I woke up this morning sore and stiff. My back, my hip and my neck ached and didn’t want to move. If I had not known better I would have been sure I was 80 or so. After stiffly standing up and hobbling around for a minute I started stretching. Slowly my muscles started to loosen and the pain lessened. I am not 80. I am 33 years old. Evidently, no one told my muscles.
As I was stretching my mind flashed back to my husbands words a few years ago. If you want to lose weight and you want to get active you need to do it now! Once you turn thirty your body will start to change, it will get harder! I know, I know, I would grumble, feeling irritated at him. I had tried to get healthier I would think. It’s just not easy for me like it is for him.
Well, guess what? He was right! It did get harder! I should have started exercising regularly back then. If I had I would be writing a different blog post today.
So, maybe, I should feel depressed and despondent about missing my golden opportunity to get healthy and give up?
Um, no that would be silly. Why? Because we each have today. We can regret our past bad choices, we can make great plans for the future but plan to start tomorrow or we can get out of bed, time on our running shoes and do something!
I remember a quote on the wall at the job I had in college.
“When it hurts more to not change then to change you will change”
The clients there had big problems, heroin addiction, alcoholism, homelessness. Still, the simple phrase is equally true when struggling with our more day to day struggles.
We, each one of us, can be healthier. We can be active. It may be hard but we can do it!
This week I met a man who has been paralyzed for 19 years. He plays wheelchair rugby. He rolls around the neighborhood daily. He is healthy. So, seeing as how my legs work, what’s my excuse?
I don’t have one. So today, I’m going to play soccer with my family for a couple of hours. I’m going to do my planks and work on my arms.
I’m going to choose to be active today.
How about you? Isn’t it a good day to move?
So… some of you may not know what The Rugged Maniac is. In short, it is a short (3.2 mile) run sprinkled generously with at least 20 obstacles. The obstacles, crawling through mud, under things, climbing over walls and jumping over a fire are designed to test you physically and mentally. A lot of mud is involved. I mean, A LOT. I will add some links so you can get an idea of what is involved. It is essentially an excuse to get insanely muddy and in theory have fun.
Does this sound AMAZING or at like something you might be interested in? Then please, consider joining me. If you live in or near Portland Oregon join me on May 31st. If not, check The Rugged Maniac website for local options. There are similar races with different names you can check out as well. I don’t have opinions as to which ones are best as I haven’t done any of them. If you have opinions please mention them in the comments.
As to how I am going to train and prepare for The Rugged Maniac, first I don’t plan on hiring a trainer, joining a gym, using any fancy supplements or essentially spending any money except for workout clothing and some new shoes. I am designing my own plan, both nutritionally and fitness wise. When I start a project my first step is always to gain as much information as possible. When I decided to do the rugged maniac my first step was to do exactly that. I started by heading over to YouTube where I hunted down videos of The Rugged Maniac and looked for everything I could find about what exactly I was jumping into. I googled “Training for obstacle races” and similar topics. I quickly learned that most of the information regarding training for the rugged maniac was intended for those who are actually runners. That is not me. Some of the information I found suggested that being able to actually run 3 miles is not that important for an obstacle race but given that I have plenty of time to train I think learning to run is a sound idea. With a minutes work I downloaded a couch to 5 K application for my smart phone. I have not actually jumped into this part of training so that is my goal for the coming week.
In my hunt for training information I fell across the 30 day plank challenge. Planks are an amazing exercise for building core strength so it seemed like a great jumping off point. I am now on day 9 of the challenge and am doing 70 second planks. I am supposed to be up to 4.5 minutes by the end of the 30 days. I added in the crunch challenge today and have been working on push ups and other arm exercises. I have walked and jogged some and even through in a roller skating adventure (more on that in my next blog). My plan is to gradually increase the intensity, frequency and organization of my workouts one month at a time. January’s goal is just to return to a more active lifestyle and to increase core strength.
As to nutrition. I believe the body is a machine and like all machines it runs better when given high quality fuel. I will go into my theories on nutrition in more detail in future posts. My first step in switching to a healthier diet has been to minimize my intake of all added sugar and flour significantly and to increase my fruit and vegetable intake. I am a hardcore carb addict and am best able to minimize my cravings for sweets when I focus on lots of protein and vegetables.
Thus far I am feeling great. I have lost 5 pounds since the beginning of the year and though it may be my imagination I think my core is getting stronger.
Have thoughts, comments or ideas for my training? Please feel free to share them in the comments.