Monday, February 25, 2013

This One Goes Out to the One I Love

DH started a new job-- and we've had a lot of conversations about how that would affect his ability to work out and keep rocking the lifestyle.  He's got a thirty minute commute each way, and his hours are going to make it hard train with either me or He-who-trains.  Nevermind that its a radio gig, and that's not known for being the healthiest profession around.  I'll be honest, I've been worried about how this would go.

But last night, I saw him taking ownership.  He didn't get back into town until 7ish--and by time we ate and talked it was 8:30.  We are admittedly different people, but I'll be honest.  I turn into a pumpkin early, and working out definitely would have been nowhere on my radar then. I would've scrapped it and vowed to do better the next day, recognizing that some days are like that.  I was very careful not to sabbotage him and beg him to curl up on the couch with me.  But he said something that both made me very proud and opened my eyes to how serious he is about this.  He said, "What I do tonight will set the pattern for what I do every other night. If I don't tonight, I'll find reasons not to other nights." So he was downstairs working out-- and from the sounds of it, was getting a pretty decent workout.

It's good for us to do this together--not only so one doesn't sabbotage the other-- but so we can be inspired by each other.  I'm inspired by his commitment--and maybe the next time I have a choice like that, maybe I'll remember his hard work.

Speaking of which, we have a date with the gym.  We, the preacher's wife (DH) and I, have a funeral this afternoon-- so we have planned our day so that we could workout this morning.  I guess everyday you get to choose.  You have the opportunity to remind yourself what it is that you really want.

To be healthy, to have bodies that we are comfortable in-- this is what we want.  It's worth it.  And it is definitely easier together.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Through someone else's eyes...

I've hit another slump-- where I'm stuck.  If the scale moves at all, it seems to go up.  I got sick during my last workout.  My knee started hollering again.  And I'm getting frustrated.   I know I'm still doing good things, and that my body is changing, but that doesn't keep me from lamenting my rate of progress.

Which is, I guess, one of the reasons I love the community at the gym. (And in that regard, the gym is definitely superior to running.) Since I usually workout about the same time every day, I usually see the same people.  In addition to the playing around we all do, they are quick to point out how they see me making progress. But one young guy who I haven't seen much lately caught me off guard the last two days.  The other day, he made a comment about me changing in all sorts of ways-- and I smiled, assuming he was talking about my shorter hair cut.  But yesterday, I crossed paths with him and he said, "You're really working hard and it shows.  You look great-- you are changing like crazy." I told him I was frustrated by being stuck lately and he said "That's because you can't see the whole picture. I can see it in your shoulders and face and legs."

That's helpful sometimes. Sometimes I've gotten so focused on the day in and day out that I lose sight of what I have accomplished. I tried on a previously unbuttonable suit just before Easter, and I looked like I was playing dress up.  And that's not nothing.   I keep the suit jacket hanging in the closet, and will pull it back out every now and then-- because the goal is still an awfully long way away.  Maybe when I hit bumps, looking back at where at the place from which I've come is the best motivation to propel me forward.

I'm grateful for the people who go out of their way to say something, because sometimes it's just the thing I need to hear.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Kneed to Know Basis

I've always smirked a little when I snarkily said "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it" to people. Of course, it's funnier when it's them and not me!

For the last two+ months, I'll admit I've been a pain to He-who-trains. I've pestered him to death about running and walking and doing hills. I've made sure he remembers while losing weight and shrinking is nice, my goal is to run.  To finally be strong enough to just go.  Some part of it has been joking-- just to be a pain, but there has been some real questioning behind it too.

As long as I've been working with He-who-trains, all I've been allowed to do was weights, kicking, and the recumbant bike.  I've not been near a treadmill.  Until tonight.   Tonight, after seeing we've been seeing some progress with my knee, he let me get on a treadmill for short bursts.  Of course, neither he nor the hills here in our town play around.  So he set it at level 15 (and at 3.5 mph)--and I quickly repented. (And prayed I wouldn't fall off the back-- really, coordination is not the Pudgy Parson's thing-- as evidenced by the gianormous knot on my head from a cleaning accident.)  I about swore then and there that I'd never ask him about running again.

