Posts Tagged ‘unfit


Running TOWARDS life.


Lacey and I were at dinner with a friend last night, someone that we are having the great pleasure to get to know better.  I found myself talking about how I have signed up to run my first ever full-marathon in San Diego at the end of May.  I’ve run half’s before but never the 26.2 mile distance  🙂

Every single person in my life in NYC now, knows me as a very physically fit and healthy individual, in fact many of my friends (and indeed my lovely fiancée!) I met at the gym 🙂  Nobody is surprised when I say that I’m racing, nobody except myself.  It wasn’t until I heard myself explaining at dinner why exactly I have become so excited about the prospect of running it, and running it well that I fully understood it myself.

It was about five years ago that I decided I should probably get a new life, because the one I was living didn’t feel worth the cigarette smoke filled air I was breathing.  About three days later I stepped into Central Park wearing the single pair of running shoes that I owned and which I had barely worn in years.  Central Park has a number of different running loops, and I figured that I’d start out easy and just run the 1.2miles around the reservoir.  I think I made it about 100 meters (if that) before I was doubled over wheezing and had to repeat a long and arduous walk-run which took rather longer than expected.  I literally threw up from the strain.  

I was genuinely surprised because I’d been an active kid, but looking back, the years of not eating or eating crap, smoking and general physical abuse that I’d put my body through had obviously taken its toll.  I do not joke when I say that there were several 70+ year-old runners in that park who could easily out run my young self.  Humiliating!

Initially I ran because I had gained weight and was having a very hard time with that fact, and with my reflection in the mirror.  Then I ran because I couldn’t believe that people older than my grandparents were in better shape than me.  Then because it gave me a sense of calm at a time when my life was anything but.  I ran and I wheezed and I went early, or late or whenever I though no one would notice how bad I was.  And I hated parts of running for about 6-9 months! 

But gradually I could feel differences.  I could run the 1.2mile loop without stopping, then the 1.5 loop.  The other runners started to smile at me like I was one of them.   My body started to change, but much more surprisingly so did my attitude towards it; I didn’t WANT to smoke the cigarettes I used to live on because I knew it would be so much harder to run the next day.  I DID want to eat real food so that I could feel stronger when I ran, and I could be OK with that food because I knew I was revving my metabolism up to burn the calories off efficiently.

And eventually it genuinely became fun for me to run.  Not always before I started, and usually not for that first mile (which is still tough for me to this day) but after that… and when I was done I felt and feel AMAZING!  It turns out that I’m actually a pretty good runner.  Who knew?  Certainly not me 🙂

My point is that I used to look at people on the treadmills at the gym, or running past me as I walked to work in the morning and think “There is no way I could ever run that fast or for that long”.  I would think that they had OBVIOUSLY been fit their whole lives and that if I tried running on the treadmill next to them they would be laughing at me huffing and puffing and think that I was pathetic. 

NONE of that is necessarily true and much of it was just an excuse for me not to try it, to not put myself out of my comfort zone.  But the fact is that with fitness (As with most things in life) we only get better at something if we push ourselves just a little bit further than what we believe ourselves to be capable of.  I didn’t start out to run a marathon.  I just focused on wanting to run for 1.2miles without stopping. And the sense of accomplishment on the day that I first did that is still with me today.  It still makes me smile 🙂

That’s why I want to run the marathon, for the tangible representation of a journey that has been my new life for long enough that it is now just MY LIFE.  Because it shows me just how far my health and fitness has evolved, gradually, over years and for all that the journey had given me and continues to give me; friends, self-esteem, physical and emotional health, focus, ambitions and an amazing woman to share all of that with.  Because it took time, and because it is meant to take time, and because the journey is never over but it can get a whole lot more fun!! 🙂


Aaaaah What Happened?


Ok. I’m going to be very honest with you all today. I’ve been back in my food and workout routine for just under a week and it’s KILLING ME!  You think I’m joking?  I’m not.  I actually feel unfit, I feel like someone who hasn’t worked out in a long time.  It’s no fun 😦

 Friday I was in The Big Game! Lacey’s athletic drills class and I was sucking wind so badly and loudly she had to laugh at me DURING CLASS.  Saturday I ran outside with a good friend, which was great; that is until the next day when my hip flexors felt like they could snap in half.  My social Sunday afternoon plans were shelved in favor of lying on the couch, because the double header of The Big Game! followed by spin had taken every last gasp from my body.   Monday morning I actually threw up in my mouth a little during spin class (I know… attractive right?!). And Yesterday, well yesterday everybody was back at the gym in full force and I couldn’t help but notice how we were all looking at our reflections just a little sadly in the floor to ceiling studio mirrors. It’s DEFINITELY JANUARY!!  And yes, I know that my workout schedule probably sounds a little insane to some of you 🙂  but that’s what I need to do to be the way I like to be 🙂   Plus, I love it.  Just NOT right now!!

What’s my point?  My point is that it’s incredibly hard for us ALL to get back into our focused and disciplined fitness routines after a few weeks (or months) of relative relaxation and indulgence.  If you’re having a hard time motivating right now; are slightly horrified by the extra little layer of softness on your body (that’s a hard one for me!) or just can’t quite believe that your cardio endurance or strength has decreased THAT quickly then you are NOT ALONE.  I don’t know anybody who isn’t fighting that feeling, and I include all the fitness fanatics I know in that statement.  I want you to know that if we’re making it look easy it’s because we’re smiling through the pain 🙂 and that’s the truth.  We’re all human, as super disciplined and athletic as we try to be.

 How can we smile?  Because this much we know for sure. If we all, you and I and them, if we all just keep persevering, keep at it, keep pushing through the red-faced, out of breath “I wanna puke” feeling for just three weeks or so.  If we fight the call of the couch, at least until AFTER the workout 🙂  then IT WILL get better, steadily, maybe a little slowly, but UNDENIABLY better.

 You know what else happens?  Our brains start getting used to the feeling of working out too and we start to look forward to it again, we start wanting to make healthful food choices again so as not to undo all this hard work, and time that we’ve invested in ourselves.  It starts to come together again. It does.

 So if you’re coming back from an extended December fitness break, or if you’re a brand new ‘RESOLUTIONS’ gym member, just know that just a few weeks of consistent effort will give you dramatic improvements in your fitness and energy levels and is enough for those jeans to start to feel a little looser again too 🙂


So Yes I Can.  Yes You Can.  Yes We Can 🙂   !!!