Saturday, August 30, 2014

On Patience (and an ironic epiphany)

I cooked up the first part of this post while I was running last night, somewhere around mile 3 of my planned 9 mile long training run: If you're a group ex instructor, you probably have some Type A characteristics: you're task-oriented, organized, and motivated to meet your goals. And if you're a dancer, forget it - I bet you thrive on routine and precision! But, fitness really requires a level of patience and flexibility, doesn't it? Some classes feel great and other times I'm ready for a nap 40 minutes in. Sometimes it takes me months of listening to a song before I can get my body to do what I want to it. In the world of fitness, it isn't always a straight line to success.

I'll use my half marathon training as an example of how I'm trying to move past my Type A tendencies. When it came to developing a training plan for the race (which is in 5 short weeks - holy cow!), I sketched out an idea of what I would do to prepare, with one long run each week of increasing mileage until the week before the big day. I looked at training calendars and various "methods," but I decided I couldn't force a plan. I wouldn't be able to randomly go away for the weekend with the husband or spend all afternoon at a Jam Session if I had a strict schedule. 

Ok, at this point of mentally writing this post I'm at mile 4.5 of 9. Cue the irony.

Wait, ouch, what's that? My left hamstring is tight. Ok - pull over, stretch, keep going. Hmm, wait a second, my stomach is cramping. Did I drink enough water? Shoot. Damn. Ouch! Did it just get hotter out here? Ignore. Ignore. Ign-damn!
There I was, mentally writing a post about being flexible and listening to your body, hobbling because my leg and stomach were begging me to stop running and I insisted on continuing. I finally called the husband and asked him to pick me up, and I was really aggravated.

A little more reflecting and a hot shower, and I realized we really do need to be flexible when pushing our bodies. Not every run, or every class, or every whatever-workout-you do is going to go as planned. It takes time and hard work, and a lot of self-forgiveness, to change your body and achieve your goals. And that's OK.

P.S. I did the other 5 miles this morning. :)

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