Saturday, 20 April 2013

Just Jiggle, Sweat & Smile

New iMac computer finally up and running! Too bad I wasn't up and running this morning. In fact, as I write this on a Saturday late morning, I am still lounging in my jammies. Why? because it is blowing snow and hail outside. On April 20. Enough already!

Sweaty, delirious me, after my first half marathon in 2009. Lots of very proud, jiggly butts that day.
 Despite not getting out for a run today (I am just going to assume it's not happening today), I have been very aware of the impending runs I have registered for beginning in May. So far, the 5 Peaks trail series and the crazy mud run at Blue Mountain. To train, I have upped my core workouts and have gotten back into the spin of things with the indoor cycling classes at Thrive Fitness.

Began last week with the 90-minute combo on Monday morning which features a 45 minute spin followed by a 45 minutes core class, followed by major hunger pangs (I think that's a slang word, if not, I just made up a new slang word. Not only am I too lazy to run this morning, I am too lazy to pick up my dictionary). It was upon arrival to this class, funny enough (I can laugh at this now), when I realized that I was still part of the training group that meets every Monday night for a run workout. Instead of abandoning my bike though, and heading back to bed, I stayed for the whole 90 minutes, then drove back into town that evening for hill training. As loopy as I felt, there are even loopier friends in this group who had worked out at 6 am that day, did the hills that night, and then went to boot camp at 6 am the next morning. They need therapy. Personally, I am not ashamed to admit I took Tuesday off. Then I did circuit training on Wednesday and increased the weight for my bicep curls from 10lbs to 12lbs! Yay! But I still have wimpy triceps. Thursday morning provided another spin opportunity and if I didn't have to go into the city on Friday I may have done another core strength class. What I love about the core classes and the TRX training is that it can get your arms and shoulders fine-tuned very quickly, if you are consistent, over the course of just a few weeks. I have tried to convince my daughter of this fact, because the latest hate-on she has with her pre-prom body is her arms. Sigh. Girls. 

Run like no-one is watching.
Which brings me to a neat little observation. How cool is it, that one's teenaged daughter wants arms like her 49 year old mom? A bunch of us middle-aged mamas started talking about our fitness journeys the other day while finishing a spin class. The stories were very funny, but inspiring at the same time. LeeAnne, an avid fitness enthusiast (who got back into the game after several years of mommy-hood) who will be 50 next year like me, remembers training for a marathon years ago with her friend. "We were running along and all these cars started honking at us and I thought, 'YES!' Fellow runners are cheering us on!" Until she noticed the two large sweat marks on the front of her friend's top. They did not stop running, though. Instead, they just laughed and carried on. Another friend, Andrea, who works out regularly and also plays sports, remembers, as a young mom, making an effort to get outside and go for a run, with her kids happily riding their bikes behind her, only to hear giggles followed by the less-than-inspiring words, "Your butt jiggles when you run Mommy!" I believe I also have heard those words from at least one of my children over the years. And I also remember my best friend killing herself laughing when she watched me run one day. Apparently I flail my feet out to the sides. My husband helpfully came up with a description for my running style: "the windmill." I think it's also the classic "run like a girl" style. WhatEVER, right? At least I DO IT!

My daughter's illustration of my (our) "windmill" running style, or what she dubs the FlAIL Run.

I am sure many of us have heard words that discourage rather than encourage. The important thing is that, despite some embarrassing moments, these women carried on with their fitness routines and goals. Who cares if your boobs sweat or your butt and arms jiggle or your feet flail when you work out? You have to start somewhere, and it will only get better. The jiggling will subside, the sweat means you're working and hey, if your run style can produce giggles, then great! Laughing is good for us. What I have noticed, personally, is that I have learned to love the parts of myself that I can't change, like my short legs and my thick ankles, for example. The important thing, is that they are strong (well, my ankles need to be stronger, but that's another blog post unto itself). I think the secret to feeling good about oneself is to take care of oneself. Eat well, and put your muscles to work regularly. Then, at the end of the day, you can be confident in saying (and I have borrowed these words from my dad, more or less, who works out regularly at 73 and who always has a smile on his face when he says this): "I have done my best; the rest (meaning if anything out of our control happens to arise when it comes to our health) is not my fault!"

OK I gotta get out of these jammies now.

My strong and mighty son, who does not complain about flabby arms like his sister, but has been known to comment on my jiggly running butt in the past.

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