Apr 14, 2007

The Simple Joys of running part 6: Details.

My friend Christina posted the best bulletin up on MySpace today - it stresses the importance of learning how to pay attention to the little details.

Here is the bulletin for your enjoyment. A little gross - but a lot funny!

First-year students at Texas A&M's Vet School were receiving their first
anatomy class, with a real dead cow. They all gathered around the surgery
table with the body covered with a white sheet.

The professor started the class by telling them, "In Vet Medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the animal body.

For an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the dead cow, withdrew it and stuck it in his mouth."Go ahead and do the same thing," he told his students.

The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes. But eventually took turns sticking a finger in the anal opening of the dead cow and sucking on it. When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and told them "The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention."

Although humorous, this is a good life lesson in why we need to pay attention to the little things. Aside from the obvious nasty stuff - we need to also pay attention to our own bodies on that same miniscual level.

Through my workouts the past week I have gained a better awareness of my muscles. I do have some! I am listening to my body when it tells me that I need to either switch up or down weights for a set, or when it has had enough of a certain exercise.

The first trip to the gym this week I decided to really focus on strengthtraining in addition to my cardio of running 3 times a week. Out of the gate I was doing well on my arm exercises, averaging 45 lbs per exercise depending on the muscle group and type of exercise performed. I was doing 2 sets of 15 reps per exercise, with a 30 second break in between. I then moved on to legs... only to seize up my calf muscle so badly that it was rock hard and my foot atrophied.

Hey folks! I joined the over-exerted club!

I started out the workout on the track mind you - running week 3 of my C25K program so my calves were already a tender spot.

So what did I learn? That I was not listening to my body telling me that my calves had enough. I pushed through the set only to be stopped cold in the workout. I wrapped up with some ab work and a nice stretch.

Tuesday I did legs and to my amazement it went well. Added abs and lower back as well to round out the evening. I listenend to my hips, thighs, calves, hammies, and quads through every exercise making sure that I was doing approriate weights and reps.

Wednesday I took as a rest day, so when I hit the gym last night I was ready for arm work again. I was a little emotionally drained, so I did not run, but I got in a really great arm workout. My tris and bis are no longer sore, so I know that I listened well.

I also switched up how I worked out. I did 3 sets of 12 reps, and instead of breaking I worked opposing muscle groups in between - so I did 1 rep of 12 bicep curls, immediately followed by 1 set of 12 reps of tri extensions, then alternated between the two until I completed 3 sets of each.

Tonight is running and leg/ab/lower back work - so I will focus more on my thigh/hips than quad/ham/calves due to running.

I feel stronger each time, and I find that I am enjoying the feeling of earned soreness when I listen, as opposed to the earned pain when I don't!

I think we can take the lesson of paying attention to details to heart in every aspect of our lives. My job is highly dependant on me paying attention to not only the big picture, but every little detail along the way to assure that tasks are completed on point.

I am also taking this pay attention to details thing into my eating as well. Not just by counting those points, but also in varying my food items to see which work best for me. Can I feel as full off of 1 point of dairy as I would off of 1 point of vegetables (for those veggies that have points that is!)? I am still finding that out - what will work for my body.

So today kids take a kind lesson - pay attention to the details in your life otherwise you may end up eating cow poo. ;)

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