Tag Archives: Get Fit

Fitness First

So even though I haven’t been writing about it much, my fitness experiments have continued undocumented. I more or less stopped going to the trainer – really, my 6 month contract ended and although I was getting a lot of benefits and seeing (at least core strengthening) results, I didn’t want to pay the money to be stuck inside a gym during the most beautiful summer months. I’d rather save it up for when it’s gray and miserable out and I need the sauna to feel human.

So my poison of choice? Running and Biking. Two things I am already very familiar with. The added benefit? A likes to do them too! He’s back on the running bandwagon and motivated to push himself hard, which of course pushes me even harder. While I normally give in to “feeling tired” or “I’m not in the mood” knowing that he’s been out pounding the pavement – or that when I go back home we have a run scheduled for the evening – always motivates me to push a little bit further.

I’ve always believed I wouldn’t do well with an exercise partner, or that I hated going to the gym with a friend – mostly because I didn’t like to be tied to someone else’s time constraints, or didn’t want to feel pressured to do more or less than I was comfortable with. While these things are still somewhat true, (I run out of breath because I work myself up to keep up the pace,) it’s been totally motivating to have someone by my side to push me a little bit further and to hold me accountable for what I say I’ll do.

Another bit of motivation? We signed up for a 10k in Berlin in October. Nothing like the thought of panting and crawling along a race path gets me motivated to get my butt moving and start training hard. I don’t need to be a winner at the end, but making it through without losing composure is definitely high on the 10k priority list!

So the fitness conundrum continues and new experiments are undertaken. Does anyone else have as many start and stop bursts of motivation as I do?

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No More Excuses

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So after weeks, well a couple months really, of not finding the motivation or time or energy, or [please insert other lame excuse here] to make it to the gym, I’ve finally been on a pretty good exercise stint. I’m back to my 3-milers, though they are still very difficult, I must admit. And I’m on the weight machines again.

Truth be told, I have been preparing for the next time I see my trainer and know she will show me no mercy for having been lazy for two months! Given that this showdown will take place today at lunchtime, I feel like I have done the most I could to prepare, given the circumstances.

So from today forward I have a new motto, no more excuses. It’s time to start taking my fitness and health seriously again. Spring is just around the corner (well, except for the rest of the northern hemisphere where spring sprang a few weeks ago!) and I have a number of exciting things coming up over the next few months, (weddings, a trip back home, beach vacations, etc). All of which are more than enough reason to get my priorities in order earlier rather than putting them off any longer.

As a good friend of mine often says, “start today” or more specifically “A year from now you’ll wish you started exercising today.” and it pretty much hits the point home! Time to get started on those goals now or I have no one else to blame but me if I don’t reach them!

Back At It Again

I seem to have a secret love affair that flairs up every few months for just a short period of time, and seemingly dies out as quickly as it started. This is my passionate affair with exercise.

My Guilty Pleasure

I have never been a gym rat. I could never get the motivation to go continuously for more than 1 or 2 months at a time. I’d often try, get on a kick and do really well, and then one day a tub of ice cream and an airing of “My Best Friend’s Wedding” on daytime television was all it took to start that downward trend of, “Well, maybe just today I’ll sit today out. There’s always tomorrow.”

In college I’d borrow my roommates bike and head down the trail on the Mississippi River. Or, when she wanted to use her own bike, I’d even venture to the gym and spend 30 minutes on the elliptical watching “The Ellen Show” and try some rounds at weights, never fully understanding the impact they had on my body. I lived in New York for 3 years, always paying for the NYSC a few blocks up the road, but only for a few random spurts was I motivated enough to go.

Then suddenly, after I moved to Paraguay I found myself craving exercise. Almost desperate for it. I drove around a few evenings after work with my colleagues to find a decent gym around my house, which I never seemed to be able to find. I couldn’t imagine paying to work out in someone’s sweaty attic with broken down machinery, or to sweat it out in summer heat at a gym that was not fully enclosed. Not to mention a lot of places didn’t seem to have air conditioning or proper ventilation.

So I took to the streets. Literally. Having never run in my life, I put on my sneakers, hid my iPod from sight, and stepped outside of my house in the centro. Feeling nervous and exhilarated – first for having never run, and second for fear of the prejudice of the people I would run past – I hit the pavement in a moderate jog.

I can relate to this

I ran down the avenue and around a corner until I could no longer catch my breath and looked at my watch elated when I realized I had run a full 10 minutes without stopping! 10 minutes! I think back to those days now and smile because I remember how exciting it was to realize I could test my body in that way, and also to remember how it felt for 10 minutes to be a good amount of run time before taking a break!

So here I am in Berlin with almost no exercise to my name. Well, I did spend a good part of the month of May and a little bit of June running around the park in Friedrichschain feeling proud. And then there was the 10 day pass to Bikram Yoga which had me feeling invincible when I walked out of the studio. And I guess I can’t discredit the 20 minute bike rides to and from work every day when it wasn’t raining out. But really I spent a good portion of 10 months not focusing on my body or exercise at all.

And so in early December, I joined a gym. And here I am again, trying an old new experiment to get myself back in shape and working towards a healthy lifestyle.

This could be Amanda 2.0 (with a hair cut)