I gained 30 lbs this semester. Stress kills, but I graduated! So now I have no guilt about choosing to take a run instead of hunching over a computer screen or a pile of spreadsheets for hours. I put on weight from lack of exercise and sleep, and so many bags of nachos went into my face I just called the habit My Corn Ritual.
It was ugly. My belly sticking out of an old marathon shirt, shoes “broken in well”. Ugly works. Legs work. Arms work. Torso works, neck fat works, lungs opened up towards the end. I mostly ran, but walked up steep hills. I live at the foot of the Allegheny mountains, so it’s nothing but hills here except by the river. At my age, being this heavy is not good on my knees. My feet are weak, ankles unreliable, and I’m stiff all over.
Ten miles! My left knee, damaged in a blizzard marathon in 2013, tightened up painfully. I knew better than to screw with isolated pain, so I walked uphill a few times on hills I took on the way back.
If I had circled the neighborhood, I would have quit after a couple of miles. So, I ran away, and chased my largeness five miles outside of town, ate a GU, and ran back. I ran out of fluids with a mile to go.
I have New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t need them to want to be healthy. After I ran some errands this morning, I actually ran until it hurt, and kept going (without injury). Years of training taught me when I should back off and respect my limits, and when to ignore them. Of you listen to your body often, occasionally you can afford to tell it to be quiet and, well, endure, and there in lies the sweet spot of fartleks, endurance or whatever kind of running. Push hardest at the right time if you can’t all the time. I haven’t cracked a double digits run in a YEAR. After I saw my final grades, and could accept that I did, in fact graduate with a Bachelor of Science at 47, I didn’t feel any kind of jubilation. Now I work on a very difficult and rewarding process to launch a medical drone service. And the first thing to do is take care of head, and the rest will follow. That ten-mile run was my celebratory act.
I have a very simple physical routine. I run, do push ups, sit-ups, planks, stretches, and good around with my kids. My favorites are the Kindergartener Toss, Nearly-Vomit Tween Tickle, and Hide-and-Seek. Hide-and-seek will never make it into the Olympics. Good. It’s too cool.
I have not been painting. I need to secure employment again. Painting is a luxury, a sort of ultimate fartlek curve ball.