Why is it that when we look in the mirror, no matter how much improvement we make or how much weight we lose or how much toning we have accomplished that we always see what’s not done? I did it this morning and the minute it came out of my mouth I was pissed at myself! My husband came up behind me and put his hands on my waist and the first thing I said was “Honey, look I have handles”. He was like “What?” so immediately I backtracked and made a silly joke out of it, which thankfully he let slide and accepted but I didn’t. Why did I go right to what wasn’t perfect about my shape instead of just appreciating the moment? Why did I think he was grabbing the extra flab that isn’t really there around my waist when he truly wasn’t? How insecure of me. I have worked my ass off to get where I am at so why would I automatically point out flaws when my husband actually doesn’t see them? I know that he wasn’t just being nice because if he had actually been scoping out my fat, he would have retorted something about being older and it being harder to lose weight or some age excuse to make me feel better but he didn’t. He really was confused by my handle comment. His next response in conveying his confusion to my seemingly random and uncalled for statement was something along the lines of there being zero fat on me (actually not true as I have a slight gut in front and a little extra on my core below my ribcage pretty much all around my trunk). I only say that to point out that I am not, nor do I expect to be, a super model skinny tight bodied vixen or cougar as the older woman is referred to by society. I don’t want to be a 20 year old again and I am comfortable with where I am for the age I am at and for the time I can put in to stay in shape and keep my joints and mind lucid . At that moment, I really think I got too comfortable because the old Brenna showed up and took over for the first time in a long time. I hate her! She’s the one who has no confidence and is ashamed of herself not me. She’s the one I’m always running away from because the fact of the matter is that we’ll never be buddies ever again because she nearly killed me. Today was the first time she’s crept up on me and I definitely did not like it. I have come a long way. I am strong and beautiful and in the best shape of my life. I can run 13.1 miles, I eat really well and I have a positive attitude and a wonderful family. I have friends again that I feel I can be myself around without worrying about what I say and think all the time. I am proud of me and I like having a little extra to squeeze when I’m hugged. Being happy with yourself is part of what makes life great and I know it. So bye bye fat Brenna, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. You’re not allowed back in my life. I’m better off without you. Good Riddance!
Fitness is about dedication, determination, acceptance, fortitude, routine, consistency, learning, application, switching it up, flexibility and so many other things. Learning to work within all of these words to be the best and smartest athlete you can is a process. Sometimes you give it your all and other times you give it all you have in the tank. Knowing when to do either of those things is really important. Being able to accept the days when you just can’t give 100% for whatever reason is something that takes a lot of effort, at least on my part, to wrap my head around. You won’t get very far if you don’t learn to work within the boundaries of what can and cannot be accomplished on any given day. You do what you can and accept that one day at a time.
My struggle to decide what fitness routine I want to do every day at 5:00 am isn’t always clear. Sometimes I don’t even know until that morning what direction I’m going to take. Sometimes I end up doing exactly what I want and other days I just do what I can because time isn’t always on my side. I can’t complain because I work out 7 days a week most weeks and switching up my routine with a schedule like that is really important to staying healthy and not wearing myself down too much. Today I had another fight with my body. We got home from rehearsal at 11:45. Thank god I did lunches earlier in the night! Anyway, my alarm just seemed to go off way too early. I fought with my body, which will be another year older in a few weeks, for 15 minutes after the alarm went off trying to decide if we were headed out or headed downstairs. I wasn’t really keen on even getting out of bed today. Sleep was laying on me like an elephant today and I wasn’t really fighting it much. So after several minutes of consideration and deliberation about what we were going to commit to, downstairs won.
For those who haven’t read my previous blogs, my husband and I build, paint and manage the sets for the high school musical productions put on by The Raynwater Players made up of the students at the school. The show is tomorrow and its ridiculously big this time with too many sets, too many pieces left to finish and too many late nights. Making this all happen is cumbersome and there is just so much prep each night to make the most of every minute. Making dinners and lunches and getting supplies and things grows daily and takes more and more time away from sleeping as we get closer. Today I can’t even go in to work on the show because I will be picking my son up from college for the summer (WOO HOO! SO HAPPY!).
These things all take my time putting a choke hold on free time / me time. These days during show prep I do what I can and accept that for now. The show will be over soon and I can go back to two-fers soon. So today the bike won the draw and it’s actually probably good that I stayed in because my knee felt a little wonky. It didn’t hurt but it just felt wonky today. I believe in signs so I’ll chalk that one up to a sign that bad things would have happened today if I had gone outside to run. Thirty minutes is thirty minutes whether it’s running or weight training or riding the bike. It all goes to reinforce the same thing and that is keeping me healthy and agile. Some days you do what you want and other days you just do what you can because something is better than nothing on any given day.
