21 April 2007

Sakta mina steg

Or, in English:

Slow my steps

Every now and then I just can't resist slipping a little Swedish into the mix. Sorry. I was listening to Swedish pop on my iPod and I'm having trouble getting back into the English groove.

I know I was complaining just a few short days ago about how my exercise program isn't working as well as I'd like, and that's still true, but I noticed a few things today that thrill me to my fingertips.

I take an early morning Yoga class on Saturdays. In the depths of winter, it is really difficult to get to that class...it is still dark outside, bitterly cold, and forsaking the warmth of my bed is hard. As spring continues to unfold, it gets easier, in part because it is light outside, and in part because it isn't as frosty outside. I've been doing this class for between 6 and 7 months, it is intermediate Yoga. Some of the stuff we do is hard, some less so. I find Yoga very soothing, usually. Every now and then, if I've been out on Friday night before the class, it is awful.

My instructor is a serene woman, mother of four. Her kids range in age from 8 months to 10 years. I have no idea how she stays so calm all the time. I've never seen her in a snit, or on edge. Which makes me slightly suspicious that she's one of those "terminally happy" people, you know the type. The ones that need a good bop in the head. But maybe she just really loves teaching Yoga.

Today she led us through a series of moves, from downward-facing dog, into plank, to upward dog, table, to cat-back, lather, rinse, repeat. We went through this cycle half a dozen times, and I was breathing at her instruction. I have never been able to hold the plank pose for very long, it hurts my lower back. Today, not a problem. Not a hitch. No wimping out and dropping the pose to its modification, which puts your knees on the floor.

Sometimes, if I can drag my ass out of bed, I do my cardio on the treadmill before Yoga. Most of the time, though, I end up doing it after. I left Yoga today feeling strong and positive, but I really wanted to go back to bed. Part of this whole exercise thing is pushing myself to do more, a little bit of beating myself up over having gotten as overweight as I was. Part of it also is when I joined the Y, and informed DH that I intended to go every weekday when the gym opened up at 05.30, he said, "That will NEVER last." So I'm thumbing my nose at him a bit. Don't get me wrong, he's really supportive. On days when I can't drag myself out of bed, or don't feel well, he's always really sweetly concerned. But the fact that I do go six days a week in no way means that I really like it, or am enjoying myself whilst at the gym. I hate almost every stinking minute of it. I'm not having a good time, this isn't fun, it isn't a party at 05.30 every morning.

I worked my way up to 11 minutes of running on the treadmill today, and ran in much longer bursts than I usually do. Normally I do 3 minutes running, twice, and then four minutes to get to my ten, taking walking breaks in between. Today I did six minutes and five. With significant breaks walking at a slower speed. And it felt wonderful. For the first time in weeks, no pain. No muscle spasms, no aching calves or tibia muscles. In fact, it was almost easy. At the beginning of each running episode, I wanted to bump the speed of the treadmill up, because it was too easy. I know from experience that I tire quickly, and if I had given in to that impulse to sprint, I wouldn't have been able to do what I did. And by the end of the second bit of running, I was gasping, sweat pouring down my face, dripping off my nose. Hardly a pretty picture. I bring a small towel with me every day to mop at my face, and it was drenched by the time I was done.

I was reading on someone else's blog about people who lip sync to the music they're listening to at the gym, and how funny they sometimes look. I do that! It is less rude, I think, than doing what I want to do, which is sing at full volume. When I'm running and listening to something appropriate for the running, like "Dig" by Incubus, I mouth the words along with the music to force myself to not watch the timer on the treadmill, because if I watch the timer, all I can think about is when I can stop.

Running along today with Brandon Boyd's voice echoing in my ears, the iPod so loud that I couldn't hear anything else, urging myself to not clock-watch at least until the song was over, I felt such a swell of pride, because I knew even before the song was halfway done, that I'd managed to run for longer than I have in so many years. I hesitate to say, "I felt great!" because I haven't felt good, let alone great for a very long time. I'm going to post something next week about that, something I've been working on writing for a few weeks, and I don't want to get into all the details of that right now. But I felt pretty damn good when the program on the treadmill had run its 40 minute course. While stretching, I was thinking about going back for some more running, when the remix of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" popped up on the iPod. Which, really, WTH? I haven't ever wanted to run.

Slow steps, but progress. I like that. Finally!


Erin said...

OMG, I lipsync to my ipod! I can't help it! I totally wanna sing along and obviously can't but I lipsync instead! I know what you mean about running. I hate it, but I feel proud when I can keep it going. You are doing great. I'm proud of you too!

Lucy Arin said...

Aww *bashful* thanks!

MotherMe said...

I would *never* lipsync to my iPod. I sing out loud instead.

(just kidding. Total lipsyncher here.)

Hey, I got goosebumps reading this. Way to go! Your hard work is paying off. You look fabulous, especially with that new 'do. Keep it up!


Lucy Arin said...

OK, now I'm blushing. Stop!

But thanks. I appreciate it. :-)

I love the new haircut too. Now if I could just get the rest of my act together...