Danielle’s Perspective

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My friend Danielle is training for the big race, 26.2 miles. Over the past few years she has run a few 10 milers and half marathons. Before we met she never considered herself a distance runner but now she has embraced the runner lifestyle.

 

After one of her training runs Danielle made a post on Facebook saying that she dedicated the run to me. Reading her words really moved me; she said that I had helped to encourage her to do her first half marathon. It never occurred to me that I helped to inspire anyone to run.

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As I read her post I was moved to the point of wanting to go out for a run. And that is when I had my other epiphany, running is hurting me.

 

One of the things an athlete has to learn is the difference between good pain and bad pain. Good pain is when muscles get sore and ache, the burn. Bad pain is when you risk agitating and re-injuring yourself.

 

When I read Danielle’s post it clicked, I would be running right now if my body would let me. I’ve battled with and overcome the mental issues associated with returning from an injury but now it is the physical issues that I need to deal with. My peroneal tendon gets aggravated every time I run and sometimes when I walk.

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With 2014 closing and a new year a few days away I realize it is time to rethink my relationship with running. I can’t say that I will never be able to run again, but I have to be realistic, running right now does more harm than good. It is time to focus on the things I can do and not the things I can’t do. So that means more yoga and surfing. Maybe one day I will be able to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, but today is not that day.

 

Thank you Danielle for your kind words. Even though I can’t be out there with you, I will gladly cheer you on and help you celebrate your running accomplishments.

RnR PVD

Shhhh………

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When Jim changed his diet and started logging his food I jumped on board. I find that when both people in a couple do something together both people are more successful. About a month ago I started logging my food.

 

Writing down everything I eat made me very aware both the good and bad things I eat. It was pretty eye opening.

 

One of the side affects of logging your food is losing weight. Over the past month I’ve dropped 2 pounds.

 

This is something that I should celebrate. There are television shows dedicated to people celebrating their weight loss. But instead of celebrating I’ve been rather quiet about it.

 

I am a pretty fit person. I surf and do yoga. I have run marathons and half marathons (something I can’t wait to do again.) Sharing these things is safe; people are okay with hearing about it.

 

But people are less receptive (and sometimes critical) when they hear about a thin person losing weight. My goal wasn’t to lose weight, it just happened. Shedding some extra pounds is good for my knees, back, and ankles. It also is a sign that I am making better choices with my food.

 

Unfortunately sharing this may come across as bragging, vanity, or showing off. So this is something that I’ve quietly done. (Yes I know the irony of sharing this now.) But it makes you wonder why some people are offended by seeing someone become healthier.

 

Shame on people involved in skinny shaming, what’s next healthy hating, thin threatening, fitness frowning?

 

Let’s celebrate each other’s accomplishments and encourage one another.

 

Stop tearing other’s down, instead let’s build each other up. Then we’ll all be better.

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Dangerous calm

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Most people when they think of yoga picture meditation, breathing, and chanting “OM”. It is the picture of peacefulness and calm. Nothing dangerous or risky about it.

 

And it can be.

 

But yoga can be risky, dangerous, and make face your fears.

 

How you might ask?

 

There is a risk of falling on your face, literally. (And by the use of the word literally I mean it. If you fall on your face in yoga the rest of your body lands on your face. If it gets recorded you not only risk physical injury but emotional injury because you could be on an episode of MTVs Ridiculousness.)

 

For years I avoided the more challenging yoga poses. But one day I picked up a book that explains the anatomy of the body in a yoga pose. Of course I haven’t read the whole book but I looked at a lot of the pictures and found inspiration, I wanted to do a headstand and some of those poses where you support your body on your arms.

 

Those poses not only look cool but they are also a little dangerous. In order to do these poses you have to be able to focus all of your energy and attention on the task at hand. You have to be willing to face the fear of falling and go for it anyway.

 

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The fit and fat of it

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Recently I had some friends tell me I looked fit. I am ashamed to say my response was no, I feel fat. While my response is disappointing it actually reflected how I’ve been feeling about my body. Since I am still not fully recovered from my injury I’ve added extra cargo onto my frame. However, I’ve failed to recognize not all of it is fat.

