I’m perhaps rudely resentful of the people who jump on the fitness bandwagon on January 1. I have my good days and my bad days, but I worked out the whole holiday break. I’ve been trying to be good all year, and although I wasn’t exactly rewarded with coal in my stocking, I haven’t seen a lot of external results. So hey, new gym members: bite me.
However, with that being said, I feel healthier. I’m on a training program to train for a 10k in March, and I’ve been trying to keep up with my yoga – both for strength and for physical therapy reasons.
It’s so easy to lose your way on the road to good health. Food is always my downfall, but even exercise ebbs and flows. For a good 6 months last year, I was taking 3+ yoga classes a week and running at least 5 days a week, 3 miles per run. It was an insanely aggressive schedule but I was keeping up with it. My business trip to Aruba derailed me, and I got frustrated with the lack of results I was seeing on my body. Which is really disappointing, because when I fell off the yoga bandwagon, I had just nailed Side Crow – a pose that had always been pretty far out of my grasp. When I returned to regularly doing yoga 3 months later, I could barely do a regular Crow (an easier pose). Rather than seeing Side Crow as something I wanted to achieve again, my negativity got me down: why should I work so hard for something that can so easily slip through my fingers?
I haven’t fully answered that question, but I have noticed something about running… even when you lose your way for a bit, it’s exponentially easier to get back to where you once were. Once you jump the hurdle of the initial, torturous 6 months–where everything hurts at all times, you hate your life, and you wonder if it’s ever going to get easier–suddenly, it is easier. And even when you slack off for 3 weeks and sit on your butt eating potato chips (not something I advise, but I’ve done), you get back outside and still, nothing hurts. Maybe your time is a little shorter. Maybe you can’t go quite as far. But it’s not a tortured struggle. It’s ever so slightly… refreshing.
I’ll never call running fun. I still think those people are lying. But it’s restorative in its own way, and I know I’m doing something good for myself. I have physically re-trained my body to not suffer against physical activity. And for me, that’s a major win.
I know for a lot of people, a 10k is no big deal. But as someone who once struggled to beat a 12 minute mile (a single mile, I note), it will be a massive accomplishment, even if my time is the worst in the group. I am so proud of how far I’ve come and the commitment I’ve shown this last year and a half to consistent exercise.
I’ve had my slips and falls, but I still adore and find enormous spiritual solace in yoga (shout out to the best studio in the whole world, Tough Love Yoga, and the brilliance of Neda). And even though I fluctuate from running three miles a week to 16 a week (right now, my goal is 12 a week), I have remained dedicated to running.
So my resolution this year isn’t to get healthy. It’s to keep up the work toward good health, stick with it, and remember that at long intervals… it gets easier. It gets better. It even gets… let’s go with tolerable.