One week at a time

“Do you still blog?” my friend Dave recently asked me.

“No. Well, yes, but not lately,” I replied. I haven’t quit, I explained. I just don’t have time and haven’t had much to say. Lately, my free time doesn’t start until 8:30pm and then I have about an hour before I’m heading to bed. In the past, I might have had enough rattling around in my brain and I would be able to pump out a blog post in 20 minutes flat. Lately, my head is swirling with the mental load of managing a household and getting some rest and working out.

I may not be blogging, but I am still working out. I am so pumped about that. It’s been almost 8 months of consistent working out. It’s become my hobby, really, because of what it offers me in return (see last post). You may have noticed that I don’t always stick to things very well. I get really excited about something for a short time (remember when I used to run? haha) and then it loses its excitement. That has definitely happened a few times during BBG, but because it has an end date (it’s a 12-week program), I’ve been able to keep at it until the end because I can see the end in sight.

Here are a couple things I’ve been thinking about lately.

When do you have time to do it?

I’ve had a lot of other moms tell me they’re interested in giving BBG a try, but aren’t sure how to make/find the time. Honestly, sometimes it’s the only thing I do in the day that isn’t family-related. But because it’s so easy to do at home, it doesn’t disrupt my life much at all.

  1. I make use of the TV. One BBG workout is 27 minutes (or 45 if you’re a beginner and it takes you forever to do the moves because you’re so out of shape like I was at the beginning). That’s 2 Daniel Tiger episodes. A Paw Patrol. I know that “screen time” is really frowned upon these days, especially if your kids are under 2. But let’s get real: your sanity and your health is much more important than 30 minutes of TV that may even teach your kids emotional intelligence. The number of times we’ve sang the songs from Daniel Tiger to Jack are basically innumerable at this point (but that speaks more to my bad memory right now than how much we’ve done it).
  2. I have them join in. Jack now knows what mountain climbers are. He recognizes my exercise clothes. He knows Kayla Itsines is “exercise girl” haha. He’ll try the moves with me, climb on me, and generally get energy out. I’m ok with that, though sometimes it’s really irritating because I can’t do 30 jump-squats while holding a 30lb boy. At least not yet. I can do walking lunges with him on my back, though!
  3. Do it after they go to bed. More often than not, I’ve done my workouts at 8:30pm while I watch a documentary, or a TV show or something. Willy will sit there on the couch watching me grunt away, which is neither motivating or encouraging. BUT, after a few weeks you’ll see you have more energy and sleep more deeply at night. The benefits far outweigh the bad stuff and this is coming from a (formerly?) super lazy person!!!

goforit

Keystone Habits

If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you’ll know I was super into habit-forming for awhile. One of the best books I’ve read in my adult life is The Power of Habit and I’ve blogged about it a few times before. The concept of a Keystone Habit is super fascinating. In short, it’s one new habit that has a cascading effect on everything else in your life. Research shows that if you start tracking your food intake you will lose weight. It’s the observation that triggers realization of what you’re putting into your mouth. Then you start to re-think what you’re eating, and consider maybe walking more or taking the stairs, etc.

Working out for me has been one of those things. I’m starting to need to eat differently to have proper energy for working out. Now I’m noticing the ways I can eat better in the rest of my life and find nutrient dense foods to fuel my toddler-chasing life. Now, my body is craving more exercise. In some ways, I feel like I’ve changed a LOT this year, but it’s been slow. I can feel more changes. I went for a run a few weeks ago because my body had been craving it. Guys, it was the first time I had run since Jack was Teddy’s age, and it was fine. It was easier than before (thanks BBG!). Now, I’m craving exercise most days when I was only working out twice a week in January.

I’m starting to think that running a marathon is way more reasonable than it used to be. Before BBG, running a marathon was a dream that was just totally bonkers unrealistic but I still wanted to do it someday. Now it’s still bonkers but not quite unrealistic. It’s still many years away, but now I don’t feel like it’s a total pipe dream.

Anyways, that’s me lately.