Have you had challenges getting your workouts in? How do you make it all work?
Thanksgiving is now over. I did not eat as much as I thought I might. It sort of developed into a rest day because frankly I was just too tired to do anything by the time I had free time. I cooked all day, sat in the cold watching my son play football (and win) and then came home, pigged out, had a nap and then desserted and did nothing else. It was a long day like it always is but not one of gluttony as much as it was feasting. My son was home from college, something I look forward to more every time he has to leave me again. My daughter was here not rushing around in life as we all do. I see two of my three in passing now and that makes me sad. I miss them so much. So, according to the food index, Friday should have been a slower day on all fronts than Saturday was given the food that was consumed, but it was not to be so predicted. on Friday post-gluttony, I felt like and did 5 miles. I hit 2 and just felt like travelling on so I did. Saturday however, two days post feast, I ran just 3. Now I was super busy painting set pieces yesterday. I did nothing else but that pretty much. I started early and worked past lunch until it was time for me to take a needed break. I was starting to paint madly and that is usually an indication of break time. So I went out and I’m not sure if not wanting to, no oomph or being busy was responsible for my standard run completion but 3 and only 3 got done. I just don’t get why some days are so much better mentally and physically than others. I mean I understand it but it just makes me sort of sad that I don’t live up to my great day capability every day. I want to but it just doesn’t happen like I wanted or thought it should exactly when I wanted. I haven’t reached the days where I’m forced to say I can’t and for that I”m grateful. My hips get sore…more like the ball joint spot whatever that is. I just call it my hips. It hurts when I sleep on them for a long time too but there’s no meat there so who knows if it’s running, old age or just hypochondriatic disorder LOL. Anyway, getting 3 done is a blessing and still qualifies as big fat check mark in the getting it done list. For now we thumbs up and move on to tomorrow to see what I can get done. I’ll consider it a surprise that I look forward to unwrapping and putting in my daily scrapbook of “This is my life” because, well, this IS my life and I love it no matter what it brings me every day!
I haven’t run a regular 9:15 pace in some time. I’ve accepted that I’m 20 lbs heavier but 30 lbs lighter than my lowest and highest weight. I seem to average 9:30 – 9:45 pace these days and on a given day as long as I’m not purposely going super slow that is ok with me. I ran a 5 mile race yesterday one town over from my hometown. I know the area and it’s not super hilly which is good for me. I ran this one with a friend. I didn’t actually run with her but just in the same race. We don’t have the same pace so we don’t stay together generally. As I ran this race I picked two runners that were running together. They were much younger than I but were keeping a doable pace that I thought I could maintain so I stayed with them. Mile 1 was 9:06 which I haven’t seen in a really long time. Mile 2 was 18:42 or something which was still way below the pace I thought I was going to keep. I wasn’t overwhelmed or exhausted but could definitely feel that I was pushing myself within a comfortable and moderately elevated range. I figured I would keep up with them as long as I could and if I had to slow down I would. We kept going and hit mile 3 somewhere around the 28 minute mark which was great. I wanted to turn around and wait for my friend a few times just to have my own company to run with but I knew she would get mad because every runner should run their own race. I just get lonely out there all by myself all the time in my races. Anyway, we were just about at mile 4 and I told the girls (who I wasn’t actually running with, just behind) that we were doing great. They smiled and then moved over to let me pass. I guess they were creeped out or maybe just didn’t want a tail. Either way when I passed the 4 mile mark I kicked it into gear. I wanted to run a fast 5th mile at something faster than what I had been putting down. No real reason other than that but I just set in, turned it up and kicked it into gear for the last mile. At the last turn I really pushed hard, encouraging one of the girls that won one of the age brackets to push hard in the finish. Maybe I was responsible for her taking 3rd place. Maybe. I didn’t win a medal but I did win in my mind because that mile 5 turned out to be an 8:26 mile. WOO HOO!!! I did it! I was proud of me and I think I have those girls to thank for pacing me. They might not have known they paced me but they did and I had a really good race because of them. Thank you whomever you were for not getting bent out of shape that I was on your coattails for 5 miles. It might not have been a “big” race but it made my day and sometimes that’s all that we need. So whatever your reason is, wherever you are find the ones that will help get you there and don’t leave their side. Follow their example and don’t quit and you’ll be successful in all that you do.
