Since the end of May I’ve been tracking my exercise routine and progress over at Wiggle Your Big Toe and my updates are almost daily because it seems that I’m doing some kind of exercise every day, even if it’s just yoga or Body Flow. Some days I’ve been working out twice – a Body Pump at lunch and then a run with AL after work. Last week I was pretty sick and couldn’t work out at all and I tracked that as well – every day I was cursing my cold for keeping me from going to the gym.
It’s interesting to track my progress and realize my improvements because by nature, I’m not a patient person and when it comes to exercise, I’ve always wanted results immediately rather than working for them at a gradual pace. And that’s the thing about exercise that I never really accepted – that improvement is gradual, your strengh is gradual, results are gradual. The three forms of exercise I’ve chosen (running, yoga and Body Pump) all require a lot of patience – you can’t just hop on the treadmill and run 10k without first building up a mileage base, just as you can’t join a BP class and start lifting a lot of weight. You have to start small and work your way up.
One of the most exciting things about this gradual progression is the difference that I’m seeing in my body – not just in the physical shape (I’m definitely seeing a difference, especially in my butt, shoulders, stomach and, as Tay pointed out this morning, my legs are getting smaller as well) but in the amount of strength that I actually have. I never realized how strong I could be until I started running and going to Body Pump – and even at Body Flow yesterday when I was balanced on one leg with my other leg raised behind me and my arms extended I understood that in some way, a class like that requires MORE strength than something like Body Pump because while it might not sound hard, to hold a position like that for more than a few seconds not only takes a lot of strength but also a lot of concentration as well.
I continue to be amazed by how strong the human body is and just understanding that my body can do so much more that I think it’s capable of has had a huge impact on my mentality when I’m working out. Acknowledging my body’s strength and it’s potential means that I push myself to run longer or lift more weights during body pump, or in Body Flow when they give an advanced option most of the times I’m right in there doing that option.
I started thinking about this when I ran at the gym yesterday for what turned out to be my longest run in both distance and in time. I was so impressed with my results that I decided to check my blog from around this time last year to see how I was doing and in August of last year I recorded my longest run (both distance and time) at 22 minutes and 3.5km. Less than a year later and I’ve almost doubled my time and distance (40 minutes and 6km). So yes it’s taken a long time to get to where I’m at but the point is that I’m here, and as far as I can tell, there’s no turning back.