Nov 26, 2012

The Places Your Head Goes... Putting Our Machines To Work.

Standing on the treadmill I readied myself for the run workout ahead of me.  Since I have yet to re-charge my Garmin from Ironman Florida,  I decided to rely on the treadmill for stats and split this workout into three sections: the timed warm-up, the 5k run Time Trial (TT) test, and the timed cool down. I started by entering in the time for the warm up.  I would re-set and enter in the distance for the TT and then reset again for my cool down.  

Course selection: entered.

Weight: entered.

Speed: entered.

Incline: entered.

Time goal...

Time goal...

Time goal: entered.

Heh... funny how a few week ago I was shocked that the time limit on the machine only went to 99 minutes. Entering in 15 minutes for my warm up seemed to me like I had made a decimal error. Isn't it supposed to be 150? 

The places your head goes when you are freshly off of an Ironman:  A 60 minute running workout is nothing! 

The places your head goes to when you need a reality check:  10 years ago 60 minutes would have been akin to an eternity. 60 minutes, are you sick?  Pass me that cheescake...

During my run TT, I became keenly aware of how my body was moving.  My posture, my running form, my cadence, my breathing.  I focused on what I call "big belly breathing", a method that I learned in Florida for controlling heart rate and settling the mind.

I then caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw the other side.  The jiggle, the bounce, the real non-athletically looking me.

I smiled.

That jiggle, that bounce, that body of mine has served me well.  How could I hate the thing that I put through the hell of an Ironman?  How could I hate something that served me well and carried me through the past 10 years of this journey to a better me, to a healthier and more whole lifestyle? So what if I do not look like an athlete. I am an athlete. 

The places your head goes when you are freshly off of an Ironman: My body is a machine no matter if it is a tank or a stealth fighter jet!

The places your head goes when you need a reality check:  Forget performance...365 days ago I hated this body. 

How can I hate my body when it is my body that accomplishes all that I do?  Not every body can look the same, and surely not all bodies that appear identical can perform the same.

I realize here in my lifestyle journey that I need to stop beating myself up over what I look like, and that I need to start celebrating what my body does day in and day out.  All of our bodies are machines, we need to find the purpose for our individual machine.

If Cheryl Haworth were to have decided at a young age that she wanted to be a rhythmic gymnast, she probably would have quit a long time ago.   Likewise, if Olga Karmansky had decided to go into Olympic Weightlifting or Bodybuilding, she probably would never had made it to the Olympics.

Each of the above are athletes because they found the purpose of their machines and trained them to perform how nature built them to. 

I have realized that my body is really good at two things:  Going obscenely long distances and being strong.  I will never be blindingly fast, but I can outlast most of those that I cannot outrun.  I will never be rail thin, but I will always be very muscular and strong.

I realied that my body is not going to be what is it not designed to be, and rather than to keep fighting this tank by trying to make it into a stealth fighter jet, I am going to build myself into a better tank; a smaller more efficient tank, but till a tank.

What is your body good at?  Have you been fighting our body or celebrating and nurturing it to be the best machine it can be?   The first step to happiness is being grateful for what we have.  Material possessions and physical being alike.

Find good in your body today and show gratitude for all that it does.  This one step alone could quite possibly be the catalyst for an amazing change. 

1 comment:

Dee said...

I am fairly sure I haven't quite figured out what my 'machine' is good at yet. Certainly not a fast runner, but heck - I still consider myself a newbie. I know running has given me some great looking stems. Outside of running though...I know my machine was meant to be a comfort to my children. And while I may not always like how my belly looks in dresses/ is a soft pillow for my boys to snuggle into or fall asleep on. And I'm ok with that in this stage of life. :)