Posts Tagged ‘ fitness ’

My Relationship with Fitness, Revisited

About a year ago, I wrote a blog about how I had decided that it was time and I was going to get fit.

Well, let’s just say it didn’t happen.

To be fair to myself, I’ve had some setbacks, and a lot of excuses. But today as I’ve been mulling over it, I realized my biggest roadblock with fitness is fear and shame.

I’m ashamed that I am not capable of the things I feel like I should be able to do, and I’m afraid of experiencing the self-shaming when I fail. I hate that when the sun is shining I still can’t run more than a couple of miles, so I’m really going to get in shape this time because I’ve decided to make this summer the best one ever.

I┬áhesitate┬áto even write this post, because last time I wrote about fitness it didn’t help keep me on track like I intended.

But I’m hoping that airing my roadblocks will help me stay committed this time. I’ve been running, which is a new thing for me, but there are at least three 5ks I’m going to do this summer.

So many people I know talk about how great running feels, and unfortunately I’m not at that point just yet. During a given run, there will be moments where I’m like “THIS IS AWESOME,” but really, to keep going I have to play games with myself. My favorite is “Oh shit there’s a zombie,” so that’s how I get my sprints in anyway.

I don’t work out because it feels good. Working out feels bad and I don’t like it.

But I am, this time, learning that it’s worth it.

Feeling bad for half an hour is completely worth it to feel good for the rest of the day.

That’s all.

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Inspiration vs. Discouragement.

Lately I’ve been re-reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I figured it’s about time, since I haven’t gone galavanting around the galaxy with Arthur and Ford since high school.

Douglas Adams is one of my favorite authors. His way of looking at the world is so pessimistically original that it resonates with my very soul, and every carefully constructed concept is seasoned heavily with his very particular sense of humor.

I find his style very inspiring, and if I could be ten percent as brilliant, clever and funny as Douglas Adams I’d be totally happy with my life.

Whenever I’m exposing myself to something I find inspiring, however, whether it’s words or art or music or anything at all, I can only absorb and consume so much before I stop being inspired and start being discouraged.

It’s like I have a inspiration quota, and anything that overflows the inspiration tanks goes immediately into the discouragement tanks.

Through the first half of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I thought “Wow, this guy is brilliant, I should read all of his stuff.”

Slowly though as I’ve read more and more of his work, my thoughts have evolved from admiration and aspiration to that level of brilliance to “Douglas Adams is so much more awesome than I could ever hope to be. Why should I even try?”

That’s the point at which I put down the book and go do something else with my life.

Unfortunately though this is my relationship with so many things– Music and the Internet in particular. If I spend a short amount of time online looking at art and then get offline, I’m much more likely to then spend time creating things than if I stay and continue seeking inspiration. (Which is part of the reason I’ve been so bad about blogging regularly lately; I’ve been seeking inspiration on the internet which is almost always like chasing after the wind.)

The same thing also goes for my newly-renewed fitness goals. I have to very consciously set my goals small, because if I dream too big I’ll only end up being disappointed in myself. The story has to go “I’ll make it to the top of this hill,” or “I’ll just do a few more,” instead of “I’m going to run a marathon this summer,” or “I have to do fifty.”

I’m trying to learn how to recognize my inspiration quota so I spend more time creating and being and doing and less time wishing I were better at creating and being and doing.

That’s all.

Fitness and Me

Okay, okay, I admit it– most of my life fitness is something I haven’t taken seriously.

Since I’ve been blessed with a fast metabolism, (don’t get mad at me,) staying thin has never been an issue. For many years I was enrolled in ballet, so that was all the activity I needed– and even after I quit ballet, I was still in school climbing a hill every day and during the summer I was running around climbing on stuff.

And then I moved out.

I’m not proud of it, but I didn’t engage in any intentional fitness-based activity, either recreational or because I felt like I should, for nearly two months straight.

There, I said it.

I spent nearly two months sitting on my butt except for walking around at work and to and from the bus stop.

It sounds sadder now that I’ve said it out loud.

And then my sister invited me to dance again.

More than anything, I appreciate her confidence that I would be able to obtain the physical prowess necessary to dance her (difficult) choreography, but it was a pretty serious eye-opener for me.

I don’t want to be un-fit.

Then I went for a hike, and in the photos I could tell how un-toned my legs looked, and I just felt sad inside.

So I decided to start running.

Anyway, the point of all this is that it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve been active. It’s never too late to take control of your fitness and create the body you want to have.

Of course you should be reasonable.

My current workout schedule looks like this (although I’m going to do some shuffling soon.)

  • Monday — Cardio
  • Tuesday — Upper Body
  • Wednesday — Legs and Butt
  • Thursday — Dance or Yoga
  • Friday — Yoga
  • Saturday — Fun Fitness!
  • Sunday — Rest (at last, right?)

It may seem a little intense (I certainly thought so when I crafted it,) but then I realized that each day only requires like half an hour of movement. I tend to like picking two or three different moves. I do one til my muscles are burning, then move to another til my muscles are burning, and then move back to the first. I repeat until I absolutely cannot move anymore, and so far it’s working out all right.

Admittedly, I chose to get fit because I wanted to look good, but I also feel much more emotionally balanced when my body is tired. Endorphins are awesome.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that my sister is a personal trainer. She’s given me a lot of great advice for making the jump into a fit lifestyle. (You can check her blog out at http://exformedicine.wordpress.com/)

So dear reader, what’s your fitness story?

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