But after a few rotations, my knee showed its true colors again-- which I think both of us knew it would.  And so I'm back to icing-- which I've been lucky enough to do less of lately.  I think I stopped quickly enough that it won't be too sore tomorrow.  What it tells me though is that I am making progress. Two months ago, I 1)would've been stupid enough to try to play through the pain or 2) been nearly to tears after a minute or two.  Ok, so I'm not "there" yet. And I'm ok with that. I'm in this for the long haul, not for a few minutes of instant gratification.

However, I've had a couple of conversations that have been nagging at me lately. One conversation was with a church member who used to run marathons.  He was talking about ruining his knees. I asked him if, knowing what he knows now, if he still would've run like he did. Without even stopping to think, he said "Absolutely not.  I'm the only one of that group of people I used to run with who hasn't had a knee replacement."  The other conversation was with a man who works out at the gym--who is always on the bike next to mine (with the resistance cranked WAY up, I might add.  He makes me tired just to watch him.) Come to find out, he's working the bike that hard because he messed up his knees running.  And while I get the impression he'd really like to get back to running, it's at least giving me pause to see another runner sidelined with a knee injury.  He-who-trains has made no secret of how he feels about distance runners-- and while he is one of the smartest folks I know, I also thought perhaps he was a little biased-- especially having never been a distance runner. (Umm... when I asked him if he was going to come to the half marathon I was planning on running, he said "Sure.  Someone has to be at the finish line collecting money for your new knees.") But I'm beginning to wonder how much I want this.  I mean it's always been a dream of mine. Do I want this so much that I'm willing to take a chance on really ruining my knees?  Can I ever really train enough and be strong enough and smart enough that I'm guaranteed not to do that kind of damage?  I don't know.

I know that I miss being outside.  I miss the solo time of brain drain. I can get the endorphin release other ways, but being in the gym doesn't feed my soul like running did. But maybe once I'm stronger, walking would feed that. Maybe I could be a cyclist. At least then, my huge and bulky legs would be justifiable.

At least the cat likes the knee icing.  Also, there is Robin Hood: Men in Tights on TV to make me laugh.  It's almost worth it. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Small Victories

He-who-trains once asked me why I want to do this.  (Come to think of it, he asks it in some way or other every time I'm experiencing a case of wagon-falling-off).  I told him I wanted my body to be able to do all the things my mind wants to do. And that hasn't be the case for a long time.

When we moved here to these fabulous mountains, I wanted to hike and run and play in the mountains.   I thought it would be a while before I could because I just didn't have the endurance.  Even to walk around here left me winded when we first moved to town.  But today there was a difference.  I haven't walked to work (or many other places for that matter) since I've been grounded by He-who-trains.

Today was a snow day-- as in stay-cozy-by-the-fire-because-church-was-cancelled sort of snow day.  But of course, we went for a walk.  That's our thing.  So, in 4ish inches of snow, DH and I braved all the hills between here and the church. And it was nothing for either one of us.  We could've walked and walked.  And in fact we did.  We took a tour of the town on foot.  When we came home, we decided that wasn't enough.  So we first drove up one mountain, parked, and walked around and took pictures.  Then we came down and went into more mountains where we did more of the same.  Only we walked down around the falls, up and down stairs, up and down mountains.  And still it was nothing.

I'm not sure that He-who-trains will be pleased when he finds out I ungrounded myself-- but I think he'll appreciate the fact that I'm finally becoming able to do the things I love doing.  And score! My knee is neither swollen, nor hurting.  I'd call that a victory.  I'm not sure he'll be excited when I tell him that I plan on doing some hiking this spring, but if it keeps me from running, maybe we can compromise.

It's a fine thing to fill your lungs with fresh mountain air-- to be able to breathe deeply and have the freedom to go wherever it is that your feet want to go.  Because there was a time when I couldn't, I'll always make sure that I can. Never again will I let my body get into such a state that it can't do all the fun things my brain dreams up.