Last night ended up being a bit of a crazy night at the gym where I work but I was home about an hour earlier than on other nights so I grabbed a snack with my kiddo. Dinner had been light and early so I ate a bunch of cherries. Maybe it was too many, I don’t know. It’s really tough for me to gauge because I love cherries so much but I do have a question. Bing or Rainier? I love them both – I think the Bing are sweeter and more flavorful, but the Rainier are so juicy and fleshy and stunningly gorgeous, just like a sunset. How can I resist? What do you think? Anyway…add that to what I ate yesterday and you’ll have the full picture.
I just finished a great run, which was something I was really needing. I am not a particularly good runner. I don’t think I’m physiologically built for it so I’m not very efficient, never seem to get very fast, and if I run too much, I tend to get injured. I used to try to be a runner and there was a time when I completed four 1/2 marathons, did long runs, tempo days, and paid attention to mileage, but that was a few years ago. One day I realized that I wasn’t ever going to be very fast and I really didn’t care so I left my headphones and watch at home and just ran however felt good and listened to the birds and my thoughts. It was a game-changer for me.
Now I run when I feel like it, how I feel like it. I generally run really short distances, maybe just 2-3 miles, and if I go long it might be 5 miles. I don’t care if I walk in the middle, if I stop to let my dog jump in the river (like 4 different times today because it was super hot out), and I never remember to even look at the time. I just run.
I happen to love the feeling of long run legs. It’s different from leg day legs for me, which I also happen to love. I’m not sore, but they feel heavy, exerted. That’s why I throw in something longer when I feel like it, not because I have to, but because I really just want to. I still nurse a few injuries, like right now I have a hamstring strain that I have to be gentle with, but I came home and rubbed some essential oils on it and now I’m sitting on an ice pack writing this. But I feel amazing from head to toe, so it feels worth it and like it was the right thing for me to do.
The shift to running for love was so important because there was a time when exercise was tied to weight loss or paying for something I did or didn’t eat – some form of punishment on some level. Several years ago, about the time I started lifting weights, a shift occurred. I was already doing high-intensity cardio stuff and also running. Weight training was slower paced but still hard. It was different and I liked it so I made some adjustments to fit it into my schedule. Now I’ve realized that it’s not about what you do to be fit and healthy, it’s just important to do it.
So if I feel like running, then I run. If I feel like lifting, then I lift. That’s not to say that I never follow a consistent program because sometimes I do that too. I recently was working through a strength program for about 6 weeks and I plan to get back to it in about a week or so because, for me, it creates space to place all the effort in actually doing the workout. I don’t have to consider what I will do or whether or not I will do it, I just get it done and that kind of structure is often relaxing for me.
The thing is, do what you love. That’s what gets us moving and keeps us moving. If walking is your thing, do that. Swimming, biking, lifting, yoga, sweating buckets, whatever, just move for all of the benefits that come from living an active life. Everything is better. Health improves, energy skyrockets, feelings of confidence and self-worth improve, body confidence arrives (even before actual physical changes take place because it’s all mental), libido improves, moods and hormones stabilize – it’s really one of those things that just smoothes out all the edges.
Why don’t we always do it, then? What gets in the way? Well, it isn’t always easy. Schedules get crazy and when we’ve been away for a while it’s hard to get back because it is actually, physically hard. Sometimes we’re sidelined by injury. I’m not saying ignore injury (please don’t), but exertion is good for the body so find what inspires you to move in some way, any way, because your body craves it. And life only gets better because of it.
Shine bright. xo
So what did I eat today?
Breakfast – 2 eggs, zucchini (from the garden!), bell pepper, avocado, kraut, plantain
Post-run Snack – 1/3 of a Perfect Bar and iced green tea with 1 Tbsp. grass-fed collagen
Lunch – Celery salad with chicken, beets, walnuts, avocado, onion, vinaigrette / a chunk of sweet potato
Dinner – Salmon with Italian Salsa over garlicky zoodles / HB egg / cherries
And how did I move today?
A wonderful run by the lake in the morning and yoga tonight. Do what you love.