off. Got up on Ariel, the siren treadmill, flipped on an old episode of Numb3rs, slapped on my heart rate monitor, and got in a good workout. Had to slow to a fast walk several times as the heart rate monitor nagged at me... but I DID IT!
Showered, had a healthy supper, and made the phone call... and all the time, the drumbeat of a promise kept reminded me: I CAN do it. And I'm worthy of the effort.
Remember that old deal with the jar, the rocks, the pebbles and the sand? Let's remember that promises to ourselves are the rocks... keep those promises, and the pebbles and sand will fill in the gaps!
Life's good. Spark on.
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