I have a new appreciation for my son who is to be known from here on out as my WingmanNot because what he is doing is new because he’s been riding with me as I run both long and short runs for a few years. I appreciate him being with me because he keeps me accountable. Now, I’m not a quitter and I usually finish what I start. I have run long and short and never, barring a gastric or heat or water issue, have shortened a run. I’m not afraid to be out there without him but when he is with me it’s so nice having someone there. I think because I’m reading James Lawrence’s book “Iron Cowboy; redefine impossible” and learning what it takes to achieve something tremendously difficult. I am learning the true value of having a team that helps you get things done. Having what the Iron Cowboy refers to as Wingmen. They never leave your side and take turns managing you, YES Managing you. They make sure you eat, they make sure if you need food, medical attention, hydration, massages, a bathroom, that it’s available pretty much on demand or they look for it in a hurry. They are the glue that holds you together enabling you to shuffle yourself to the finish line whatever that may be.
I am not tackling anything difficult but having my son with me to hold my water, encourage me when I look tired, ask me if I’m ok as I run in the blazing heat or even telling me to slow down when he notices that I’m struggling is priceless. He rode with me yesterday as I traversed 10 miles along the Cape Cod Canal. We went there because I knew he would enjoy being there and I was struggling with wanting to do 10 miles around my town for some reason. It’s never been a problem but the call of The Cape was too great to pass up and as I anticipated, James was all it! We rode in silence many miles as I listened to my music and at times we talked briefly. When I was about to run out of PowerAde, James checked both rest stops along our route for a vending machine which was not present. When we got to station number 2 and there wasn’t any vending machines, James improvised and rinsed out the bottle and filled it up with clean water from the bubbler for us. He is my right hand man when it comes to managing me on long runs.
During our run I noticed him standing and pedaling with one leg so he could avoid sitting…yeah those bike seats don’t ever really feel comfy. I can’t have my wingman uncomfortable! Because I appreciated him so much and enjoyed yet another day with him by my side and want to encourage him to want to do it again, I bought him a pair of cycling shorts for the long runs so his butt wouldn’t hurt so much! I also bought two more bottle holders for his bike so we won’t run out of hydration and a storage bag that straps between the bars under his bike seat so we would have a place for keys and snacks and whatever we might need as we are out for the long run so to speak. This might be our summer Sunday thing which would be wonderful! Having a wingman is as wonderful as having running friends which are more valuable than gold! Don’t have one? Get one! You’ll understand when you do.
One of the things I like about being in my position having come from a weight problem, depression, eating issues and lack of motivation is my ability to speak from experience. It’s one thing to try and make someone feel better by telling them that they will get there but it’s entirely another to look them in the eye and tell them with complete conviction that only they can reach their goals through making a change. Telling someone that they have to change their habits and be motivated and determined and focused. Assuring them with the tone of my voice that it can in fact be done but they have to WANT to do it. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it till I die, unless you are in a wheelchair, dying or dead, where there’s a will there’s a way. Blind people have run marathons, people without limbs compete in all kinds of sports, fat people lose hundreds of pounds without surgery and why? Because they have sheer determination and will power to do what it takes to get it done. It’s funny how having experience changes how you say something to someone looking for advice. Not having experience makes you want to tiptoe around feelings and impressions. Having experience waives all that because you know how to get it done because you’ve done it and you didn’t accept excuses from yourself and you’re not about to accept them from anyone else. The bottom line advice is Just Go Do It! Period. I did it and so can you! What are you waiting for?
You know people say all the time that you should do what you love. The other day someone at work, who is among the group of people whom I torture with all my workouts and runs and successes all the time, told me I should teach fitness. After I giggled I thought about and then I took a stroll through my Facebook photos and it was clogged with pictures of me before, during and after runs and Tabata routines, stationary bike rides and strength training. In fact it’s all I talk about when I’m not talking about my kids. I’m sort of obsessed with working out and my running endeavors and not just a little bit…a LOT! They pretty much all look like these:
So I gave it some more thought sort of seriously and sans sarcasm for the most part, and here is what I think about that.
