Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Maybe some of you saw this post on Facebook from a man who was "praising" a "fatty" for running. It starts out with insults but then the tone changes. As I read the initial FB post, even after the initial paragraph, where things were supposedly getting "nicer," I felt funny. Then I found another article - a response to the post. That is what I'm linking to below. (The original post is quoted in the article.)
This post and response made me think about how we encourage others. I really can't judge why the original author wrote the piece as he did. He may genuinely admire overweight people for making a lifestyle change, and perhaps just wanted his article to get attention (hence, the "fatty" reference and other insults in the first paragraph). Perhaps this was his own experience - perhaps he himself was a former "fatty." Or perhaps he makes judgments and assumptions about overweight people, and doesn't realize it... giving what seem to be condescending, backhanded compliments.
Maybe what we can take away from the whole exchange is this: some self-reflection. Do we find ourselves making assumptions? Do we find ourselves assuming that we know the reasons behind someone's weight gain? The responding man reminds us that we do not. And how can we encourage people?
I feel it's important to actively encourage people to continue on a fitness journey when we know from our own experience how difficult that can be. Whether you have only 10 pounds to lose or over 100, it's hard to make that first change, and even after you've made it, motivation can be seriously lacking some days.
When I'm running, if I pass someone (whether I'm running by them because I'm faster, or because they are coming at me), I say, "Hey. Good job." I say it to all of them, no matter what their fitness level. I wonder now if the very overweight will think I'm singling them out. After all, they don't know that I say it to everyone. Well, I think I will continue my habit anyway. We're all in this together.
Perhaps the original author would have done better to simply say something like, "You're no different than any of us. We get out here and do what we need to do. Welcome to the club; we're glad to have you among us."
Saturday, March 08, 2014
I have inherited a certain trait from my father. I find it hard to pass up a bargain, even when it's something I know I won't use or won't use completely. It is not uncommon to look in my parents' pantry and find 10 jars of jelly or 30 cans of soup because "they were on sale."
Over the years, I've gotten a little better at curbing the tendency to buy a lot at one time, even if it's on sale, because 1) I have a small house, and 2) I know it is likely these items will go on sale again.
But... when something is FREE... and it's something yummy, like a HONEYBUN... oh, how to resist?
I was on my way to sing for a funeral, and stopped for some coffee. As I was paying, the owner put a honeybun beside my coffee and said, "Here, take it. It's free."
I have a real weakness for sweets, so every Lenten season, I try to give up C3PI... as in no Cookies Cake Candy Pie or Ice cream. On Friday I was on day three of "No C3PI," and now here was a honeybun staring me in the face, like, "Eat me! Eat me!"
So I thought about my prayer intention of the day. I post a different prayer intention on my Facebook page every day during Lent. My prayer intention for that day was for the family of the deceased woman, and for those working to find a cure for cancer. Somehow, when I thought of that, it made saying "no, thank you" to the Honeybun a lot easier.
When we think of taking care of ourselves, we often think of looking inward. But sometimes, as I've discovered, turning our focus OUTWARD toward others can give us even more strength and resolve to do what's right.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Recently, when I was at a conference in Baltimore, I made use of the fitness room at the hotel. (Side note: It was a lovely facility overlooking Camden Yards.) There was a man on a treadmill next to me using it in a fashion that has always fascinated and mystified me.
He had the treadmill running at a decent clip. Then every so often, he suddenly leaped in the air and landed with his feet on either side of the belt. I've seen people do this before, and it is quite impressive, actually. I don't think I have the gross motor skills required to ever try this. The belt is still moving, but the person is resting. Then the person jumps back on and starts running again. It is amazing to me that I've never seen anyone fall.
Clearly he was doing interval training. I understand interval training; I’ve done it when training for speed. However, I have never quite understood why people don’t just slow the belt down and run a lot slower during their recovery interval, or walk, or just pause it.
Leaping off a belt moving at 6.5 mph seems a bit dangerous, but maybe I’ve just seen too many “America’s Funniest Home Videos” of treadmill accidents.
But even putting this aside, I don’t think I would be let the treadmill run when I am not. I like to keep records of how far (and how fast) my running workouts are. If the belt is continuing to run, the mileage continues to go up, even if you’re not running it. That would not be acceptable to this numbers geek.
So, is anybody able to give me a reason why some runners don’t just slow down or pause the treadmill when it’s time for their recovery interval? What am I missing? Please understand I am not putting down their training style. I am truly curious!
