Sunday, 2 December 2012

Fitness is Variety

Variety: the spice of life
As I ran down the snow covered sidewalk suddenly it dawned on me. This run was getting boring. I couldn't possibly be bored running. "But I love running?" I thought to myself rather confused. I was so annoyed with worrying about my pace, my mileage, long runs and km repeats. Trying to be a better runner was sucking the fun right out of it.

 I began to think that perhaps maybe I was the worst runner ever and that I was going to be shunned by all those who loved their daily run. Maybe I should take a break from running? Lately I had been putting so much pressure on myself to finally reach that PB that I had ruined running for myself. I thought back to the moments and when I loved my daily workout and reminded myself of the fitness classes that I used to adore.
I decided that running and I were taking a break and that I was going to date the gym for a little bit. The next day I found a Zumba class (Zumba is a dance-fitness class inspired by Latin dance) at the local Y.

I showed up to the class ready to dance but was a bit uneasy about trying a new gym and instructor. I met a girl outside the class and she began giving me the down low on which days had the best instructor. "Today's instructor is a bit slower than the others" she said. Great, i thought to myself Im not even going to break a sweat. Then she said something that really stuck with me,"It could be worse, you could be at home on the couch." That statement set the tone. She was right, that's what fitness was about, getting up and getting moving.

The instructor started the class and my running-mind left me for the hour. The second song we danced to was "Gangnam Style", I mean how could you really be miserable when you were dancing like a man who's motto was "dance cheesy".

I loved every minute of the class! It was an absolute blast and it certainly refreshed my fitness routine. And to my surprise the class did give me a decent workout. Good bye winter workout blues :)

Fitness is being able to sweat it out and still smile.

- Jamie

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Fitness is your 1st Interval Workout

Interval Training: a type of discontinuous physical training that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods.

My First Day as a Cross Country Runner

The day I showed up from the college cross country team I had no idea what I was getting myself into. We started with an easy warm up followed by some very strange moving stretches. They seemed to resemble strange aerobics more than running. Lucky for me I love aerobics! These stretches were the most fun I had at the try out...

After those stretches we went over to the track. I instantly felt panicked. I thought cross country was about cruising through the forest?? Not running on the track where everyone could see me. Lets briefly remember how much I hated track and field day as a child.... Now 9 years later it came back to haunt me again. I tried to stay calm while Nat reminded me to simply just run. I reminded myself that I was here for social reasons more than anything. Just finish the workout I told myself.

Our peppy coach explained the workout. She seemed to almost spring with each step she took. I had never seen someone make running look so effortless. "You ll run a lap, jog for about 30 seconds then run 2 laps, jog for 30 then run 3 laps and so on." This workout was my first interval workout and it didnt seem too bad when she explained it. I mean after all, we got to jog as slow as we wanted for rests. It seemed easy... boy was I wrong.

I started the first lap of the track in the middle of the pack of girls. The boys flew past me, I tried to remind myself that I wouldnt be racing them anyways and to not pay any attention. I kept running hard reminding myself I just had to finish. After a 30s jog, I started the second interval, 10 seconds in I was already tired! The rest of the girls began to pass me and I struggled not to stay too far behind. Eventually the boys were all lapping me, the girls were moving further and further away. Then a couple of the girls lapped me. I was going to finish last and everyone could see me. There was no disguising that I was the last one running but I wasnt about to give up. It took every effort to finish those last few laps but I did it. I finished dead last at that practice, but at least I finished.

I imagined I looked somewhat like this at the end of the practice (but with a ponytail)

But I came back the next day. I didnt feel so fit that day but a season of intervals has made me a much better runner.

Fitness is finishing the toughest workout you ve ever experienced.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Fitness is Bliss

"Bliss: the emotional state characterized by perfect happiness" 

Fitness is bliss. It is simple but true. That moment when you are putting in hard work but feeling free. The moment you are overwhelmed by so much positivity that you push yourself further. The moment when you realize you never thought you could make it to this point. You feel invincible. You feel free and you know that it is all because of the sweat and hard work that you put in.

Sometimes you can’t describe it, but you feel it throughout every inch of your body. That bliss is the feeling that keeps you coming back for more.

What’s my bliss?

Running takes me places I never knew existed and it has helped me to learn things deep within myself. I run 6 days a week and fall in love with it more each day.

Fitness wasn’t always bliss

As a child I detested physical activity. I would cry when my kindergarten teacher said it was time for gym class. I wasn’t coordinated or fast and I was too shy to play on any team. I didn’t play sports as a child mostly because the mere thought of running made me uneasy. I hated track and field day at school. Track and field day was both humiliating and exhausting. I wanted to dance, not run. What if I finished last? This fear is the only thing that propelled my little legs down the 100m stretch. Blissful is the opposite of what I felt during those days.

Off I went to high school where an all-girls gym class with a new best friend introduced me to the love of sport. Dannel was one of the most athlete girls I had ever met and I had no choice but to have fun as her as my gym partner. Soon enough I found myself playing on a soccer team with her that summer and the girls flag football team that fall. I was hooked. Sports were in fact fun.

 I feel in love with running through a soccer injury. I could no longer dance or play sports but I could run. I liked it but was happy to return to “real” sports once I finished. I was back to soccer. That was pretty much the end of my fitness journey as I headed off to college.

Each summer running generally took me running along the water front of Lake Simcoe, in the very small town of Innisfil, Ontario. I would run for 20 minutes taking in the beauty of the lake. That is where my love affair began.

Eventually after returning home from my third year of school running suddenly became more important. Through the encouragement of my new friend Nat (the definition of a real runner as far as I was concerned) I tried to take my running further. She encouraged me to come run for the college cross country team, even though I was slow as could be. Nat insisted that it didn’t matter, it was all for fun and running was a very personal thing. I began to take my running more seriously.

I found myself slowly increasing the length of my runs and eventually working up to 50 minute run. After my first 50minute run I began to feel overwhelmingly blissful, it was the highest runners high I had ever reached. The next week I headed off to college in hopes of running with the college team.

(I will share my college running experience later)

Through this blog I hope to give and receive support to all kinds of people who strive to become fitter than they ever imagined. I could not have become a runner without the support from my friends (both old and new) along the way.

Please join me in my running journey as I search for further bliss <3

Fitness is Bliss.

What is Fitness to YOU?