Signing up for a Fun Run

I know I’ve said this before, but waking up to go to the gym is difficult. And this morning, the freezing temps, my sore neck and sleepy body decided to act as very legitimate excuses …and I skipped the gym, again.

You see, sometime around noon yesterday I kinked my neck (let’s just say I can’t turn to the left). I still made it to yoga last night and found some relief in the heat and stretching. I made sure to be gentle and skipped one or two difficult positions.

Yoga is great because I’ve implemented the buddy system (shout out to my lovely friend Emily!). But my solo gym sessions? I’ve found excuses are so easy to make at 6 am when there’s no one to answer to but yourself. I’m can almost always convince myself I’m too tired or it’s too cold.

But starting today I have a two new excuses to not skip out on running. A group of friends and I signed up for the happiest (aka easiest?) 5Ks! We will be participating in Run or Dye in April and The Color Run this July.

While I’ve heard that sometimes you are basically forced to walk due to the Colorful crowds, I’m actually excited to have something extra to motivate me in the morning. My goal is to complete these to fun runs with ease, and I’m going to get back to the gym starting tomorrow morning. Even if it is still freezing cold.

Advertisements

Turning can’t into can: Running

As Americans we seem to define ourselves by what we can and cannot do well. As Mid-westerners, this becomes even more apparent as we stereotypically define what we can’t do, but have issues “bragging” about what we can do well.

I find myself saying that I can’t cook. I’m not even the least bit athletic. I’m bad at small talk. I can’t dance. I can’t sing…

These “can’ts” can be so limiting.

This year, I’m going to prove myself wrong on one of my most proclaimed “can’ts.” Running.

You see, I can’t run. Or at least that’s what I’ve told myself since I first started struggling with “The Mile” back in Elementary school during the Presidential Fitness Test. But I can run. Yes, I have a few obstacles. I have weak ankles and some knee problems, both of which can be managed with the right shoes and proper stretching. I’m 24, healthy (if a bit out-of-shape) and determined to prove myself wrong. To be honest, I’m hoping by reversing this can’t into a can, I will start to see improvements on my other so-called limitations.

As of this week I’ve begun Couch to 5K training. I’m even using a nifty free app. And boy, am I bad at running.  If you read my New Year’s resolution post, you’ll notice running on the list. Right now I can do about 1.5 miles. On a good day. I’m also going to yoga at least once a week to add flexibility and help keep my core strong.

In an attempt to keep myself committed (and honest), I’m going to update you all on my weekly progress. Maybe I’ll somehow inspire you, as well.

There are already so many road blocks in life. My own negative voice shouldn’t be one of them.

New Year’s Resolutions (or how I’m filling my bucket in 2014)

When I was about 14 I spent New Year’s Eve with my cousins at my grandparent’s house. We stayed up until midnight and drank Jones Soda while eating giant ice cream sundaes in the kitchen.

That night I wrote a New Year’s resolution down on a tiny slip of paper, stapled it shut and put it in my pocket. When asked, I told everyone I didn’t make a resolution; didn’t really believe in making them. Really, I was just embarrassed because I’d resolved to lose weight. At the awkward age of 14 I wasn’t happy with my body, and to be honest I’ve struggled with it ever since.

Two years ago I resolved to stop making resolutions. I was sick of resolving to lose weight. My decision to not make a resolution was really a resolution in itself: to start loving myself.

Recently, a lot has changed in my life. As my friends and I are noticing, life after college isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. You feel scared and sometimes lost, always vulnerable. You’re an adult who doesn’t know how to be one surrounded by people who seem smarter and more prepared than you are. If you follow this blog, you’ll know that in the past two years I’ve graduated from college, worked in retail, freelanced, landed a “big girl” job and met an amazing guy. I also lost two grandparents, went through a nasty relationship, struggled through the job market and watched my father go through major medical emergencies.