What’s next after falling off the horse

The following is a draft post I wrote back in June. I never got around to publishing it but now it’s so far past the whole getting-back-on-the-horse and I’m not even thinking about it really anymore. I’m over it. Past that phase, and live has taken on new directions. Also, it occurred to me that the whole premise of the horse analogy was majorly off because the phrase is “falling off the wagon” not the horse haha.

horse

I’ve been thinking a lot about knowing when to quit again. This time it’s trickier because I’ve experienced success after many failures and wanting to quit. Remember all those pie crusts?

There are a few reasons for this. I fell off the horse with running. There were a few contributors: a rainy week, a week with my husband away on a work trip, a serious lack of motivation. And while I was doing great with a vision of me crossing the finish line of my first race, I started feeling overwhelmed with all my goals.

It got me thinking about this idea of “falling off the horse” and the horse itself.

In horse racing if a horse gets injured, oftentimes it is put down because the injuries are so enormous that it’s cruel to keep it alive. Or at least this is what I’m told, maybe animal activists will tell me otherwise (probably that racing horses is cruel). Anyways, as I was thinking about this image, I wondered if rather than getting back on the horse, I needed to put the horse down.

Maybe I should give up this goal I had of entering a race I had in mind (which I didn’t tell you guys about!)? Maybe it’s OK that life is a lot more than I had anticipated right now? Not that I’ll give up running entirely because it’s important that I have physical exercise, but right now maybe no race goal. I think the goal I need right now is to enjoy life and keep on top of my daily and weekly tasks because that isn’t as easy as it may sound. I guess it sounds kind of lame that I would give up this quickly, (maybe not because I still do have a growing and increasingly active 8 month old!) but there is more to the story that I will share in another post!

Then again, I spent 4 months with my son hoping his naps would just get magically better the same way they got magically worse until I decided to do something about it to help him nap better (hearing his cranky whining all day long was not a positive contributor to my mental health!). I kept thinking there would be a better time to do it or maybe I wouldn’t have to because it would just change. There’s always something that will come up to mess with our plans, but we need to figure out how to persevere despite those constant inhibitors.

Addendum: Where I am now: I plan to get my fitness life in order again but there are some big changes coming up in my life – two very major ones – that I will blog about. I’m just giving myself grace for now and crossing my fingers that the scale wont lurch any closer to my pregnancy weight than it already has.

Ian on the Boston Marathon

It’s been years since I’ve done an interview on the blog (it’s hard to believe I’ve had this blog for years already. I guess when you don’t post for a few months time passes more quickly?) and finally I have another one for you. I love listening to stories of “regular” people who have achieved big things according to their own standards. I’ve been listening to this podcast Runner Academy a lot lately and there are crazy stories on there. One girl was like most of us – not really athletic and she took up running. AND THEN SHE WENT ON TO RUN 366 MARATHONS IN ONE YEAR. Everyone told her it wasn’t doable and she did it kind of to spite them.

I get that. I think Ian would, too. He went from having very few kilometres on his running shoes to running a full marathon. Shortly after he completed the Boston Marathon I sent him a few questions and he generously replied with audio. So I did some ghetto editing and adding my own audio and now you have this very low-budget interview. Thanks iMovie for the cheesy “News” theme. Apologies to my younger brother who has college training in radio broadcasting: you’ll cringe.

Running

My friend Ian ran the Boston marathon and it was maybe the most inspiring thing I have witnessed in a very long time. Why? I had never heard him talk about running frequently or ever talk about any interest in distance running. So when a couple weeks before the marathon he updated his Facebook saying he was doing it, I had to watch. I kept his race page open on my computer the whole time and cheered him on on his Runtastic page. When he crossed the finish line I was so proud of him I nearly cried.

He had ran for five and a half hours!!!!

A couple days later he stopped by when he was in town and I grilled him on the race and how it went. It sounded like the neatest experience I had heard of in a long time.

It made me want to run again.

It has only been a week, but I will say it: I’m back. It’s been six months since giving birth to my son and I’m fairly sure it’s safe for me to get back to running. I had ran a few times at the gym in the winter but I usually felt pretty awful after so I stopped.

photo by Roman Boed

After my first run last week (which was more like a walk-run-walk) my body HURT but I was still able to get out for my next run. I felt so proud of myself for running in the rain and with a slightly sore body. It makes me feel so much more legit – like a “real” runner. I sure don’t look like a real runner, though. I’ve been wearing my maternity leggings which turn out to be AWESOME because when my shirt rides up it has to go pretty far before it shows any of my jiggling post-baby belly. Half the time I feel like a lost cow lurching down the sidewalk, wishing for my pre-baby body back. When I’m honest with myself I realize that body wasn’t any better at running so it won’t do me any good now.

