Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Be a machine

Some people make resolutions. I don't make them. Every year is a continuation of the previous years.

In 2014, I was doing a lot of rebuilding.

In previous years, because this had been going on for quite awhile, I had noticed that although I could swim, bike & run forEVER, I was losing basic mobility.

It really bothered me.

I couldn't go down stairs without some sort of knee pain. I didn't have the leg strength to go from sitting to standing without having to use something to help push me up. I'm not even talking about post race struggles.

It's like my body was aging before it was supposed to. I knew I needed strength work, but I didn't know WHAT I needed to do.

When I signed up with Coach Liz last January, she immediately started me on a very basic program. (The link takes you to her most recent blog post. It's a worthy read.) It was hard for me. She had me doing the most basic of exercises, and I still had to modify the exercises. (She is a functional strength specialist. My plan was to trust what she said, no matter how hard the exercises, no matter how many modifications I had to do).

I, mean, I couldn't even GET into position to do the exercises.

Last January, I was unable to do one lunge.

A year later (yesterday), I had a on/off bike workout that consisted of Zone 3 and 4 intervals, hop off the bike do lunges, core, squats, core, lunges....and repeat that 3 times. The workout took me 1:30. Immediately after it, I had to run 25 minutes.

It took me a year to here. It took me a year to do this type of workout. Last January, I couldn't do ONE lunge. I could barely bend my legs to do a squat. I could hardly do any pushups. Instead of box jumps, I had to do step ups on a very low step.

Then, I graduated from going up and down steps to holding on to the wall and doing a "box jump". I held on to the wall and jumped with both feet on to the bottom stair.

And I felt incredible. That little 6 inch jump, and I felt like I could accomplish anything.

I wanted to write about this today because there are a lot of people in the same place. It doesn't matter that you can run super far or bike crazy fast.

What matters is being able to MOVE. It takes time. It takes a very long time to see improvements. I had to start with the most basic of exercises. Now, I'm doing box jumps and v sits on a stability ball and core work that I used to think that I'd never be able to do.

It doesn't matter if you are coming back from and injury, want to lose weight or are trying to slow down the aging process, START TODAY. I beg you.

It WILL take time. Results will not happen over night, but they happen.

One day, you'll run up a flight of stairs. When you get to the top, you'll realize that you used to be out of breath walking up the stairs...or maybe you couldn't even walk the stairs.

One day, you'll see muscles peeking places you never saw before. One day, you'll notice that your pants fit a little looser. One day, you'll realize that you are walking faster than all your friends.

The good news is that once you show consistency with doing your workouts, the improvements start happening faster and faster. Day one is easy. It's days 5-6-7-8 and on that are hard.

Stick with it. It's slow in the beginning, but the results are well worth it.

You don't need a resolution to be successful. Surround yourself with the people who will help you get there. We ALL need support systems. Cut out the toxic people. Dream Big and Be a Machine. Machines don't think. They just do. 

And remember, I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.