This past semester, was my first semester free from a sport probably since I was 3 years old, And it was one of the roughest and laziest fitness-wise in my lifetime. The problem was I knew nothing about going at your own pace. I looked to others and based my goals there. However….there was a much different route in store for me.
I had always resolved once I was done high jumping I would become a half marathoner. During track, it never made sense to add in long distance training. It would take away from the fast twitch muscles I needed, so I waited patiently.
However, throughout my last few years of track and later into the fall after quitting, I dealt with a series of ankle sprains. They left me feeling incapable of the half marathon training I had been dreaming of.
I kept running. But running with my ankle this way, was like an ankle Russian roulette. You just never knew when it was going to go. And it made running more of a terror than fun.
My last sprain was a wake up call to the idea that surgery was a potential. I had to start taking my ankle seriously. The rest of the semester, I struggled to come up with any workouts I would actually want to do. Mostly out of spite and anger that I couldn’t just do and enjoy what I wanted- run.
Why couldn’t my body agree with my brain?!
When I got home for Christmas break I pulled out the dreaded scale and weighed myself. I gained 5 pounds! I guess you can’t say I was devastated. But this news gave me the motivation I needed to break out of this weird, depressive exercise stigma. To find some way, any way to get moving.
Now, please do not laugh at me! I went on YouTube- with the resolve to find something fun to do. As a certified personal trainer this is all beyond embarrassing to admit. (Hopefully I can trust my PK fam with this dirty little secret!)
I came away with a series of Pilates, Yoga, and Cardio videos that can all be done without ever leaving the small square of a Yoga mat. Which minimizes the danger of exercising, is actually fun, and works on areas I need to strengthen before starting to run again.
Admitting running is too much for my ankle, and that I’m not strong enough yet sucks. It’s kind of embarrassing. But allowing myself to admit that, so that I could move on and start something that I actually can do, and then actually do something for once, feels so great!
I forgot how it feels to workout without trying to prove a point that’s impossible to prove. Having that weight lifted- I haven’t felt so happy to workout in a long time! And the truth is, I haven’t really stopped working towards half marathons- now I’m just working towards them at my own pace. We all have to start somewhere!
I encourage you, don’t expect too much too soon. Be honest about where you are, and start there. It’s okay! After all, fitness isn’t a destination it’s a journey. Might as well be honest with yourself, nice to yourself, and enjoy the ride!