Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Training for Nothing

I didn't start "training" (personal training, working out with a trainer) until about 8 years ago. My sister was doing it and after I'd lost my job and was feeling disillusioned and sad I started tagging along with her. I was never a workout person. I did well at school. I liked yoga for the stretching part and the meditation and the learning, but the physical benefits were like a side-effect.

Even doing plenty of yoga asana, I'd get a sore back after carrying my daughter from the car into her bed, or I couldn't open jars or little things like that. But after I started training, doing weights in particular, I got stronger and the little aches and pains went away. That's not totally true, because training itself caused new aches and pains but they were "productive."

Being physical was not something I was raised with. My family didn't work out. We didn't run races, go on hikes, nothing like that. Head transportation machines. We're still like that sometimes. We take our heads around places and then eat. But not that often anymore.

Anyways, I started training and I got stronger. And then I stopped training and I would get sore and flabby. And then I'd start training again and I'd feel better. But working out seemed like something I should be able to do on my own; a discipline that surely I should be able to do on my own. On my own I don't though. I just don't.

Over the past few years especially, I've started to notice when my body is more comfortable and when it's less comfortable. It gets less comfortable more regularly now that I'm in my mid-40s. Maybe having a fibroid and not being able to run and being anemic and then being on medication that made me old temporarily was all part of it. Probably it was. I stopped training this time last year. I wasn't feeling well, I was busy, it costs money, and I didn't do it.

This time last year was a tough time. Getting ready for surgery, taking strong medication that was painful, then I had my operation, then my dad died, I was dealing with a difficult work situation, and what I should have been doing all along was training. But I had stopped.

How to start again? Talk to my trainer. Hmm. Should I call him? Text him? What's the protocol? Will he have time for me? Can I afford it? I decided a couple of months ago that I couldn't afford not to. I don't like being uncomfortable in my body. I have seen people get old and I know it's coming for me too if I'm lucky, and I want to feel good in my body for as long as I can.

I want to run and walk and play and do yoga poses and be strong. Left up to my own devices, I won't always do what's best for my body. I'm lazy that way. But when I make an appointment to meet my trainer, I go. And when I pay him every time, I don't miss the money.

A couple of weeks ago I bought new running shoes. For myself. I buy lots of running shoes for someone else (ahem, 13-year old daughter), but I haven't done that for myself in many years. I love my new shoes. They're bright - it's like a party to wear them! And a pain that I used to have in my knee whenever I ran isn't there anymore. So now I'm back to running as well. At least I've started. My daughter's teacher told her she'd get an automatic extra 5% on her mark if she runs a 10K. I've agreed to do it with her.

Sometimes it's helpful to train for a race or a competition - having a goal is really useful and it can make it fun. I'm at the place where I'm training for nothing other than the equilibrium I've found. I like how my body feels. I sleep well. I digest well. I'm in a good place. I'm lucky to have a trainer who has stuck around. I value my relationship with him. He pushes me but respects me. He encourages me and helps me be moderate. He fits me into his schedule when it's convenient for me and texts me in between with reminders or other things.

Training just to feel good feels like a good long-term goal for me. I want to feel good in my body for a long time.

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