Sunday, April 04, 2010

Inspired -- and really tired!

So, I did it.

Actually, I did even more than I had intended. Instead of biking 6 miles, I biked slightly over 7. Instead of walking 1.5 miles, I walked 1.75 miles. And instead of swimming 18 laps (a quarter mile), I swam 20 laps.

(Yes Aleks, I do, in fact, feel pretty dang good. Or, as you call it, “pumped”!)


I didn’t mean to go beyond what I’d set out to do and, in fact, when I read the sign on the front door of the gym I congratulated myself just for showing up and gave myself permission to “just do something” because I had, after all, “just shown up.”

Then I remembered that yesterday after a vigorous Boot Camp class that he taught (and insisted strongly suggested I attend), Chris, my personal torturer trainer, mentioned that next time I come to the gym there’d a be a book in his office that I should read.

I’m scared of Chris (his boyish face can’t fool me!), so I picked up the book in his office, hopped on a treadmill, and began to read the book, Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels.


When I read the section on stress I just about stopped in my tracks – literally.

“Stress is like kryptonite for your hormones — even just a bit of it can throw them entirely out of whack. If you remain a stress case for a long time, you could do some major damage to many parts of your body, including your glands. One of the biggest causes and symptoms of hormonal shutdown from stress is when people start cutting into their hours of quality sleep.”

Remember my last job? The one that worked me morning, noon, and night for two full years? The job in which worked with our production team in India at night, then got online for a few hours again very early in the morning to make sure everything was done correctly (and scrambled like crazy when it wasn’t), and then worked with clients at Microsoft all day?

Remember that job?

(Yeah, I’d like to forget it too.)

It was a year into that job that I broke my ankle, at which point I continued to lead my very stressful life -- except now I was completely sedentary. Stressed, sleep-deprived, injured and sedentary.

Oh, and menopausal.

Kryptonite is right.

I was so immersed in the book that I’d walked over a mile and a half before I knew it! Then, as I biked, I continued to read about the vital role that hormones play in fitness (or lack of it) and in eating. I read about my increased risk of many cancers since I am both menopausal and overweight, not to mention that Mom’s death from ovarian cancer means that I might have a genetic predisposition to certain cancers as well.

What I was reading both scared and inspired me. I think it was the fear, though, and not the inspiration, that got my feet peddling faster and faster, and before I knew it I had biked seven miles, a full mile more than I’d intended to.

I make no promises, to myself or to anyone else, because I’ve done that before and it backfired, and everyone was let down and disappointed. But I am now on a road toward something and I’m beginning to not hate it quite as much as I did when I started all this, signing up for both a personal trainer and for the Danskin Triathlon.

I don’t love it yet and I wonder if I ever will. But today I at least don’t hate it and I am proud of myself for finishing the mini-est of triathlons.

I think Mom might even have been proud of me today.

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AstroYoga said...

Yay You! I remember I posted something on stress on my blog a while back. It was about a documentary on the scientists studying the effects of stress on a certain kind of monkeys. It is mind blowing.

Goofball said...

I learned last week as well that your body tells you you are stressed (if you are not aware yet) if you feel tired yet you wake up at night or you sleep less quality hours.

Good for the working out and the change in routines! Now if I could only kick myself out of the sofa again ....

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