Is it safe to go back to the gym?

Standard

DSCN3451

 

We are now in the middle of January. We have barely scratched the surface into a new year. We’ve gotten past January 17- ditch your resolution day . I think it is safe to go back to the gym.

 

There is probably no line for the treadmill, spin class is a little thinner, and you can find space in the locker room to change.

 

For the die hards, the New Year is tough time. You have to adjust your routine and schedule to welcome some new people to the world of working out.

 

2014 brings more than the bacchanalia of ringing in the new and saying goodbye to the old, it also brings the resolution of transforming into the new you. The person you have always wanted to be but needed the clean slate before you were ready to start.

 

The days leading up to flipping the calendar, daytime television and morning talk shows are filled with experts detailing exactly how to make your goals stick this year. After a night of celebrating and a day of recovery, with fervor you hit the gym and begin the transformation.

 

Hey, this is easy (but I have to wake up so early to get to the gym).

 

That run wasn’t too bad (but why do my legs hurt now).

 

My new workout clothes are so cute (but I don’t want them to get all sweaty).

 

Guess what happens at the start of a new year? We write a new date. We go back to work. Our kids go back to school. Our lives continue.

 

I’m rooting for everyone who is on a quest to become a new you. I wish it were as easy as spending a few days in the gym and then returning to your old habits.

 

As the excitement of 2014 wanes, the gym regulars are back to their routine. We’ll see you again next year; hopefully 2015 will be the year. We want to welcome you into the fold, we know it is hard, and we will be here when you are ready.

Don’t quit the race- Dogged determination of the back of the pack

Standard

Back in September I ran the relay of the Rock n Roll Providence. It was nice only running 8 miles of the half marathon course. After my partner Lisa snuck up on me at the relay transition (I expected I had about 15 more minutes of relaxing) I ran my leg and our combined race time was just over 2 hours. Finishing the race in 2 hours gave me time to put on fresh clothes, listen to a few songs from Atlas genius, and cheer for the people in the back of the pack.

RNR PVD 2

As the seconds and minutes on the race clock tick by and the time increases from 2 hours to 2 and a half to 3 hours the numbers of runners on the course becomes more sparse. Compared to earlier racers, these runners appear to be walking. Their goal is to finish, not to get a Personal Record.

The finish line in Providence looks down a hill. The space between runners gets wider. At times it appears that last runner crossed the finish line. Then from around the corner and up the hill, a few more runners appear. With dogged determination they ascend the last stretch. They made it. They will collect their medal and most important be counted among the finishers.

 RnR PVD

As I restart my journey into running I reflect on why I love running and the running community. Seeing the last finishers, the back of the packers finish their race is a reminder of the importance of finishing. It is a testament to why I enjoy running. I am reminded it is not always about being the swiftest and most graceful runner; sometimes it is about being the person who has the persistence to not quit the race.

When is it time?

Standard

Providence Rock n Roll

Good news I am back to running. Yoga is pain free. Walking stairs and hiking on rocks doesn’t really hurt me like it did a few weeks ago.

DSC00270

Bad news, I still haven’t gotten back in the water and I don’t know why I am so apprehensive about surfing.

DCIM101GOPRO

It’s winter in Rhode Island and winter surfing is tough. The wetsuit is so thick that you can barely lift your arms to paddle out. Just donning the suit is a workout in itself. Once you manage to get geared up and in the water, during the paddle out your arms feel heavy. Heavy from the workout and heavy from the extra material you have to wear just to stay warm. After you are safely past where the waves break and you’ve rested, it is easy to settle into the surfing.

DCIM101GOPRO

But wait, the challenge is far from over. The extra gear can make a wipe out more daunting than during a nice summer day. And after the surf session you have the next major challenge of getting out of your gear. The workout resumes as you wrestle off gloves and booties. Even if you drive home wearing your wetsuit, you still have to free the proper appendages so you can drive.

DCIM101GOPRO

Aside from the logistics of winter surfing I think my biggest apprehension is re-hurting my knee. I surf regular, which means my right foot is my back foot. You steer your board with your back foot, which puts strain on your knee. Unfortunately I hurt my right knee.  How I surf I makes me more likely to exacerbate my injury.

 

I’ve been considering changing my stance to goofy so my right foot will be the front foot. However, changing your stance is akin to starting from scratch. Winter is not the best season to start over again.

 

Part of me thinks my logic for staying on dry land is reasonable and logical. But part of me wonders if I am just rationalizing reasons to not go because I am afraid. (And I admit I am mostly afraid of the really cold weather.)

 

Maya Gabeira is a big wave surfer who had a major wipe out in Portugal, which almost killed her. The other day I saw a video clip of her surfing again. Seeing that clip made me wonder what on earth is wrong with me and why I haven’t gone back out. Surfing almost killed her and she is back in the water, what is my excuse a bum knee? Yes it was great inspiration to get back out there, but she was wearing a swimsuit and surfing in warm water.

 

You know what, there is no shame in taking some time away from the water. Spring will be here before we know it. The conditions should be much more conducive to surfing. Now if I am making the same excuses when it’s warmer…….well we will know I am just rationalizing.

 

How do you know when it is time to start up again after an injury?