Let’s face it, as we get older we must adjust the picture in our head from Victoria’s Secret / Ronda Rousey to something a little less everything. Less tough, less tight less bright eyed and bushy tailed. With age comes wisdom and also less elasticity and collagen filling our bumps and curves. We must learn to accept that the picture in the mirror and in our minds has to be reflective of something more realistic that it was 25 years ago. 25 years ago I could do 100 sit ups at one time and POOF! my belly disappeared. Now I am still working on what the magic number is that will make that all go away. The number that won’t wear me out so much that I fall asleep in my dinner. The number that won’t make me light headed or turn me into a cripple begging people not to say anything remotely funny for the next 4 days. That number is still eluding me so I accept that I must carry around a speed bump until I find it. I can’t complain because it’s not a foo-pah which gives me the heebie-jeebies. It’s a realistic part of who I am now. I’m a mom of 3 wonderful kids who spent many years too busy to bother trying to work out at 5 am or 9 pm. I’m a full time worker who sometimes has to eat on the road while driving to a clients office. I’m a mom who still travels on the weekends to sit on a field in the rain, cold, sun and heat cheering my kid on. This sometimes involves eating on the run. Although I try not to eat junk, a granola bar is barely acceptable but all I can manage some days. I am older now and can feel that I don’t have the hutzpah that I once did despite the fact that I still have more energy than some people much younger than I. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke or do drugs or eat poorly. I think I take pretty good care of my vessel and mind but still I am aging just the same. I get tired and have modified my routine so that it fits my schedule and what I can manage. I think this is pretty outstanding for 47. Now I know some run marathons which I do not. I know some are triathletes which I am not and some crazy people run hundreds of miles at a time which I do not. I am not them and I don’t expect me to be. I could be if I wanted to and honestly I would probably be in better shape than I am if I did but I don’t want to quite frankly. What I manage now makes me happy and is at a comfort level that makes me feel good and healthy. So although I don’t look like the girl that once camped out in my head, I do look like the girl in the mirror and she looks ok. As we grow older we have to be accepting of our limitations and realistic goals. We can’t give up, we just need to adjust what we believe of ourselves and how hard we are able work to achieve it without killing ourselves. Getting older is an adjustment both mental, physical and emotional that needs some big time attention to details. We can’t stop it from happening but we can harness it and make the ride a little smoother and enjoyable. It’s all about attitude, acceptance, application and a willingness to love who we are at any stage of our life while working to be the best version of ourselves that we can!
I hate fitting my runs in but I love fitting my runs in at the same time. I know that sounds whacked but let me explain. I love getting a run in on a busy day. When I have many things to do I love fitting a 3 miler in because I feel accomplished. What I don’t like is squeezing it in. I don’t like thinking about finishing before I even get out the door. I don’t like rushing through it…THAT is what I don’t like. I don’t like leaving the house and running as quickly as I can just to get it done. That bothers me because then it becomes this chore instead of being my happy place which is what it has developed into for me. I like going out there, especially on a Sunday, and just thinking about how that is the only thing I wanted to accomplish for the day. I like being out there focused on my run, breathing and how I’m feeling rather than wishing it was done already. It takes the fun out of running for me. Today I have a family friend’s graduation to go to and I am making cupcakes. Here I sit waiting for them to cook so I can fill them and then frost them and THEN head out for some miles, whatever they may be. I could have gone first but then my mind would be racing to having enough time to finish before we leave. Mind you it’s 7 am and they are almost all finished cooking but the filling and frosting still needs to be done. To me, it still feels like a time crunch which will follow me out on the road even when they are done and ready to go. I’m weird like that but no matter, I’ll finish then go and be happy with the morning as it stands because that’s the best I can do today. Sometimes all you can do is shoot for outstanding but accept your best. That’s life.
PS: My Sunday run was the worst ever! 3 horrible miles that were done in one mile increments because I couldn’t breathe and my calves / shins were killing me. Sometimes even when you are looking forward to a run and everything else is done, it turns out badly and you just have to be grateful that it’s done and move on. I don’t have many of those runs / days but when I do I just remember that there are those out there who cannot do even what I did on a bad run. I have to remember that I am still better off than some people who can’t. So I am thankful for horrible runs for that very reason. They keep me appreciating my ability to still do what I love even when it’s not the best I have done.