“Only when you are aware of the uniqueness of everyone’s individual body
will you begin to have a senseof your own self-worth.”
You may have guessed from the title of this post that the Get Fit Challenge has officially ended (YEA!!!!!!). That means no more weigh ins! As you know, I didn’t particularly care for the scale; so I am pretty stoked about our official break up. Our last challenge was to improve our results from our initial fit test. We got one point for completing it, and one point for each exercise we improved. I was a little worried about being able to beat my previous totals since I blasted through the first time… and biked over 23 miles at spin before arriving to take it… oh, and ran over 7 miles of incline… and swam a mile… Okay so I essentially did a whole triathlon prior. Good cause for concern, right?
Well surprisingly, I sailed through the push ups, sit ups and squats- surpassing my previous totals on all of them. It was the having to run farther than 1.68 miles in 10 minutes at the end that nearly killed me! All I could think was “why did I run so fast the first time?”, and then I remembered it was because I had been racing the hubs. This time around I was not in a racing mood. I just wanted to survive it! Luckily, I managed it with a second or two to spare. Then we had our final weigh in, and I came in at my highest weight since our initial weigh in (which was both humorous and irritating, but not at all surprising given how bloated I was from finally getting my “visitor”… it would figure that she would disappear for weeks on end and then show up that week!).
Regardless of my epic fail at weight loss (a side effect of not actually needing to lose weight) the hubs and I still came in 3rd place overall, which means we get bragging rights and $25 each to spend at the gym on exciting stuff like protein shakes and gatorade. Despite my loathing of the weigh ins, it was actually a worthwhile experience for both of us. Of course now that it is over, I have not had much success in getting the hubs to the gym with me… or the pool… I think he did make one spin class last week. In his defense, they just switched his shift again at work. I think he may get back on track when he gets used to his new schedule. Presently he spends most of his down time sleeping.
I, on the other hand, am really proud of myself for not only continuing to kick butt at the gym (I am soooo close to doing a real pull up!!!), but also sticking to my mileage goals for the year. To date I have managed 335/1000 miles for the bike, 146/500 miles for running, and 17/50 miles for swimming. I even forced myself to ride the bike trainer for an hour twice this week (even though it is even more painful and boring than running on a treadmill). To keep motivated I wear my Tough Chik jersey and remind myself that it is mental preparation. I also remind myself that I need all the help I can get with cycling… like even more than with swimming, and that is saying something!
All that biking, running, and swimming has meant lots of time at the YMCA. I prefer to run there when I use the treadmill because they have fancy ones that go up to 30% incline and will even decline up to 3%. The past few weekends I have dedicated my Saturday mornings to doing the 7am spin class, followed immediately by a very hilly run on the treadmill, and then a swim. My goal is usually to do an hour of each in a row, however this generally gets adjusted based on how great or awful I am feeling that day. Yesterday I only did a 4 mile run because my legs were fried from all the miles on the bike trainer but then did an almost 1.5 mile swim, which is a new distance record for me.
Surprisingly, I have gotten to the point now with swimming that I actually look forward to class and going on my own. Saturday mornings have become my “quiet time” swim where I can plug in my headphones and tune out the world. I purposely brick my workouts out of order and swim at the end because I know the pool we be empty and my body will feel refreshed after the beating its taken all morning. I consider it an active recovery. Plus, it just seems really inefficient to shower at the beginning and end of your workout. This way I only need to shower once at the end. That means I’m saving water and the environment in addition to kicking ass.
I have to say that triathlon training in general has been a life enriching experience. It’s exposed me to a new sport (swimming) which I now LOVE and continually forces me to live outside of my comfort zone. I have become not only stronger, but more confident and self assured. There is nothing like regularly seeing yourself in a sport swimsuit (and letting the public see you in it) to force you to get comfortable in your body. I’ve gone from a point of being modest (and at times embarrassed) in the locker room to feeling proud of myself every time I put my swim gear on. I worked my way up from not being able to swim at all to swimming for over an hour straight with minimal rest. In fact, I can even swim three different strokes now (though I still look… and feel…like I’m drowning on breast stroke… who deemed it a recovery stroke anyway?) Last week I even got a compliment from Coach M –which I took as high praise considering how hard they are to get from the epitome of swimming perfectionism– that I had a “nice long stroke.”
So instead of seeing a deer in headlights or pile of body imperfections when I suit up, now I see hard earned muscles, confidence, and a smile. I see someone who is looking forward to her swim and embracing the sport. I can truly say that now I feel most badass when I wear my swimsuit and cap. It takes more guts to swim than to run- for me at least! That is what I appreciate in the person looking back at me.
Which is why I don’t care about the number on the scale or the size of my clothes. I know my body is healthy and strong. I also know that I am doing my best, and that is all anyone could ever ask of me- including myself. My favorite pair of workout capris are bright orange with polka dots and they highlight the cellulite dimples in the back of my legs. Guess what? I don’t care. I still wear them because I love the color. Plus, I am pretty sure no one else is going to notice, and if they do they should probably be more concerned with their own workout anyway. I have become aware recently of how much more obvious our imperfections look to us than they do to others, and I am making a conscious choice to not let my insecurities dictate how I feel about myself or the way I look. When I wear my orange pants I am proud that I am not covering up my flaws. Instead, I’m saying this is me; and I am confident, strong, and happy with my body. I am also saying “You should be too.”
Do yourself a favor and love your body today. Appreciate it for everything it has done for you, and marvel at what it allows you to accomplish.
PS. You still have a few days left to enter for a Free 2014 Spartan Race Entry! You’ll have a a whole new appreciation of your body after completing one!