Monday, January 26, 2015

How Do I Get Through To You?

I now understand how frustrated my mother was with me. The wisdom that age and experience sees in the younger and less experienced is exasperating. I watch the people in my world sit, literally, and do nothing. If you think I am talking about you, you're right. I feel like a broken record. Sorry Mom.

How do I get through to you?

I could scare you, a tactic used by many. I would say everyone one of my managers in my former corporate life used this approach. If you don't exercise you will die! Not my style. 

I could nag you. Did you do it? Did you exercise today? Did you sign up for class? Did you register for that race? This is a little more my style (I prefer to call it tenacious). 

I could lie to you. It would be easy to convince you if that if you just used my contraption, device or drank my elixir you will be fit and trim. I could tell you it’s going to be easy.

I could shout from the rooftops. I would probably get arrested before you would hear me and I believe that sound travels up. Although the publicity Inspired! Personal Training would receive on the news might be worth it. Hmmmm... I could conceivably shout in the subway, however I might be mistaken for a pan handler despite the fact that I would smell much better (pre-workout).

I could let you figure it out for yourself. You would probably wind up back on the couch with a bag of chips.

Instead I write endlessly about the benefits of exercise and my adventures in triathlon in hopes that, somewhere down the line, something I say encourages you to try and try and try until you find the thing you like that you will do regularly. 

In all of my blogs, I use myself as an example. There is reason for that is 1) I know me so it’s easy and 2) I am a regular person. I grew up in a house with divorced parents, I was an average student, I did some cheerleading (quiet yourself now). I was not a jock nor did I have any special sports talent that made me a stand out in the fitness arena. I played soccer & took gymnastics in grade school (I was not as good as the girl I went to gymnastics with but I was good at soccer. 9 year old champs BTW), perhaps that is where my competitive streak started.

14 years ago, I started training in what was then called karate. It was hard. It was confusing. It challenged me and gave me an escape. I made friends. I trained with broken toes, sprained ankles, and a fractured wrist. It also fed into my competitiveness. In 2010, I tore my ACL & meniscus in a skiing accident (headed to lift I was). There was no martial arts training for 8 months. Let alone walking without pain. Forget stairs! I did my rehab and headed to the gym in a full leg brace and crutches. I was determined not to let an injury get the best of me. Looking back now to all the pain and rehab and dirty hair (no showers in a full leg brace), I am so happy to be in good shape today.

10 months afterwards, I went back to karate class. I was terrified. I was good before my injury. I was in the process of training to test for my second degree black belt. My first day back, everything was so hard. Despite what you may think, martial arts is total body. In order to throw a proper cross punch, or any punch, you need to twist your entire body, I couldn't twist anything, or so I thought. I was afraid to stretch. I was afraid to punch. I was just afraid. I cried. Not only did I cry because I was scared, I cried for what I once was able to do. 

I went back the next day and the day after that and the day after that. By November of 2011, I was running 5k's again. I saw something on that caught my attention, NYC Triathlon. I have always wanted to try one. I had heard of triathlon. I had heard of Ironman. I read the registration form. 10K run? I can do that (having run my first half marathon in 2008, I knew I could). 40K bike ride? I have done the 5 Boro bike tour, that is 40 miles. I know I can do that too. The swim? Hmm, I didn't actually know how. So I learned. I took the complimentary lesson at our local JCC. I swam every other day for 9 months.

At first, I could barely make the length of the pool. I would stop in the middle, take a breath and continue (there is a beginners lane, I was not disrupting anyone else’s swim.) I timed my breaks at each wall so I could get better. By sticking to it, I was able to do 1 (ONE) whole lap at the end of three (3) weeks. My confidence grew. Eventually I was able to swim 100 meters without stopping. (For details on how my first tri went back in 2012 check out my other blog.) 

Last year, I completed my third Olympic distance triathlon setting a new PR. It was not easy. Nothing worth doing is easy. In training, not every run is great. Not every swim goes smoothly (I have swallowed a pool's worth of water trying to figure how to do a flip turn on my own) and almost every bike ride includes its own drama (flat tires, flying water bottles, sunburn, tourists, cars, other cyclists). The sense of accomplishment at the finish line makes up for every blister, every ache, pain and tourist I have run into.

How do I get through to you?

I write endlessly about my trials and tribulations in hopes that something I do will inspire you to try your own adventure in fitness. 

I could scare you. If you don't exercise you will die! You won't die. You might feel like you are dying but it will pass.

I could nag you. Did you exercise today? Did you sign up for class? Did you register for the race? You will thank me later.

I could lie to you. But I won’t. It’s not easy. It sucks sometimes and always worth it in the end. 

I could shout from the rooftops. Instead I am choosing a more civilized approach. I wrote this!

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