It’s been a little over a month. What have I been doing to prepare for my 100-mile backpack trip?
Well, I got serious and hired a trainer. Best decision I’ve made in a long time. We’re not at a fancy gym or using fancy equipment. We’re working out at a couple of local parks, and mostly in the dark—which is how I happened to accidentally roll in a smidge of dog poo. Story of my life…
I’m in the midst of being reacquainted with planks, push-ups, burpees, squats, and the jumprope. If there are stairs—you can be sure we’re running them. Max, my coach, is training a small group of fitness enthusiasts, and me, his challenged student who tries to keep up. I don’t mind because I’m okay with making fun of myself. I’m the one doubled over laughing when I hear him say, “Today we’re going to do pull-ups at the monkey bars.”
And there goes one of my heroes, Paloma—she can do pull-ups like nobody’s business. She is so dang fierce! I want to be like that. So I try to be fierce, too, when Max gives me the super-modified version of a pull-up. I have no shame. They cheer me on like I’m in the Olympics going for the Gold Medal of modified chin-ups. How can this not be the best motivating tool ever? I’m starting to think one day—Max says in about six months—I’ll be able to do a real one. Baby steps to a chin-up. One day at a time. It’s totally something to look forward to.
We’re in our 3rd week of training at the park, and I’m already noticing a change in my body. Don’t freak out. It’s not anything anybody else would notice. The changes are subtle. For instance, I sort of jogged with the dog the other day, and I was able to hold my torso with a new strength. My posture is better, and I have more endurance. This even though I haven’t been running much—beyond the mailbox—and all. The dog even noticed! Usually he’s able to drag me down the street. Not so much anymore. I have new muscle in my core and arms. One of the best changes I’ve noticed is if I’ve forgotten my reading glasses upstairs I don’t mind going up to retrieve them. My legs take those stairs with gusto.
It’s the little things. Things we take for granted when we’re twenty or thirty or even forty. It takes more effort to be fit at forty-five and beyond. But trust me, I’ve only been doing this for about a month, and it’s coming back. There is some muscle memory! For now, for the Newfoundland backpack trip, I’m working on basic strengthening and conditioning.
I’m also working on commitment to the training program. I’m super-flaky. I won’t lie. I don’t like waking up early to work out. I don’t like going later either. I’m not a lover of sit-ups and push-ups. Deep down, I’m an Elvis. I want to sit in the sun with a glazed donut and coffee, and a good book.
I have my role model heroes like Paloma and Allie with their healthy, hard little bodies. Stopped me in my tracks when I wanted to share my craving for a deep fried jelly donut as Allie talked about eating a banana at work for snack. See? Craving immediately diverted. There’s no way I’m gong to eat a donut! Call it good role modeling and
peer pressure. Hey, whatever works.
And there’s Max. Always constant, always keeping me accountable. If there is one thing I can count on it’s that he will be there for the workout. On the days I want to cancel all I have to do is remember there is someone doing his best to help me achieve my goals. He’s there on time with a smile, waiting by his truck with those dreaded kettlebells and the
stinkin’ jumpropes. All I have to do is show up.
Then we get the workout party started when he says, “Let’s begin our warm-up with thirty seconds of jumping jacks. Go!”
What are you doing to get in shape?