But that first run didn’t murder me. Nor did the run where I increased my distance. We’re still talking about very SHORT distances, but it’s a huge improvement from when I hit the pavement the first time.

I think I’ve turned a corner where I realized I’m willing to commit to this. I had quit before because of foot pain (not wanting to injure myself and not being sure enough that I wanted to keep going), then winter, and then pregnancy. But now it’s spring, and I’m not pregnant anymore, and I’m pretty sure I want this.

I bought a legit baby jogger (for dirrrrrt cheap).

I got sized for shoes (that I’m still holding out on because they’re $150 and I’m not convinced they’ll change my life or help me avoid injury).

I’m obsessively reading about running online and listening to this podcast.

And I’m doing it. It feels good. Please cheer me on!

More confessions

run-country

Photo by Kevin Lallier

Confession: I hate running in the country. So I stopped. For the record, I don’t feel that great about it. I’ve gained ~10-15 lbs over the summer!

Cause that doesn’t make me feel worse about my current situation.

I did some soul-searching the other day to re-evaluate what I even want out of running. A little along the lines of this post. When I started running, i was a bit delusional perhaps. I believed that I could defeat the odds and run a lot and not get injured. When I hit week 8 or 9 of C25K I started getting a lot of pain in my feet.

So the question I asked myself was: do I want to run even if it means having to get orthotics? Or do I only want to run if it lives up to my goal of being pain/injury free? It sounds pretty stupid now that I’ve typed it out: what good thing is ever pain-free in life?

I found out my sister-in-law has out distanced me already. She’s running 7k (as of a few weeks ago) regularly. I still haven’t hit 5, people!

Moving forward on this one is tricky. It requires a huge amount of dynamic determination to do if we stay in the country here. If we were in Montreal tomorrow starting to run again would be a breeze.

I’m not sure I have the chutzpah to get my sorry butt off the couch and take  my Big Girl Thighs for a run. The corn fields go by as slowly as life moves in the direction we want it to.

The sentiment of this photo is a good reminder. Funny, because this time I read it the attitude was a lot more cynical and the emphasis was on TRYING and not on ENJOY.

OK my pity party is over now.

[Guest Post] The Secret of Adulthood: Do the Work

awkwardyoga

Geek Yoga: Source

karinI’m on vacation this week and next so I have some guest posts lined up. This one is by my friend Karin. We were accidental roommates at a conference one year and we immediately fell in friend love as we talked about blogging and using twitter. It was 2009 and twitter was a whole lot less cool back then. This post was originally posted on her own blog Everyday Karin. She lives in Orlando, Florida. You can find her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

One of the most difficult yet freeing realizations of adulthood is that there is no magic wand. There’s no rich uncle. There is no Santa Claus.

If you really want something to happen, you are going to have to do the work of making it happen. And that is both difficult and freeing. Difficult, because somebody has to do the work and now that somebody is you, not the Fairy Godmother. But freeing, because now you don’t have to wait on that someday or someone. You can begin today.

Before I get too esoteric, allow me to explain.

I’ve written about my struggle to be consistent with running. Much of that has to do with the fact that running is pound-the-pavement, hot-asphalt hard. But it’s also because I compare myself with my friends who are far better runners than me. I wait for the perfect running conditions, convincing myself that will help me improve. But as long as there are large dogs and snakes on the loose, perfect running conditions there will not be. There is no magic wand. But I digress.

Today as I wobbled in yoga while everyone around me was graceful and beautiful and serene I thought, “maybe I’m not such a bad runner after all.” And I almost left, right in the middle of class. But that’s when it hit me. You practice yoga. You keep running. The difference in wobbling and steadiness is not because they are thinner than me or stronger than me or prettier than me. The difference is those girls have been practicing longer than me.

I used to think you were born a Michelangelo or Steve Jobs. But now I am starting to think you can become one. That there’s not a genius gene, but that God creates each of us with ability to achieve greatness. And a key to greatness is simply discipline. Day after day, doing the work. Feet to pavement. (Or yoga mat).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...