Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Becoming an "Active" person

I tried to remember a time in my life where being active was the norm and I had to go back a long way. So long ago and in a galaxy so far from where I've gotten myself to now, that I almost didn't know it existed anymore. Truthfully, the last time I can remember being active on a regular basis was when I was nine years old. We lived a block from the beach and spent all day, every day there. I rode my bike. I body surfed. I ran around. I was active.

Even then though, I didn't like running. My best friend Heidi would run down the beach to the Harbor and back (without being chased by wolves) and I thought she was crazy. Is it any wonder that she stayed slim during her teenage years and is a slender, athletic adult to this day? My dislike of running stayed with me, and as I got older, I got less active. I was the only second string player during my one season on the girls softball team in high school, and I was a catcher at that! I cut classes during physical education, or didn't dress down. I avoided physical activity at all costs. Hmmmm... is it any wonder that for the next 40 years I did nothing but gain weight?

However, I do have to admit that at least one activity during high school was relatively active. I was a Banner Girl for the marching band, and I *did* do a lot of marching. Maybe this one activity prepared me for the 1/2 marathons that I've managed to accomplish. I found it really easy to go for long distance walks when you are accompanied by music. Perhaps that was my precursor to the Walkman or iPod, just take along a whole band with you on your walks!

But I digress...

I was lucky enough to have a four day weekend this past week. The weather couldn't have been better, so I planned my weekend to have different activities each day. I am lucky to have friends who like to do active things. Friday Mary and I went swimming, and she gave me some great tips on my freestyle stroke, what to expect in an open water swim, and equipment that I might find useful for the Sprint Tri in August. It's so wonderful to have someone who has been there and done that share their experiences and knowledge!

Saturday was a good workout with Laura at 24Hour, and Sunday I got to ride with Christine again! She mapped out a ride for us that somehow managed to be more descent than ascent... I'm still not quite sure how that's possible, but I love it. We rode out Charleston to Red Rock Country Club and went south (downhill, wheee!) all the way to Russell, then up Hualapai to Flamingo, to Town Center, and back to Charleston. 15.5 miles, my longest ride ever! Yeah, I had to stop a lot on the inclines (yeah, I tried to call them hills, but no, they were inclines) but I kept pedalling and finally made it to the top.

Through the ride my biggest problem was my brain. Yeah, my hip pointers acted up, and my saddle area got a little sore, but my head was the biggest problem. I figured that out during one of my rest stops on Flamingo when I found myself getting weepy and wanting to quit. I didn't want to cry in front of Christine though, and somehow managed to start pedaling again. As we turned the corner on to Town Center I could see the top of the hill and talked myself into climbing just a little further. I hate that my brain doesn't believe in my ability as much as my body does. I also think it's interesting that mile 12 is where I start having these conversations with myself, not only on a bike, but during the 1/2 marathons mile 12 is my toughest spot as well. Perhaps if my distance was farther, mile 12 wouldn't seem so bad...

Monday I did nothing. Ok, well I did do things, but they didn't involve any more activity than running a vacuum cleaner and driving the car. I hated it. I wanted to be outside, walking, hiking, swimming... anything! And that's how I know that I've turned the corner and am on my way to becoming an "Active Person". Perhaps I don't have to check the "sedentary" box on the caloric needs calculator anymore! Yay!

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