Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Inspiration: the Simple Act of Showing Up

I spent much of last week feeling dejected, disheartened, disillusioned, and distraught.  I went to work and home again feeling lost and confused.  I was withdrawn and pretty much wanted to stay that way for a while.  I had a 261 Fearless Meet Run scheduled for Saturday and made no attempt to promote it or encourage anyone to attend. 

On Friday, still feeling like I wanted to hide in my Hobbit-Hole forever, I had these thoughts:

I don’t want to run tomorrow.
I don’t have it in me to lead a group of women.
I can’t PRETEND to feel inspired.
I hope no one is coming.  Then I can just take a walk by myself.
I wish we had another coach who could step in.

Yes, THOSE thoughts.

I checked our Facebook Events page (shameless plug) and found that, even without any promotion whatsoever, four women said they were coming.  four more were keeping it on their calendars by saying they were “interested.” 

This is a pretty good response rate for our little start-up club.  Normally, I’d be elated by this news.

I was not.

I really wanted to Hobbit-Hole all weekend.  I resigned myself to “leading” a run in the morning and went on with my Friday.

Saturday morning, I tried to muster some excitement.  Some weeks I have a theme that I build our workouts around, and I decided this week we would frame our meet run with Unity.  Without making it about politics, I built a workout around being Better Together, coming together as strong women and remembering that the mission of our Club is to bring women together to Hold Each Other Up.  I came up with team drills, some exercises we can do simultaneously, even a couple where we lock arms and literally hold each other together to be more in sync.

I have to thank those women who joined me this past Saturday.  You made me Better by being there for me.  Just by Showing Up. I didn't have to PRETEND to be inspired.  You Inspired Me.

261 Fearless is NOT a political organization.  But the Personal and the Political are inextricable sometimes and for THIS 261 Fearless Club Leader and Coach, this week was politically charged and you, ladies, helped me find a path out of the muck I was stuck in and into the light. 

My reasons for wanting to Hobbit-Hole remain.  I remain scared for the future of our community and our country.  I remain resolved to do whatever I can as an individual to fight Racism, Misogyny, Xenophobia and Homophobia in my community.  But you lifted my spirits.  

You helped me remember that these fights are not fought alone.  

We fight TOGETHER.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Today Wasn't The Day. Is Tomorrow The Day?

I've talked before about how I think in the long run, I'd like to become someone who works out in the morning.  There are so many advantages, and really few obstacles, but the obstacles are tough ones for me.  That's why "Hit the gym in the MORNING before work" made No. 13 on the list.  Keeping the bar low and doing What I Can When I Can, I aim for just one time.  Then maybe I can try once a month or once a week.  And we'll see how it goes.

A morning workout in Des Moines with the 261 Fearless leaders!
In an attempt to conquer this goal, I set my alarm earlier than usual this morning.  The idea was to get to the gym, do SOMETHING for half an hour - maybe use the rowing machine, maybe some strength training - there's a strength routine in my car, in sheet protectors even, along with a pen to record what I actually do, weights/reps.  So I had options.  Not A Plan, but Options.

I had workout clothes laid out as well as work clothes, so that once I got moving I could get dressed quickly and spare myself the torture of trying to pull together an outfit in a rush once I'd returned from the gym and gotten cleaned up.   (I mean, really, let's just assume I'll be running late and plan for it, right?)

And I started the "going to bed" routine at 9:55pm - SUPER early.  By the time all the before-bed crap got done (including laying out all those clothes and determining what I would bring for lunch today), it was 10:30pm, which is still doing pretty good in my book.  And CRAZY early according to The Hubs.

The real trick is remembering the plan, once the alarm goes off.  My sleepy-brain really doesn't grasp the concept of getting out of bed. On auto-pilot, I hit the Snooze button.  And when it went off again, I vaguely grasped why it was going off so early.  Auto-pilot won out again, however, and I screwed around with my phone for about 10 minutes more.  Then I REALLY remembered, "I WANT to go to the gym!  Work is CRAZY!  I work LATE this time of year and then I don't work OUT after!  This is something I WANT to DO!"  And I hopped out of bed.

By this time, it was really too late to make the gym happen.  But I didn't let that stop me.  I put those workout clothes on and took the dogs out for a surprise morning walk.  20 minutes of light exercise is still better than 25 minutes of more sleep, on a day when I've gotten plenty of sleep.

So, failure on completing number 13 this morning.  But a WIN just the same.  Perhaps I'll use those extra morning steps to tackle No. 2 - a BIG and for me quite challenging goal of 10,000 steps on a workday.  And perhaps tomorrow will be the day for successfully hitting the gym before work.  One day, one challenge at a time.  Today wasn't the day.

In an effort to make the next effort a success, let's break this down, shall we?  I gotta figure out how to:
  1. Get to bed earlier so I'm not just sacrificing sleep for a workout.  ("easy" fix = go to bed earlier [harder than it sounds, of course.])
  2. Get out of bed when the damn alarm goes off instead of hitting Snooze eleventy times. (I'm open to suggestions on the "easy" fix for this one.  This is a lifelong habit I've never successfully circumvented.  I'm convinced the key is remembering why the alarm is going off [and that it's important to me and not just work].)
  3. Get out of the house more quickly once 1) and 2) are accomplished.  Seems there's always something between me and the door - dogs need to pee, I can't find a sock, I stub my toe in the dark, something.
  4. Get in and out of the gym quickly.  When I workout in the evenings, it's all part of my wind-down after work, so I'm pretty leisurely about changing my clothes in the locker room, meandering to the treadmill, reading through my workout plan and methodically going from weight bench to cables to whatever.  A morning workout needs to be much more efficient.  (And I wonder, more effective?)
  5. Still get to work (Basically) on time.  (No more late than usual.)
I'll keep working at it.  Right now, because it's on THE LIST.  I hope, later, because it's What I Do.  It's enough to be working on it because I've issued myself a challenge and I intend to meet it.  I'll find a way to make it work this week, and then challenge myself to do it again.  Today wasn't the day.