Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hitting the Pavement. Again.

How many of you are past-athletes? 

A lot of people I know are athletes today. They run marathons, bike in triathalons, take Cross-fit classes, mountain climb, sit in the front row every morning at spin classes.

And that's awesome. I think those people are really inspirational. But here's the thing. I spent my entire life growing up doing some of those things, and now as an adult, I find it really, really, really hard to get motivated to do them.

I grew up a swimmer, and spent almost every morning in high school swimming laps from 5:30-7AM. By the time I'd leave the pool, I'd have swam miles and miles and then could eat anything I wanted from there on out that day. If I wasn't swimming, we were weight training, and I had arm muscles that today I only wish could reappear (But not the lat muscles. Those were always freakishly large after too much butterfly. Those can stay away! They were way too manly!)

Longtime readers of this blog will know that, as an adult, I routinely get back on an exercise kick. Months will come and go where I am gung-ho and hitting the gym. I even bought a new pair of spin shoes recently with some money I had received as a gift. Truth: I have only used them once since. What inspired me to never miss a practice then doesn't apply now. There is no varsity letter to earn. There is no coach yelling at me to keep swimming. No one is behind me touching my toes in the water, or with me in the gym to help spot my weights as I try for heavier ones. Where are these people when I am slogging away on my jog at 6:30AM? Or worse, hitting snooze for the fifth time?!

I know life is better when I consistently work out. I look my best, sleep my best, eat my best and just straight up FEEL my best when I am making time during my week to work out. But the older I get, the harder it gets. Do you feel the same way? I am spending so much time at work that extra sleep in the morning is precious to me, and then in the evenings, I'd rather sit and hang out with my man or with friends. I am most consistent with exercise on the weekends when I have time in excess, but throw in a day-long event and my workouts get pushed aside (by me).

I hate sounding like a broken record, but I wanted to put all of this out there so you all knew. My name is Katherine and I was an athlete. And I am hell-bent on being one again today. I decided a few months ago to invest in a personal training session once per week, and this morning, my trainer challenged me to run four days per week in addition to our session -- three days of three miles each and one day with five miles. It was a come-to-Jesus workout moment. She knows me, and she knows that running is the best thing for me and my body. She also suggested I get back in the pool, a welcome relief for my knees and a great way to add in some extra exercise.

Now that there's a countdown going towards the wedding, I think this might be that "goal" that I have been looking for. It's something much more permanent than a varsity letter. I want to look and feel amazing on that day (as every bride does) and I want to rock those bridal photos like no one else. As my trainer says, no one should look better than the bride on her big day! Of course, the bigger and real motivation is to feel amazing every day. So every day, I am going to face that challenge of slacking off or being awesome athlete Katherine.

Are you with me? Who else wants to feel amazing every day? Let's support each other on this daily mission :)



Lisa said...

Hello, former athlete here. I played all kinds of sports growing up - to this day I still play softball and volleyball. But it's definitely not enough now to keep me in shape like it did back then, which I quickly realized after gaining the freshman 15. I took up running to shed the pounds and have been hooked ever since. I have a group of running buddies from college and we stay on top of each other to keep up with it. Just yesterday we all registered for a half marathon together. It's a lot easier to stay in shape when you have other people motivating you all the time! Let me know if you sign up for any races here in Atlanta :)

Hannah said...

I had/have the same issue. I grew up in a gym - 20 hours of practice a week, 1 hour a day of conditioning and then beam work and control. Gymnastics was all about discipline. I think thats why I have fallen in love with crossfit and recommend it to the former athletes- its a challenge, you're in and out in under an hour, and there is a competition factor you can't get anywhere else... It's literally exercise crack for competitive past life athletes like myself... good luck though in running and with the personal trainer - you look fantastic!