I was a little concerned earlier this week that my drive for training was lost, but nope it was just recovering.
Today I did an easy one km in the pool. I am following my friends’ advice and taking it slow as I get back into training. I did do some 20 second 25m sprints, but for the most part it was nice and easy. Apparently, 11:00 am is the perfect time to go swimming. There were 5 lanes open and 3 of us swimming. It made me think of Andrew’s post from a few weeks ago. I had the opposite experience today there was my pick of lanes and no one in my way! I got out of the pool feeling like I could have done a lot more–which was the goal. Now tonight I am itching for a run or a bike ride. This pleases me enormously. I think I will resist and save it for tomorrow.
This week I have really been aware of how much my triathlon training and yoga practice is changing my body. I have been heavier than I would like to be for 17 years. Interestingly, the start of that time frame coincides with the first of my four pregnancies. Hmmm…..but I have not had an excuse for this excess for a number of years; the last of the four pregnacies was over 8 years ago! I would often hover at 15+ pounds more than I liked and did get up to 30+ more pounds that I wanted to be. The last few years I have really wanted to lose 20 pounds and it just would not budge. Well, since I started tri training in January and increased my yoga practice I have lost 18 lbs. I can’t believe it. The thing that makes the happiest is the fact that I can see muscles: in my arms, shoulders, legs, back (I am hoping there are some yet to be revealed in the stomach, but I will be patient on that front…I did say FOUR pregnancies). It feels like a miracle, but I realize that it has been a lot of hard work, fun, but hard work. I love swimming, I don’t mind spinning and I will get back to running a 10km by the end of April. And yoga, I truly love yoga. I am even coming to terms with the bow pose.
Pushing myself physically does something mentally. I am happier. During the almost two weeks that I had the flu and didn’t excise, I had to work really hard to exercise some demons that came to visit me. You many have heard of them, Despondence and Anxiety. They are not my friends and I have not seen them in a long while. In fact, I had forgotten that I used to know them very well, but they arrived with packed bags preparing to stay. They came in and messed up the place for a few days. I am blessed to have a very insightful friend who Skyped with me from 5000 miles away to give me some perspective and a very astute husband who can call a spade a spade and can identify an attack when he sees one. So, I knew mentally what was going on, but it was hard to shake it. That is until I could get back out and MOVE! First yoga, then a vigorous walk yesterday and swimming today. This afternoon I feel light and (dare I say it?) happy. It only took those two week for me to forget that this feeling, this lightness, this joy, has been present in my life a great deal of the time this year and–confession time–it also helped that I saw my super cute-triathlete-Physiotherapist (who I haven’t seen in about 4 months) this afternoon and the first words out of his mouth were, “Wow, you have really lightened up!”. I am going to take that to mean both physical and mental weight 🙂 This wonderful lightness of being is the direct result of being physical and making my body work hard. It works better than any drug, but like a drug it only works if you keep up the recommended dose. I am actually grateful for the illness because it has really put into focus how much my physical activities influence my mental abilities and tghat is a very good thing.
What about you? Have you had a similar experience? How does being active make you feel?