Day one was 12 weeks ago, tomorrow is Day 84. My future is now. I have learned the importance of being active if I want to stay active. Running around in the car, thinking about working out, and learning about exercise and nutrition are NOT the same as running on a treadmill, actually moving my body, and applying my newly acquired knowledge. I am now a strong believer in “use it, or lose it.” My final assessment showed that I have made progress. I actually gained an inch in my calves – bring on the muscle – while losing inches in my waist, hips, and chest – bye, bye fat. I am starting to wear some of my old, favorite clothes again. In these 83 days, I have become comfortable at the Y and see its familiarity as a new home. I am no longer shy about asking questions. I have new friends. Many of my excuses not to exercise have been removed. It will seem a bit calmer and quieter without the urgency and momentum of RBL, but that may be a good thing for this introverted gal. I don’t know that I can sustain the pace I’ve been on, but I can sustain exercise as a way of life as I settle into a rhythm that works for me.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)
The Caine-Halter Y team has embodied this verse from the first time we met one another. These 12 weeks have shown me just how much unconditional love God pours on us through His children. I am going to miss our time together, but am looking forward to the fulfillment of promises to stay in touch. I am thankful to HIS Radio for this opportunity to experience such love and encouragement. The fruit produced by such caring is manifested by my new commitment to exercise and inches lost. I am proud to be a blue shirt wearing member of such a beautiful group of people.
So, last week was Spring Break around here. I had nowhere to go, no schedule, no clock. It was a fantastic week! I think it was also the first week that I completed the ActivTrax challenge. I have gotten very, very close on other weeks, but with three active kids, my schedule is certainly not my own. This week looks horrible and even more so since it is such a contrast to last week. I am struggling to find time to hit the Y. With senior recognition, Beta Club induction, work obligations, appointments, and a friend having surgery, this week is much busier than the previous weeks. I want to finish strong and run that 5K on Saturday, but the obstacles to exercise are big.
I just tried a test run starting at Eastside High School. It’s a big loop – Brushy Creek Rd, Cunningham Rd, Old Spartanburg Rd, and back up Brushy Creek Rd to EHS. It is 4.5 km. I need to add a little branch to make it a 5K, but for now, I’m good cutting it a little short. 🙂 I had to walk parts of it, but I was excited to run a big chunk. Wednesday, I’ll reverse the direction and see if the hills are more tolerable. There is hope I’ll survive a 5K after all!
What I have learned so far…
- Getting into shape hurts, being out of shape hurts even more.
- Using My Fitness Pal helps monitor eating habits. Sometimes, a square of dark chocolate is what it takes to get the fat percentage just right.
- Life change begins as an idea. Once the idea takes root, it becomes a way of life.
- God’s people are incredible. Being united through Christ makes bonding in friendship and love a natural process.
- Being surrounded by encouragers is the best way to reach a goal.
- Having a buddy beside you is the best way to travel in unfamiliar territory.
- I am never too old to make new friends or new habits. I am never too old to learn something new.
- I am only as young as I feel. The best way to feel young is to move my body.
- Playing isn’t just for kids. The best trainers at the Y make exercise seem like play.
- You make time for the most important things in your life. If exercise becomes important, then the time is there and something less important will have to wait or disappear.
- Life is like carrying rocks in a bucket. The big, important rocks settle at the bottom, the little pebbles fill in the holes. Put the big rocks in the bucket first. Experiment to see which ones need to stay and which ones can go. Some days, trade out the rocks.
- God’s mercy is new every morning. Each day is the resetting of time. Yesterday is gone. If today didn’t go as I had hoped or planned, there is hope for a second chance tomorrow.
Okay, I have to confess…I have been wearing my RBL t-shirts multiple times before washing! When we first started this journey, I was thankful for the 3 t-shirts (and I definitely still am!), because they saved me from having to do laundry so often. Now that I am getting more strength and energy, I am working out more often, sometimes twice in one day. Who has time for more loads of laundry when they are at the Y?? So, if you smell an odd odor when I pass you by, just know that it is the smell of hard work and success.
That moment when you realize that you have had the wrong date on your calendar for the RBL 5K ever since the initial phone screen. I am certain that I was standing in front of the calendar when I was on the phone. I had to check the date before I could commit. I am certain that is when I wrote “5K – Rob’s Big Losers” in big letters across April 15. My heart is sinking. I only work one weekend a month. My weekend is April 22. I don’t know what I am going to do.
After that victorious run on the treadmill, I was out for the rest of the week. Not because of the treadmill, though. I had a bad reaction to some new medication. Just another reminder of how fearfully and wonderfully complex our bodies are made. Doc got it all straightened out though and now GAME ON! I’m ready to roll for Week 10!!
I have several goals for RBL. One of them is to actually run the whole 5K. I trained for a 5K about 8 years ago when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. I ran the Susan G Koman Race for the Cure. That’s the only time I’ve ever run that far. On Saturday, I was doing my ActivTrax workout and had some questions about new exercises that had popped up in the routine. As the Y coach was helping me, he was also listening to my ramblings. When I said it would be cool to leg press my body weight, he challenged me to push myself harder. I kept the momentum of that challenge yesterday when I went in for my cardio. I’ve been wondering if I could run faster than I have been, so I bumped up the level in the Sprint 8 program. And, I’m still alive and well today! It was so amazing. I thought I was too old and a wimp and there was no way I could run any faster. But, I was wrong. I am thankful for that guy and his encouraging words. You’ll never until you try. 5K, here I come!
So, since the beginning of RBL, I have had really sore muscles. I would wake up at night to their screaming and still be tired the next day from all the tossing and turning. I kept thinking that eventually I should get over that initial strain and pain, but it never happened. Last week, I pulled a muscle when we were doing our team run. When I mentioned it to Chelsi, she suggested I use a ball to work out the sore places. Then, I remembered an earlier team meeting when she encouraged us to use the foam rollers after a workout. All week this week, I have been taking the extra time to roll and stretch. It has been an amazing difference! I can sleep all night without any pain! If you haven’t tried the foam rollers and you are sore, they are a must-try.