When was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

last time first timeNot long ago, Julian and I were in a cool little shop up North and I spotted this quote on a pillow. I don’t need another pillow, but I loved the quote.

One of the great things about heading down this whole fitness path is that I’m doing new things all the time. And they aren’t just new, they are things I would have considered completely impossible just a year ago. I’ve opened a lot of new doors in a very short period of time.

Taking a couple risks led to my feeling like I could take a couple more. Then some of those risks started paying off, and that meant even more confidence, which led to being even more open about trying new things. It’s not just fitness, (although honestly, those are the things that blow my mind sometimes,) but other things as well. It’s a strange correlation, but learning to lift weights has helped me to speak my mind in situations where I would have normally held my tongue. It’s not because I am tougher, it’s because I am starting to see that I can do, and be, a lot more than I ever thought.

It’s exciting because I am rapidly approaching 40 and there are certain things that I’ve always wanted to do that I thought I would have to put behind me. You know, the whole, “It’s too late for that now.” I love reading stories about people in their nineties writing books or breaking weightlifting records, and yet, there are a number of things I had resigned myself to being “too old” for. Sometimes it isn’t just age – there are things that have sounded interesting that I have discarded just becuase they don’t seem like they fit my life. Well, I’ve proven to myself that I don’t even know what that means anymore. My life really can be just about anything.

 

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Finding Happiness

Quote

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon, 1940-1980

 

 

 

A New Source of Inspiration.

Yes! Love this!

Yes! Love this!

My boyfriend, Julian, has a friend who has recently started working out. She liked the “Ripped Goddess” page on Facebook and it caught his eye so he clicked over. It’s a page dedicated to working out and fitness, but it has a great vibe. It is very inclusive and has a lot of motivational catchphrases like the one to the right here I took off her page.

It might not be for everyone – there are quite a few photos of ripped abs, and I understand that may not be everyone’s cup of tea – however, I found a lot of it really inspiring. I loved how many of the photos people posted of themselves were “Before” and “During.” During, as in a work still in progress. With as many fans as the page has, it looks like there are a few trolls in comments, but I just skipped over that and instead enjoyed looking at the photos. It’s starting to help me figure out what I want for myself.

I’ve said before that my goal is to be “fit.” That’s what appeals most to me. I love the idea of having a strong physique – not necessarily bodybuilder strong like some of these gals – but being able to lift and carry with ease. And I have to say, the women that I see on Ripped Goddess are so much sexier than the women I see in fashion magazines!

I’ll add this – I was so inspired by that little quote up there, that even though I had to run around like crazy on my lunch hour on Monday, I still managed to get in an extra 20 minute walk on my lunch hour. I went to five different stores trying to get everything done, then flew back to the office, parked the car, and went out and power walked. I have a busy week this week and I am trying to get in any extra exercise any way I can. It felt great, and since it was unseasonably cold, but bright and sunny, I could really hustle without sweating much (important when you have to go back to the office!)

I am going to leave you with one more bit of inspiration I got from Ripped Goddess. This one really struck home:

Loving Me

10 Tips – Reposted from RealFit Rx

Check out this blog post from RealFit Rx: Ten Tips for Surviving Fitness and Life: contains adult language. (And she isn’t kidding, if you are offended by four letter words, you might want to skip this one. If not, click over, it is a great read!) Here’s one of her tips that really hit me:

#2 Be true to yourself.

I have a restless soul. I love my freedom and every time I try to suppress that, my life starts to fall apart. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’re molding ourselves into someone else’s ideal until one day we don’t even recognize ourselves. Be who you are and chase what you want. Keep running through the horizon. You will never regret it and make no apologies for it.

Yep. Exactly.

A Whole Bunch of Runs

Runs Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten

I was traveling again last week, (it should be the last of that for a bit,) and I wanted to try to get some runs in before I left. So I ended up running on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before my trip. (April 13-15) That was a mistake.

Presently I do not carry a bag on a stick when I run, but I like the idea of it.

Presently I do not carry a bag on a stick when I run, but I like the idea of it.

The Saturday run went pretty well. I am still doing intervals and was super happy to be able to move from 3 min. run/ 2 min. walks up to my first 4 minute run. I was feeling pretty good when I headed out on Sunday… but it didn’t last. It was cold and rainy, windy and dreary and I just couldn’t “get into it.” I chalked it up to a bad day and didn’t worry about the fact I wasn’t able to push myself much. Then I went out on Monday.

Monday was bad. Really bad. I go for roughly 30 – 40 minutes, and it took about 10 of those before I realized what was going on. I was simply tired. There is a reason the fitness gurus tell you to run three times a week or every other day max. when you are starting out. Trying to run every day, as new as I am, was big fat mistake. On top of that – I was stressed because I had to get a bunch done before flying out-of-town. Once I figured out what was happening, I gave up and just power walked the rest. I still got in some exercise and it was a lot less frustrating.

So, I was gone for five days (more on that later) and got back late Friday night. Saturday I headed out again for Run Number Nine and it was… okay. I ran in the neighborhood, which is easy, but not as fun as running at a park. I was able to do a couple more 4 minute intervals, interspersed with 3s and 2s, but still, something wasn’t clicking.

Run Number Ten

Monday night. I admit, I have been a bit discouraged. There has been a lot of stress in my life lately and the weather has been terrible. Normally spring is in full swing this time of year, but things have been pretty dark and cold here in the Midwest, and it certainly hasn’t helped my mood any. However, Monday the weather was lovely. It was perfect running weather – sunny, but clear and crisp. The park was full of people – including a Boy Scout Troop picking up trash for Earth Day. I don’t like to run around people much, but it was too nice to not get out.

Before I left my car, I made a couple of decisions: First, I needed to get out of my head. I have been spending too much of my time up there. I decided to play music. I’ve read a lot of running advice about putting down the technology, and I get that. It’s what I have been trying to do, but I needed a distraction – a good one. I don’t have a lot of uptempo music on my phone, though. (I tend to like singer songwriters, but Leonard Cohen, as much as I love him, was not going to do it this time.) My Choice? Michael Franti and Spearhead. Perfect happy, sunshine, get moving music.

The other decision I made was to do 4 minute intervals – 4 walk/ 4 run.  This may not seem like such a big deal to you if you are a runner, but just 3 weeks ago the furthest I had run in well over a couple of decades was up my driveway with my dog. This was new.

And I did it! Mr. Franti and the band kept me pumping and I felt great. Then something awesome happened. A stranger in the park waved to me and asked. “Are you training for [big, locally well-known marathon]?” I am so far from marathon caliber that it made me laugh a bit, but it also made me feel great. I thanked him and told him that those folks are far better than I. Somehow though, it totally helped – and the last 4 minute interval, instead of doing 4 minutes, I did 8!! Woot!

My weight hasn’t changed much the last few weeks. I put some travel/stress weight on, then took most of it off, but not much more. It is okay though, I feel great, I have energy, and once again, I am looking forward to the next run.

Here’s what I was listening to:

Photo credit: Sam Howzit