Fitness and Me

I should be doing a bunch of other things right now. Instead I’m going to talk in this space about fitness, my own fitness, in particular.

I am having more success this year than possibly ever before. Which is why hurting my back last weekend has really thrown me off. See, I’m not not exercising this week because I don’t want to. Well, OK. I’ll turn that around: I’m not exercising this week not because I’m too lazy, or my kid is sick, or there’s no time, but because I can’t. Because I should heal from whatever the hell I did to myself. Because I don’t want to make this mild injury worse.

And, well, this not exercising is kind of driving me nuts. I can actually, honestly say it: I’m missing my exercise this week. I’m feeling really hampered by this mild back pain, this slight impediment to my normal, everyday movements. And I don’t like it. I don’t want to rest.

Those who know me will realize how big that is.

Ian deserves all the credit, except for the fact that those calories I’ve been burning regularly since January 17, 2011 were my calories and I burned them. But Ian helped an awful lot—by coaxing, encouraging, cajoling, rousting, pushing, and loving me into our shared exercise and my fitter, stronger body.

It’s worked. I’ve accomplished 121 workouts since we started seven months ago. I won’t go into all the gritty details. The truth is I hated many of them, especially those that began and ended before 7 a.m. But what I like is the accumulation of them. The collection of workouts. The notches on my bad-ass belt. The sparkly jewels on my custom rainbow-and-unicorn reinforcement star chart that Ian made for me.

My relationship to exercise in general has always been wobbly—often emergency-room wobbly. Exercise has always meant to me asthma, asthma, and more asthma, running around toxic school fields of allergic green death. There have been some small exceptions in my adult life, since asthma maintenance drugs have improved immeasurably over those I took as a child. The crux there is they were always brief exceptions, short forays into the realm of normal people. In high school I enjoyed dancing in musical theater productions quite a lot. In college I walked all over the hills of Santa Barbara, Berkeley, and Saint Andrews in Scotland. During one of my office jobs, Ian and I managed to drag ourselves to the gym with good regularity.

Something always came up, though. Asthma. A massive deadline, or a whole season of them. A nursing baby in arms. Then another. It just got more and more complicated.

K, never mind all that. The point is: I’ve been running. A little. Since about March. A little here, a little there. Almost 2 miles, then almost 2.5. Then 2.7 miles a bunch of times, then that distance without any walking breaks at all.

Last Saturday, I ran 3.8 miles in a row without stopping. And when I was done, I felt fantastic.

So, I’m a runner? Me? Asthma girl? Running is the freakin’ Holy Grail to me because it’s always been so unattainable.

And now I’m benched. Slightly injured. For now. For not much longer, I hope. Because now that I’m on a roll—succeeding at this difficult thing—I really don’t want to lose it all and go back to Square-One Failure. The Harpies are shouting in my ear, “See, you can’t actually be a runner. You’re no athlete. Who do you think you’re kidding?” And I fear I will have to start over. I have fears.

I also have two stars to go before my rainbow is complete.

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One Response to “Fitness and Me”

  • dakini_grl
    August 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Wow, I had no idea this was happening. I just wanted to send words of support, and tell you I know that gnawing set of feelings well too. I relate. It’s hard to trust that you will get back to it. But I know you will.

    Extra credit to you for knowing when you need to rest an injury, and for not trying to “push through.” In my experience, the serious injuries come when you ignore minor ones.

    Thinking of you, and your amazing self. I’m in awe of your running!

    Sending love.

    Reply

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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