I really wouldn’t want to teach fitness classes for many reasons. The thought of jumping ship and leaving the comfort of a 9-5 job isn’t realistic for me because I like my job and it’s way to scary to think about not having one at the moment. If, perhaps I could think about it for a moment pretending that I could ever do that (but won’t or at least won’t right now or in the near future) Let’s consider some things. I hear all the time of people like James Lawrence aka The Iron Cowboy (reading his book which is AMAZING btw) and Kelly Roberts @KellyKKRoberts who found her voice through sheer will, tragedy, a sister who just wouldn’t quit and people who believe in her to create a way of life. Whether that’s forever or just for now who knows. What matters is that it’s working. Either out of sheer necessity, part insanity and by stumbling along trying to find themselves and their purpose, they found themselves a lifestyle that they mostly love. Mostly because like every job it has it’s ups and downs and sheer shitty days. I’ve followed along with both of them, one in a blog / Twitter / Podcast kind of way and the other through reading his words and experiences chronicled on a tightly kerned tiny printed pages of his book 50|50|50: Redefining Impossible. Read it if you want to see what determination looks like!
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to just go for something seemingly crazy and try to make a go of it. I think about how scary that must be with bills to pay and kids to feed. What a leap of faith and utter confidence in percentages leaning more toward success over failure. Maybe someday when my kids are on their own and life is a little easier to keep me busy. What would it be like to blog and get paid for it? What the hell would I write about or would I write about exactly what I do now…my daily thoughts and experiences? I think about what it would be like to get sponsored to go have fun doing something I’m really passionate about and perfect my craft for a purpose. I love being fit and definitely have more to give if I had time to give it in. What would my perfect dream job look like right now?
It would probably involve one or all or a combination of the following things none of which are probably realistically one role but wouldn’t that be amazing!
- Motivational speaking impressing upon people the differences between I can’t and I don’t want to and time management. I can’t stand those two words because it’s all bullshit unless you’re in a wheelchair or have seriously extreme conditions that actually prevent you from getting it done. I don’t subscribe to excuses and I think society uses them all to often.
- Working to spread awareness and raise money to help a cause like Epidermolysis Bullosa (Butterfly Children).
- Personal Fitness. I am driven and motivated and determined and I truly believe that you can do anything you set your mind to which sometimes means that you need a little help from someone doing it. What would this look like given I haven’t ever run a marathon or trained anyone and I have no certifications of any kind, just a lot to offer in terms of focus and motivation that can be delivered with a smile and some fun. Probably more along the lines of helping people find a routine, find their limits and stay on track. Do you really need a certification for that? I guess if you do if you want to get paid and if you don’t want to get sued.
So, that’s where I stand on that thought. Till the day comes where I’m sitting in a boardroom with a totally amazing offer with some serious dough attached to it or I find a crazy opportunity that I just can pass up I’ll stay right here in mainstream America doing a job I love with people that are amazing and continue to be fit, write blogs and encourage the masses to be their best.
It was bound to happen sooner or later and with all the training I’ve been doing sooner was more like IT. IT is as you may have guessed, some minor and irregular discomfort on the outside corner of my knee cap. It’s been bothering me for a few days but infrequently. Since my 10 mile race on Sunday following a dose of Ibuprofen, I thought it felt better at least I had no pain. When I say pain I really mean uncomfortable and sudden twinges that are painful for a moment…stairs or if I put pressure on the knee leaning or getting up from sitting mainly. When I’m at work or walking or just not running I’m fine. Yesterday I went for a run and not 50 feet out of the gate what felt like a sudden shard of glass poking my knee caused me to hop and interrupt my motion for a moment. It didn’t happen again but it did make me think to look it up to see what it could be even though I had a pretty good idea already. Sure enough I didn’t have to look far before I found the obvious, IT Band Syndrome. Iliotibial Band Syndrome aka IT Band Syndrome, shows up when the outside ligament running down the thigh (hip to the shin) is tight or inflamed. The IT band is attached to the knee and assists in stabilizing the joint. When it isn’t working properly, running and sometimes knee movement becomes uncomfortable and even painful. If it isn’t monitored a happy runner can be taken off the road for quite a while. Funny thing is that when you look it up on Google the first thing it says is to stop running. LOL it’s almost like getting yelled at by the doctor.