 

Since running is still out I’ve been walking, surfing, paddle boarding, and doing yoga. While these are not as heavy into fat burning as say running they are geared more towards strength and muscle. While I’ve been packing on pounds a lot of it is muscle in my core, upper body, and legs.

 

It’s time for me to redefine fit and fat. Fit means a lot more than being at my prime race weight. Next time someone complements me by saying I look fit I need to answer with a simple thank you.

 

Strike a pose

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Recent events caused me to reevaluate and rekindle my relationship with yoga, a relationship that began a few years ago. I started practicing yoga after my daughter Kia was born.  For about a decade I was pretty consistent with my yoga, but after I got serious about running my yoga took a back seat. Instead of making yoga a part of my regular routine it turned into something I did occasionally and for maintenance.

 

After I re-started yoga I realized I plateaued. I was doing the same poses over and over again. It was time to try some new stuff, time to introduce some new poses in my practice.

 

My initial goal was to work on balance poses but something got in my head and I decided I wanted to try a headstand. When it turned out to not be quite as hard as I thought I was motivated to try something new, bakasana. This is a scary pose to get into because of the fear of smashing your face. My first few attempts my knees would slide off my arms. But the other day- success.

 

It was a brief moment of both physical and spiritual growth.  After I held bakasana I was so excited I lost focus on everything else I was doing. As much as I should have stayed focus it felt right to celebrate and enjoy my accomplishment. Maybe it felt right because we don’t always stop to celebrate the good things in our life.

 

How’s your spiritual health?

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Let’s go to the gym and get our sweat on.

 

The cool thing about working out is tangible results. If you have a goal to trim your waist, you will notice a difference when you slide into that pair of skinny jeans. If you have a goal to run faster, the time on the clock will show faster mile splits.  If you have a goal to lift more weight, when you place five more pounds on the bar and lift, you’ve done it.

 

Physical fitness is just one of the part of being a healthy person. It is also the easiest to measure.

 

When we start talking about the more fuzzy things like spiritual fitness most of us have no idea where to start. There isn’t a gym membership for spiritual health. It is also something that you can’t easily quantify. How do you measure if you spiritual health? How do you define if you have more meaning and purpose in your life?

 

Some people think of church and religion when they hear the word spirituality. For me spirituality is something that falls outside of the scope of church and religion. I’ve never been much of a churchgoer and I’ve never followed any religion, however I’ve studied several of the world’s religions. Now I try to incorporate aspects of different religions into my life.

 

In many ways I still don’t know how to “work out” to get stronger with my spiritual fitness. But I do understand what things make me feel more spiritual and connected to the world and the people around me.

 

Running, surfing, and yoga.

 

These do much more than just help me strengthen my cardio and get toned. When I run, surf, or do yoga I feel more connected to the world around me. In a pose, riding a wave, and finding my stride I have moments where I focus so intently on what I am doing, the rest of the world dissolves.

 

Those meditative moments of being rooted in the present are few and far between. But in those moments where I am in the flow, the world is perfect. In those moments I reach a state of peace and perfection. I also strengthen more than my body, I strengthen my heart, my mind, and my soul.

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I took a walk

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October is when I hurt my knee.

 

March is when I hurt my ankle.

 

Now it’s May, almost the middle of the month. I’ve moved well beyond weeks, now I get to say how many months ago it has been since I hurt myself.

 

Progress is slow and sometimes I forget that it is still progress and that means improvement.

 

I have move beyond sitting with my foot propped up. Now I am getting encouragement to use the stationary bike and to go for walks. (We misjudged the projected date for running and will have to reassess that in another 3-4 weeks). I’ve also added yoga back into my routine and last weekend I took the board out for some time on the water.

 

Lately I find myself getting frustrated because I get hung up on the things I used to be able to do. In some ways, I am still coming to terms with the sense of loss. I think I need to redefine progress to not be what I used to be able to do, but need to see it more as what I can do now.

 

It wasn’t long ago when I couldn’t even go out and take a walk. I guess a walk is a step in the right direction. 

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