So for 2014, I decided on a few resolutions that I’m going to keep and use this blog to help explain each resolution and my progress. Last weekend, I was reminded that life drains you and you have to do things that fill up your bucket so that at the end of the day, even with all of the leaks, you aren’t left empty. It is already Jan. 9th, and to be honest, I’ve already begun to struggle with my resolutions. I’ve decided that’s only natural. I mean there ARE a lot of them:

  1. Less screen time, more reading and writing
  2. Enjoy the morning
  3. Embrace yoga and start running
  4. Explore groups that promote growth
  5. Cook more, eat out less
  6. Gain financial stability
  7. Set aside time to relax

Return to the mat: A yoga tale

Honest truth: I’ve fallen in love with yoga. My return to the mat started with a Groupon and it was love at first sun-salutation.

Lately, I’m starting to panic. My unlimited month is almost over. My chaturanga dandasana is starting to look graceful and I’ve almost got crow pose down. My tension headaches are less frequent. Some of the other yogis greet me by name. Guys, my green yoga mat perfectly matches my reusable water bottle! I can’t stop now. But my budget is tight (have you looked at the price of car insurance lately?) and I can’t imagine spending $120+ just on yoga a month. That’s like 35 gallons of gas…depending on which station I stop at.

In the middle of my panic last night (about halfway home from an amazing yoga class), I decided to consider my options:

Suck it up and fork out the cash Great option, right? I just have to cut out Caribou completely. Say no to Chipotle. Stop wearing mascara. I really don’t need a new sweater dress anyway…

Start an at-home practice All I need is motivation and a mat! I know the flow; I own my practice. I can stop myself from being distracted by my comfy, pillow top mattress…

Beg a friend SO I happen to know someone who has gone through yoga teacher training. We can be best yoga buds and bond in mountain pose. Our schedules will never conflict…

It’s time to weigh my options. At least I have time. Maybe the answer will come to me in shavasana. … I don’t want this to be another yoga hiatus. I mean, I have to use the new yoga pants I just bought somehow.

Gymservations

Since graduating (and losing my “free” gym access), I’ve been trying to find a workout routine that I will actually stick with and can reasonably afford. Long gone are the days where I had 3-5 hour breaks in the middle of the day and workout buddies just across the hall. I’m officially an adult working 9-5. Guys, my mom doesn’t even cook for me anymore.

For the last six months or so I’ve had a gym membership, and while I liked the place well enough, my attendance began to wane and I couldn’t bear to part with my money once a month. While I miss the extra endorphins and ability to fit comfortably into my skinny jeans, I miss something else more: people watching.

[ I should note right now that I respect every gym goer (and non-goer). I think striving for a healthy lifestyle is a beautiful thing. And whether you’re struggling to hit that first mile on the elliptical or run ten on the treadmill with ease, as long as what you are doing is healthy for you and your body, more power to you! ]

In memory of my stint at this unnamed gym, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite gymservations:

Random guy from your high school

No matter how far you are from your hometown or how much you avoid eye contact, you somehow came face-to-face from that guy you used to know back in 9th grade math class. Now he is lifting weights and you’re wiping sweat off your brow. You may or may not Facebook stalk him later…possibly finding out that he has a wife and is making his way through grad school.

Macho guy

This guy is more than likely wearing a ripped up tank, showing off his glistening bod while he bench presses more than you, your friend and your friend’s brother could bench combined. We can only hope he wipes down the equipment after he’s done.

The non-couple

Uninterested girl, minding her own business on the treadmill, meets drooling guy who steps onto the machine next to her. Usually drooling guy has met uninterested girl a few times before, but you can tell by his continued banter and her brief “Mmmhmm” answers that she’s not interested in taking it any further.

Amazingly strong older guy with stick arms

This guy puts us all to shame. With his gray hair and aging bod, he still manages to lift weights alongside guys less than half his age.

The dude with offensive bumper stickers

This gym-worker may smile while checking you in, but when you see him leave after his shift later in the week your jaw drops a little and you’re not quite sure whether to laugh hysterically or key his truck. “Jack it up cuz Fat girls can’t jump” isn’t an appropriate bumper sticker for anyone, much less a trainer. Way to build people’s self-esteem, dude.

 

My new apartment complex has a workout facility (that almost makes the cut) and I managed to snag a CorePower Yoga Groupon. Who knows, maybe January will find me with better insurance that helps cover gym memberships? ….for now, time to find my inner yogi…