So I’ll do some adjustments like taking today off from running and making it a Tabata strength training day which in order since I try to do it every other day if possible. Riding my bike is a great and recommended alternative in addition to swimming which I just haven’t found the time to add into my jam packed fitness schedule. Hopefully a day off is all it needs. I’m also proactively taking Ibuprofen for inflammation despite the fact that at the moment my legs don’t feel swollen nor does my knee feel tight. Better safe than sorry. I have so much going on this year in terms of races that I have to monitor regularly and modify whenever I can if I need to so I can make it to the end of the running season. Yes, I take the winter off from racing. I just don’t like winter races much but 8 – 9 months of the year I go at it hard so I need to be careful. I
Since it just showed up all of a sudden and since my running shoes are just about ready to be changed out, I’m going to try that to see if maybe it was caused by end of life gear. This time I’m going to try a pair of New Balance to see if I like them. I have been a devoted Saucony disciple nearly exclusively give or take a few Reeboks and Asics here and there. My friend runs in New Balance and loves them so we’re going to head over and see if we can find a pair we like. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was indeed caused from needing to change the guards so to speak. We’ll see and advise. Till then…
For more information about causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment of IT Band Syndrome you can read this article from Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome
Progress is slow it’s as simple as that. As much as we would like to see results right away it just can’t happen that fast unless you’re Mama June and even that took time. I’ve been taking progress pictures of myself since November and some of them look like I’ve made good progress and others just don’t look different at all. Some days I wonder how I can do more. Other days I try to switch it up so I am doing some different things so my body is confused and doesn’t get complacent. Then there are days where I wonder why I do all that I do because let’s face it, I’m 48 and probably not turning too many heads any longer. I mean I look nice outside thanks to hair dye and makeup and staying fit. Clothes hide cellulite and sometimes bulges in bad spots so to see me with clothes on is sort of an unfair picture. I’m not complaining at all because I know how I feel and in fact still hear from people that are impressed with how I do look. It’s the bathroom mirror that bothers me and all the work that I do that isn’t doing enough that can sometimes be a downer. My answer to myself is if you want it, work harder. That really is the answer that I need to own if I want it bad enough. I want it but I’m not willing to really do a ton more than I am because I care about good health and feeling good, which I am in and do, over trying to look like someone that I’m not. Even with this realization and understanding I still have the days where I feel defeated. It doesn’t last long because I live with a child fighting the weight and good health battle. When I see her trying so hard right now I remember how far I’ve come and remind myself to appreciate where I’m at and do what I can to support her.
I wrote today’s blog because last night she said sort of jokingly that she wished she could see results in a week. Yeah, don’t we all! That would be great but as we all know, it takes 30 days for you to feel a difference, 60 days to see the difference and 90 days for your friends to see it. That fact is with a LOT of hard work, dedication and determination. It will happen but it just takes time. We have to be patient and do our due diligence to get there plain and simple. I have always believed that you have to want it bad enough to sacrifice all that you need to in order to get it. That is where I find that many people struggle because we have become a society of instant gratification and unwillingness to work hard for what we want. Where there’s a will there’s a way plain and simple, we just need to find it and get it done. Remember to use the 21 /90 rule to cement your commitment and to go from attempting it to in the habit of it to having a new lifestyle that changes your life!
How bad do you want your goals and what do you sacrifice to achieve them?
Today I feel like Cinderella reflecting on her wonderful evening at the Ball! Last night I went to a show at Symphony Hall! I have never been there and was in sheer awe at every detail of the building’s exterior, the interior and the hall itself. The doors were leather with brass riveted fastenings, the details adorning the walls and ceilings and staircases alike were amazing. The rugs were brilliant and royal and soft as I walked on them. The front doors all open wide under the lit overhang which sat beneath the majestic flags that hung high near the roofline were welcoming and the staff with smiles on their faces stood at every door welcoming guests and assisting us to our seats. It was absolutely the most beautiful building I’ve ever been in in my life. As I sat in that brilliant hall in my seat watching just an incredible show I had something pop into my head that will be on my bucket list for sure. I want to dance in Symphony Hall! If I had my way, I would have been brave enough to try it, waiting for everyone to leave but that isn’t really feasible without some serious strings. It’s actually more like a pipe dream from a combination of chick flicks out there that I’ve seen so many times. In my fantasy the lights would be low, the tables and chairs would be cleared, the POPs would have stayed in their seats playing a dancing tune and my love would have led me to the middle of the floor for a dance while the Symphony Hall staff looked on thinking how lovely we looked.
