Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Glory Days

Once upon a time there was a girl who could run for hours, climb trees with ease, jump rope for days, and hang upside down on her swing set until the sun went down...all while wearing a skirt, no less.

That girl grew up to do more running on tracks and in gyms. Whistles shrill-tweeting to stop-go-stop-go-drop-jump-go-stop...faster, faster, faster, push harder, just a little more, keep going, find the strength, MTXE (mental toughness extra effort), push, push, push...Yes, pushing that hard in 100 degree heat just over 10 years ago had me drop 20 lbs in less than 2 weeks time. Unhealthy, um....yes. But it proved to me that I could push my body to extremes and survive.

Back then, I didn't appreciate the beauty of youth. If I mis-stepped and popped/rolled an ankle, I sprung back up because my ligaments were used to it. I might've been tight for a couple of days, but nothing that had me limping for a week. Standing flat footed, I could coil down and jump straight up in the air and touch the middle of a basketball net. Give me a step, then jump and I could graze the rim. I could whip out a mile in no time at all, all this after a volleyball tournament because I was invariably in trouble and had to make up my punishment runs. Trouble not because I sassed back or voiced an opinion, but trouble because I wasn't perfect. Each serve, every pass, and most importantly, ever set had to be P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Yes, an unhealthy complex developed and I eventually walked away from something I held very near to me because I'd made a promise that once it was a job and no longer fun, I'd part ways. That whole life lesson proved to be invaluable, even to this day. Sometimes it really, really hurts to walk away, but that's what you have to do.

Fast forward to yesterday and I willingly signed up to visit a personal trainer who would yell at me and push me to extremes that were extremely reminiscent of times past. It is a small training group, 3 of us to be exact. I'm the only female. I told the guy that I'd rather be the worst in the small group, instead of the best. Sure, I had a lot of anxiety, but I knew it would be worth it. There were no whistles, but there were lots of words of encouragement and high fives. He pushed me hard. I pushed myself, all the while thinking, "I must be out of my damn mind!" It took me back to those glory days, days that I hated, but looking back is now bittersweet. I've made my peace with all of that, and so I hit the track and the gym hard, nostalgic for those tweet, tweet, tweets echoing off the gym walls. When I walked into the small gym, the familiar dirty sweat smell enveloped my senses and to me, that's the smell of work! I'm sore, but excited. I told myself I would commit to a month and we'll see what happens. Financially, I'm not sure if I can make it work out, but I'm going to do my darnest to keep up with it. Because quite frankly, I like how positive I feel. I like that energized feeling and I LOVE working out again. It makes me feel great!

So great in fact, that the next night, tonight, we had Sias Track Night (immediately after yoga). Here I am getting a warm-up lap in. Yep, I'm pushing that jogging stroller.

Mari was ready to run. She does this thing where she lays down to prepare for her lap around the track. (Yes, that's 400M) On your mark...
Get set....
Go!!! This is the end of the lap. See how her arms are out and she's slightly leaning forward for the finish?? That's my girl!
I'm so proud of her and I hope she enjoys physical fitness as much as Don and I.
Whew, all that running calls for a water break!
Here's my nice dirty-sweaty family. Cheers to health!
And cheers to a better quality of life. See my gut in the above picture, that's all that's leftover from Mari. I've lost all of the "weight" but now that flab needs to firm up. I'll be about 2% sad to see it go since it did provide help in making my baby, but I want to be a good example of health for her. I don't want to take it for granted.

I'm extremely appreciative of having that foundation set for me early on by my own parents. While my mom may be in a wheelchair, boy you should see her fly in it! On days where she's feeling up for it, she'll zoom past you in her walker! And daddy too, he's a walking machine, especially around the expansive Tech campus. :) Well, and sister too! She has RA and is doing triathlons and half marathons. She says the movement helps to keep the RA at bay.

Now go on out there and get some fresh air and take advantage of your health! (and have a shot of tequila, as my grandfather would say...a tequila a day keeps the heart strong...ha ha! I think he just celebrated his 82nd birthday, so he knows a thing or two about longevity.).

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