Fitness Goal Met

This week I accomplished a goal I never thought possible.

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I finished a 5k.

I won’t say I ran a 5k because I didn’t run it all. I ran more than I walked, but not every step. I never, ever, ever thought I would run anything, let alone a 5k and I did run probably 2/3 of it. Maybe I even ran a little more. It wasn’t the fastest time in the bunch, but it wasn’t the slowest either. It was the fastest I’ve ever done, and I beat the goal I set for myself by 3 minutes. I am pleased.

Not only did I finish this 5k, I trained for this 5k. I started training about 10 weeks ahead of time. I made a plan, and I stuck to it. It sucked at times. I realized that my body is in pretty crappy shape for running. I may be in the gym 4 days a week lifting weights and doing cardio, but my joints were not prepared for pounding the pavement (or treadmill).

Even when I hurt myself I stuck it out and got back on the treadmill and got back at it. A few days of rest and back to the grind.  I maybe wasn’t able to make it the full 5k running, but I walked it out each time. It certainly was a new kind of experience for my body to train for an endurance event rather than the burst of energy expenditure of weight lifting.

The Color Run was the perfect first experience at a 5k. There’s a reason they call it the Happiest 5k on the Planet. You can’t NOT have fun doing this.

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And I can’t end this entry without saying a big thank you to my BFF Kim for nudging me along into this. I would never have believed fitness could be this much fun.

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Physical Stress

I don’t deal well with stress. I never have. I was a high strung kid who became an even more high strung teenager. As an adult, I have learned to relax somewhat, but I will freely admit that I have unobtainably high standards for myself. That leads to some internal issues to say the least. I’m also highly competitive. I play to win at everything, and everything is a competition to me. I’m letting go of some of that. I really am. I am not nearly the perfectionist that I used to be, and my control issues are improving. Maybe one day I will learn to share even…maybe.

The last year has been stressful for me. My brain has really done a lot of work to deal with the emotions of all of the change I’ve been going through. I’ve come a long way. But my body, that’s another story. My body has not handled the stress well at all. I’ve had stress related health issue after stress related health issue this year. A resolved back issue has flared up more than once, migraines have come back with vengeance, insomnia, I’ve even had adult acne get worse. And than there is the GI issues: heartburn, indigestion, inability to eat without pain sometimes. I feel like I’m 100 years old. No, make that I feel like a 100 year old hypochondriac. I really don’t go to the doctor much. It’s not as if I am there for every little twinge or burp. And I do not use the internet to self-diagnose.  Everyone of the issues I’ve had is as real as the dirt on the ground and documented, except the GI (ruled that out this week. I love being poked for nothing). That’s likely psychosomatic. I accept that, but for right now it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t suck.

I try not to whine or complain. I say “I’m fine” a hell of a lot more than I mean it. But what am I suppose to do? Sure, there are plenty of days that I’m nauseous off and on or that my hands tingle from the side effects of the medications, and I seem to forget more things everyday (I’m convinced that’s a drug side effect; I can’t be that old yet!) That’s just life to me right now. I deal with it and move on. Get it together and go on. I’m not one to sit at home and feel sorry for myself either, and that’s not what this post is about either. However, it is my blog, and at the moment this is what needs to be said. I really don’t need sympathy from a lot of people. When you go through major life changes, you can tell very quickly who truly cares and who doesn’t.

Maybe what I want you to take away from this is a little perspective. Everyone is going through something. Some folks something is bigger than other folks. Some wear their pain and trials on their sleeves for everyone to see, while others tuck it inside. No matter how well you know someone, you can never know all of their something they’re going through. There are people in my life who probably think they’ve got me figured out real well and they know me pretty good. Maybe I’ve shared some of my life. But, the reality is, these people are probably very dangerous to me even though they think they are trying to help at times. So, I’m asking that you also take away a little request. Please don’t be that know-it-all friend to someone who is going though something. Maybe you know someone who had something similar or maybe it was even you. It doesn’t mean you know that person’s core. Be there for them, hold their hand, offer the occasional (read rare and well timed) advice. But don’t think you’ve been in their shoes. Compassion doesn’t include judgement. 

My physical ailments will eventually catch up to the healing that my spiritual and emotional side is doing. I’m sure of it. I’m doing my best to take care of my body. Now that I have all that off my chest, I’m off to the gym to sweat out any more negative feelings. Exercise is the best way to release whatever is bothering you. I’ll be back to optimistic shortly.

Everyone Sing Along

If there is one thing everyone can agree on it’s that music is essential to exercise. What kind of music is really debatable, but the absolute NEED for music is not. I’ve got a really specific taste in workout music. My overall taste for music is really wide spread, but when it comes to get-your-blood-pumping-sweat-pouring-heart-beating-rock-your-socks-off-music my choice always leans toward hip hop and rap. I’m constantly screwing with the playlist and generally hit shuffle over about 60 songs. I know several people who like the variety of Pandora, but I like to have a little more control over my playlist for workouts than that. (Hey, I’m learning not to be a control freak for most of the rest of my life, let me have my workout playlist, ok?) I mostly have older stuff, but occasionally add in new stuff. And this one time, a couple of years ago this awesome guy I used to chill with let me hack his harddrive, and I came away with copies of about a dozen mix tapes that are now in frequent rotation. (That doesn’t make up for the fact that I never see you any more Car Wash Boy, sniff.) 

Here’s a sampling of my current shuffle:

  • Ashin Kusher -Kid Cudi
  • Move That Body- Nelly, Akon, T-Pain (seriously-this is awesome for hardcore cardio)
  • Work Out – J. Cole
  • Tootsie Roll -69 Boys (talk about a throwback! This was played at every dance I went to between the 6th and 8th grades!)
  • Talk That Talk- Rhianna
  • Good Good Night -Rosco Dash
  • Black and Yellow- Wiz Khalifa
  • Forever -Drake, Kanye, Eminem, Lil Wayne
  • Blow the Whistle -Too $hort
  • Chillen -Wale and Lady Gaga
  • Flex -Party Boys (One of those songs that you have to forgive me for because it just has good memories attached)
  • On to the Next One -JayZ
  • Buy You a Round -Verse Simmons
  • Push It -Salt N Pepa (Does it get any better than these original ladies of hip hop? I mean, really?!?!)
  • Ring the Alarm- Beyonce
  • Pope- Prince
  • Imma Be -Black Eyed Peas
  • Snap Backs and Tattoos -Driicky Graham (I’m going to go ahead and call it what it is-not high quality music, but the beat’s good for cardio)
  • Just Begun- Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, Jay Electronica
  • Hard- Rihanna, Jezzy
  • Dirt Off Your Shoulder -JayZ
  • We Be Clubbin- Ice Cube
  • Step Into A World -KRS One
  • If I Ruled The World ’09 – Nas, Marcia Ambrosious

So, let’s have it. What gets your heart pumping for a good work out?