Friday, February 28, 2014
I don’t know how many Sparkers out there have the same experience as I do, but when I’m running, new thoughts and ideas enter my brain. I think of solutions to problems and do some of my deepest thinking. I had one such idea come to me today.
I work as a music minister for my church. I’m also the webmaster. My husband is a mechanical engineer. This is his “real” job as in - “ he gets paid to do this.” He also serves the church as a deacon. We are both technology geeks. We started listening to all kinds of podcasts years ago when they were brand new. At the time, we thought about starting our own podcast. For various reasons (not the least of which was finding the time to prepare for them), that idea never came to fruition.
Today on the treadmill, it suddenly occurred to me… my husband and I lead the “Health & Holiness” ministry at our church. What about a podcast that focuses on our physical and spiritual health? But of course, there is still the matter of finding time to record. My husband’s job is pretty demanding.
Then I remembered something my daughter said recently about my mother, who is retired. I needed to ask her to help me out but I didn’t want to inconvenience her. My daughter said, “She’s retired, Mom. What else has she got to do?”
My mother has written dozens (maybe a couple hundred) blog entries by now on SparkPeople. If you’ve read anything of hers, you know what a fantastic writer she is, and a fount of ideas. What you don't know is that she is also an incredible public speaker.
What do you think? Should Brooklyn Born and Hayburner start a podcast? Would you listen? Suggestions for a name are welcome!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Once, a friend made a comment referring to my talent and passion for music. I am an accomplished pianist and a pretty decent soprano, and they are used to hearing me perform my job well every Sunday at church. However, as I thought about it, I realized that just because someone is naturally talented in some area doesn’t mean they are necessarily passionate about it.
I love to perform on the piano in front of an audience, but I don’t like to practice. Even as I spent my young life traveling all over the country for piano competitions, I didn’t want to practice. I enjoyed the competitions very much. I loved the “do or die” aspect of being onstage and the thrill of victory. But I didn’t really care if I lost, either.
I learned a couple years ago that now there are amateur piano competitions for adults. A few of my friends (also former competitors) have won some of the “big ones” - Van Cliburn, Boston, Washington, Paris. One of them told me I should enter; that it would be like old times.
I must admit, the thrill of competing onstage again was a big pull. So I started putting a program together. However, then the task of fitting in some daily practice began. I found myself always putting it off. I’d rather be running, hiking, cooking, playing/talking with my children, heck… I’d rather be cleaning the bathroom than practicing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like music - I like it a lot. However, I don’t think I can say I’m passionate about it. “Passion” takes this feeling to another level. Synonyms include “fervor”, “zeal”, and “ardor.” If I were passionate about music, doesn’t it seem like I would occasionally WANT to practice? Or at least sit down and play the piano for fun? I never even think about doing that in my spare time. Never.
So, I wondered… what is my passion? It didn’t take me long to figure that out. My passion is running and being outside. My favorite place to be is running through the woods. I would run every trail of North America if it were possible.
A few years ago, I finally paired my passion for running with some courage when I decided to train to BQ (qualify for the Boston Marathon). I had no idea if I could train my body to run that fast, and even if I did all the prescribed workouts and watched what I ate, there was no guarantee that all would go as I hoped on race day.
I have never been so scared to race as I was that morning at the 2010 Shamrock Marathon (Virginia Beach). I had run other marathons, half marathons and ultras without a care in the world, but this was different. I think I had to use the bathroom every 5 minutes until gun time. (Fortunately, our room was only 2 blocks from the starting line.) I realized I was scared to death that I would fail; that all my hard work would have been “for nothing.”
Now, of course that is not true. Even if I failed to BQ, I had certainly reaped many benefits from my training - better eating habits, a stronger body, mental discipline, just to name a few. However, it was at this race that I realized just how courageous it is to dream of a goal, and do everything you can to reach it when there is a chance you will fall a little short.
When I look back on the piano competitions of my youth, I realize several things. 1) I am not passionate about music, and 2) by not practicing, I was leaving myself an “out” if I didn’t win. “Well, I didn’t really practice, so it’s ok that I lost.” Maybe that’s why I never minded losing; because I never put in much hard work. I didn’t have the courage or the passion to risk it all.
It takes courage and passion to set out to achieve a goal, particularly a goal that requires hard work to make a lifestyle change. We can always find inspiration from our SparkFriends to evaluate what is important to us and to find support when we are frustrated, disappointed or scared we won’t reach our goals. May we all be brave in the attempt!
Get An Email Alert Each Time HAYBURNER1969 Posts