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?
I am so tired right now from working all weekend on sets. I went from Art Department -froo froo, making it pretty to construction person wielding a screw gun and a drill. Although screwing 3″ nails into 2×4’s isn’t “hard” per se, my body feels like it was at this very moment. Last night I thought I would go for a run this morning but this morning my body informed me it was too tired to run. After some bargaining it agreed that we could do some Tabata but not a full hour which was just fine by me. 49 minutes later and much grumbling through every single exercise, I was done. Can I just tell you how heavy 10lbs feels when you’re tired. VERY! Nonetheless I finished fairly respectably and gave it a good push for what was in my tank. I could have taken a day off and it would have been fine. I could have just ignored the fact that goals don’t happen by themselves but the fact is that goals don’t happen by themselves. They take dedication and consistency even on the days that you don’t feel like doing anything. Today was that day for me. Having pushed myself through a workout makes me feel powerful and gives me that feeling of proven application to back up the words of wisdom when I tell someone that fitness takes sacrifice and dedication. As I have found out in the past, laziness is all too easy to fall back into like the lotophagi who ate the lotus fruits as depicted in Greek Mythology. Laziness used to be my habit until I broke free and took my life back. It’s a temptress that is difficult to break free from if you don’t stay focused. I have bad days where I just can’t get it together to do anything but today isn’t one of them thank goodness! Today is a win for me so we will continue to take it one day at a time making progress, albeit slow progress toward the longest and healthiest life that I can possibly have.
Have you had tough days where you just didn’t think you could motivate yourself? How did you push yourself to get it done?
Most days I have a plan for some kind of a workout. Today I had decided on a lunch run affectionately known as Runch and had posted my intention on my FB page. That was the plan and honestly I once again wasn’t jumping up and down to head out into 36 degrees if I had a choice. I love running in the morning and in the colder air but lately if I can do a Runch I’m all in for that. As long as I get some fitness in with a majority of those days running, I’m good and also flexible should I need to switch things up. It’s a good thing I’m flexible because my morning transformed quickly from my plan A to an instantly configured plan B. My husband asked me to help him with something this afternoon which now meant leaving work early and no real lunch / Runch opportunity. Clock on the stove said “you have 5 minutes to get ready to fit in a 30 minute run”. There was my opportunity to make a change or call it a rest day. Hell NO! Not a rest day for me, not today. I was already in my room donning thermal running gear, lacing up my kicks and waving goodbye to the fam within those 5 minutes. Out the door I went and it was a pretty decent run I think. I got my 3 cold morning miles in and felt accomplished and pretty good about having to punt. Some days that’s just the way it is. As runners we need to be flexible many times to make it work and get it done otherwise we are just spectators.
I really never put enough of a priority on having a strong core. I would rather run than anything and doing sit ups gives me hives. At one point I had a very strong core because I was cross training and swimming and running. This was just before my first half marathon which I finished in 2:02 and change. After that race I cut down on all my workouts and stuck to running only. I gained back 20 of the 50 lbs that I had lost which wasn’t all fat but it wasn’t all muscle either. My pace slowed down and I got lazy. It showed in how tired i was after a run, how slow I became (pushing 10 minute mile from 9) and how snug my clothes became. Recently I finally managed to work Tabata workouts into my running routine. I’ve worked arms, abs and butt. it’s only been 3 weeks but I now see it in my run stats. I am running faster without running harder. I thought that might be from running more but it is most assuredly from doing my core work and now I’m obsessed with a six pack again. I’ll take a 4 pack but getting a core of steel as much as I can at 47 is my goal. Sometimes you need to see it for yourself to understand it and believe it. Whatever it is, go get it and do whatever it takes to get there. You can do it!