When I joined the gym, my membership came with a bunch of perks, like a free month for a friend (Merry Christmas to Sam, just as soon as he recovers from falling down the basement stairs!), access to all of the other clubs (one of which is literally only blocks from the kid's school! With a pool!) and two free personal training sessions. During the first session a week ago, my trainer put me through all kinds of tests and then told me that I was not only in really good shape, but that I was "really, really flexible."
Obviously I didn't believe her. I mean, sure, MEN tell me that, but I always assume it's a lie. I've never done yoga, so I feel like my body is less gumby-like and more like clay that's already been put through the kiln. I've spent my entire adult life failing fitness tests, so this came as a huge surprise. I actually had her explain the results until I was convinced she wasn't just blowing smoke up my ass (or hitting on me). Apparently my new size dysmorphia extends all the way to fitness dysmorphia. My body is basically a mystery to me at this point. Apparently it looks like this:
So when I met with the trainer yesterday for my second session, I wanted her to check my gait for efficiency because I've always felt like I run like Phoebe from Friends. So she stood and watched me run for ten minutes and concluded that aside from my breathing, which needs to be more regular and controlled, I'm actually "quite a strong runner."
WTF?!? I have always HATED running. I suck at it!
But what if she's right? I've often bragged about Genoa's running abilities (she runs like a fucking MACHINE), but it never occurred to me that she might not exactly have received the athletic gene from her dad. I've never been thin enough to run more than a mile, so what do I REALLY know about my body?
Then there's the fact that I have yet to experience any muscle pain. I don't get sore, so it's not my body that's slowing me down AT ALL. I feel like my legs could keep going indefinitely. I'm still doing run/walk intervals, but it's my LUNGS that trip me up. I can run for ten minutes and then I have to walk for a minute or three to catch my breath. I'd like to get to a place where I can experience that torture for thirty or forty minutes straight.
So today I decided to quit smoking.
It was perfect timing, really, since I smoked my last cigarette right before my last personal training session and I'm too broke to buy another pack. Not to mention it's fucking COLD outside. I have no interest in sitting on the porch! Before you get all up in my grill about it, I've only actually been smoking since my divorce and even then, not that much. I'm down to one or two a day and mostly as a surrogate for having to chill out with my friend Pam. Smoking is basically a surrogate anti-anxiety medication. If I'm smoking, I'm generally breathing enough to stave off a panic attack.
But isn't that what all this running is for? My mental health? I may be trading one coping mechanism for another, but running is a hell of a lot better for me that Marlboro's. I'm not going to call it a New Year's resolution, but only because I'm already resolved. I'd rather run than smoke.
Mrs. Dahlmes (my 8th Grade P.E. teacher) would be so proud!
Anyway, today I snuck in a run before work and I hated it, as usual. My mind was really chaotic, flipping from one worry to another, most of which have to do with my inability to make rent. But all this fitness is making me sleep like the dead and that meant I jumped out of bed this morning before the kids woke up and sent off three resumes while I waited for my coffee water to boil. Which meant that during my last 9-minute stretch of lung anguish, I felt myself let it go. I'm doing what I can. Worrying about money isn't going to make it magically appear. I just have to let it happen.