Back to reality. Things like that only happen in the movies but wouldn’t it be so wonderful if it actually happened? I think so and I plan on finding a way to indeed Dance at Symphony Hall! EEJANAIKA (Japanese for What The Hell) you might be thinking. Is this even related to Running? The answer is actually yes! This blog is mostly associated with running and fitness but it is also associated with having goals and being brave and being motivated which is more where this particular blog fits in. I owe this bucket list addition to running in fact. It is because of running that I feel like I can actually have a dream about dancing at Symphony Hall. I am in shape now and I can dance and I now also feel comfortable in pretty clothes and flowy dresses that aren’t boxy that show off my much better shape. Running has given me the confidence to even think that I would want to or could do that, a gift that just keeps on giving! Running has made me brave enough to have a bucket list and feel worthy of believing that I can do these things. Running has given me a believe that I can and should experience amazing things. I love running and all that it brings me…friends, happiness, confidence, strength, tenacity, motivation, memories and an updated bucket list!
PS: Someday I WILL dance at Symphony Hall, twirling round and round in a flowy dress and pretty dancing shoes to the music of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The lights down low glowing off the gold frosted walls of two tiers of balconies, caressing and flowing over ornately crafted walls and a ceiling that are intricately and delicately designed to catch and release light, memories and dreams.
Last night I did workout #2 in my basement and my son joined me. He joined me more out of guilt for not wanting to and to avoid saying no again. He isn’t the working out type. Unlike my oldest son, he doesn’t want to work out. He does do sports in school but doesn’t want to do the work to become as good as he can be at them. Despite all our encouragement, nagging and pleading with him to stay healthy and put some effort into it, he avoids working out like the plague. He works out sometimes with his brother and preferably if his father is also working out since his brother is kind of hard on his lack of form, effort and enthusiasm. Sometimes occasionally he will go for a run between 1-3 miles on his own but usually it’s because Football season will be starting or because he is trying to get his wind for Wrestling and sometimes it’s just to keep us off his back I think. He will come with me when I run but usually takes the easy road out and rides his bike next to me. Sometimes he runs with me but not usually and definitely not when it’s hot out because he isn’t good in the heat.
So last night he came down with me and decided to ride the bike first. I did the second half of my Tabata workout which was everything but Abs since I did those in the morning. He did the bike that for about 15 or so minutes and then did two or three TRX exercises Tabata style and then he was done. It was a “Meh” workout at best in my opinion. I thought about that for a moment and I decided that it was better for him to have come down and done something than for him to have done nothing at all. I remember being his age and the thought of working out. I didn’t do that faithfully or nearly at all until I was in my 40’s and depressed and gaining weight. I needed a reason that motivated me all by myself and I assume he will get there some day I hope. It doesn’t matter how many times I ask, beg, nag or guilt or plead with him to work out because it won’t happen until he WANTS it to happen. It’s like anything we do in this life. You have to want to do it to make it happen and not find excuses not to do it. He won’t until he wants to, period so until that time I believe it is my job to keep asking and inviting him to join me. I know how hard it is trying to do something on your own without support so I will be his support system and just be there when / if he needs me to help him. That’s all I can do.
I will continue to be the best me that I can and trying to be an example and a beacon of inspiration for my kids and anyone who wants to try who might just need support. Those are the people who don’t know how to start or keep going. The ones who have to talk themselves out of quitting every day who just need some encouragement. THAT is who I feel compelled to reach out to. That’s what I feel my job is at the moment so I will do it to the best of my ability. Everyone starts somewhere and has someone from whom they draw inspiration and courage to try new things. I run for those people because I was one of those people! Those people who struggle every single day are best described by someone I admire every day and someone who makes me look forward to reading every blog and listening podcast that she puts out there for “those people” to read @KellyKKRoberts. Kelly Roberts is the Queen and Captain of the Sportsbra Squad.
I was a 3 miler until I met my friend Barbara who put it in my head that I could run 13.1 miles. That seems like so long ago but I remember the conversation clearly and I remember thinking “can I?” Turns out it sat in my ‘craw’ for a long time until I signed up for my first half marathon with encouragement from Barbara and my husband. Look at me now! Without someone to push me and allow me to go at my own pace I might not be where I am today. I want to be able to do that same thing for anyone who might need it including my son, daughter and niece.