Sunday, December 4, 2016

Taking Joy in What My Body Can Do

I have been feeling fat and frumpy lately.

I think this is partly because of the time of the year.  It's darker for more of the day.  It's hard to be motivated to do anything.  Sometimes I feel like I'm just doing what I can to make it through each day.

I also think that it is part of my own self doubts and body image issues.  While I have come a long way in that area, it is a never ending battle.  

Lately I have been trying to remember on how far I have come in becoming a healthier me.  I have been looking at pictures from the past few years or realizing how cool it is to have extra length on my airplane seatbelt after I have buckled in.  

But as cool as that is, it hasn't really helped me feel less fat and frumpy.  

I've been comparing again.  Never a good thing!  Fabulous people that I know and love that are making awesome changes and seeing immediate and significant results.  I'm so happy for them and proud of them for working hard to make positive change.  But the nasty little person in the back of my head is stomping her feet and wailing, "Why can't I have change that quickly?  Why are they already faster than me?  Why did they get to lose weight so fast?" 

Blah Blah Blah.

Same stuff that I have whined and bitched about for years.  

I seriously need to get over myself! 

Because they aren't me.  I have changed.  I am faster than I used to be.  I have lost weight.

It just hasn't gone the way I had planned or wanted.  

You would think at my age I would have a better understanding of how life rarely goes the way I plan or expect.  😳

For all I know there is somebody out there that wishes they have had the results I have had.  

I have had a cold for about a month now.  Mostly a really nasty cough that isn't too bad during the day but gets worse in the evening and then is horrible at night.  I seriously feel like I'm coughing up a lung.  When I exercise I feel like someone who should be hauling around an oxygen tank because I sound so awful and wheezy.  

In spite of this I have had some pretty decent runs and swims.  My swimming this fall has been trending faster pretty consistently.  I am about 30 seconds or more faster per 100 yards than I was a year ago.  That's pretty cool.  My coach has me doing a lot of running intervals at paces that I never would have dreamed I could sustain for any length of time, let alone for a 200, 400 or 800 yard interval.  

Pretty fun to see the improvements even when I'm not feeling 100%.

Last week I was doing my Wednesday group run with Jon and a couple of his other athletes, Mike and Marcus, on the OSU campus.  It was cold and rainy and I didn't really want to go.  But I sucked it up and went.  We did our warm ups then ran a lap.  Usually I am hard pressed to keep up with everyone on their warm up lap since their slow pace is faster than my fast pace.  However, in spite of the wheezing I chugged along with Marcus the whole time.  (I don't think he was going slow for me.  lol)  Then we did some short speed drills working on our form and run cadence.  Next we took off to run the Beaver Freezer route for a few laps around campus.  

The other two guys took off and Jon ran with me for two laps.  I always enjoy running or riding my bike with my coach.  We talk about all kinds of things, mostly about workout things but also about big picture stuff that all connects to being a healthier, happier person.  There's lots of stuff that I know in my head but getting it into my heart is hard work.  Comparing, perspective, etc.  All my usual blah blah blah stuff. 

One of the things that Jon said really has stuck with me this week.  He said that loose clothes and airplane seat belts that aren't tight are all awesome and fun.  But he wants me to be proud of and take joy in what my body is able to do.  

Take joy in what my body is able to do.  

That has stayed with me all week.  

I have come so far.  

I am doing things that six years ago I never would have dreamed of.  

Sometimes it's not pretty. 

Sometimes it's freaking fantastic.  

Either way there are lessons to be learned and things to gain from the experience.  

Here are some things that my body can do that I take joy in:

I can run.  There are people out there who have served in the military who have lost limbs.  There are people out there who were hurt during the Boston Marathon bombing that lost their legs.  While they overcome many difficulties to be able to walk with prosthetics and function again, I just swing my legs out of bed each morning without much problem.  I can run anytime I want.  It's really a pretty remarkable thing. 

I can swim.  Just over a year ago I got in the pool with my daughter to work on becoming someone who could swim competitively.  At first I was sure I was going to drown before I ever was able to swim on length of the pool (25 yards) without snorting water or having to stop.  Now I swim 200 or 300 yards for a warm up!  I have discovered that the love for being the water that I have always had has translated into a love for the sport of swimming as well.  I really enjoy my time in the pool.  Even if I had decided I didn't enjoy triathlons, I would have kept swimming as part of my work out.  I have discovered something that I really enjoy just because I do.  

I can bike.  I used to be so scared of my bike rides.  Getting ready for a ride was a lot of mental self talk that I was not going to crash, I would be fine and it would be fun.  I have crashed a couple of times.  While it's not fun, I survived and learned a few things which helped me on future rides.  I still have the occasional anxiety about riding my bike.  For the most part I look forward to my rides and working at getting stronger so I can go faster.  It reminds me of when I was a kid and I got my first 10-speed bike.  I loved riding around the neighborhood with my brother and sisters.  There are times now when I'm flying down a hill and I feel just like I did on that 10-speed when I was a kid.   

Me!  I can do those things!

Still tired all the time?  Yep!

Still not at the weight I want to be?  Yep!

Taking joy in the fast that I am stronger than I have ever been? ABSOLUTELY!!

When I started running I did a 5k and then got talked into doing a half marathon.  I sometimes feel like I missed out on enjoying the process of getting better at the shorter distances and working my way up to the longer one.  I'm not doing that with my triathlons.  I'm enjoying every part of the process and working at getting better at what I have done.  I'll know when and if I am ready to tackle something longer.  In the meantime: 

I'm taking joy in the fact that I did a whole bunch of triathlons last year and fell completely in love with the sport and all that goes with it.  

I'm taking joy in the fact that I have the ability and the health to keep working at getting stronger so that I can get better at being the best athlete I can be.  I know there are many people out there fighting sickness or other struggles that would probably love to be able to be active, even if it's slow.  Grateful that I can continue to work at being as healthy as possible.

I hope that if you are reading this you are able to look at whatever you are doing to be a healthier you and realize that you should take joy in what you are able to do.  

1 comment:

  1. Lisa as always, thank you for being you and being real. I love being a part of your journey.