Thursday, November 07, 2013
7. What is your least favorite physical activity overall? at the gym? Explain.
My least favorite? Oh, there are so many, I'm very very spoilt for choice. It would have to start with anything to do with teams and/or balls. If I had to be on a baseball team, I preferred to be out in the outfield picking dandelions and looking at clouds. An attempt in college to be cool and learn tennis was a complete disaster, as my brain is apparently incapable of dealing with any extension of my arm to a bat, racket, club, or what-have-you.
I know it puts me in a small minority of exercisers, but I hate to run. Tried that as a hip young Californian back when jogging was being invented there, but I detested every boring minute of hearing myself breathe and nothing else. I know it's different now with iPods and better shoes, but the impression was made back then, and it stuck.
At the gym? Well, you can imagine how I feel about treadmills and the like. Boring with the added advantage of pounding your legs on a hard surface. I deeply dislike all the machines, really. There's the boredom, yes, but also the ick factor of the sweaty handles that a bazillion people have grasped. I can't explain it--use as much sanitizer as you like, they still feel slimy to me, while being immersed in a pool with dozens of other sweaty bodies bothers me not a whit. Doesn't make sense, but there it is.
So you can imagine my delight at discovering the water, and having forms of exercise that I LOVE. And my very most favorite exercise--dancing in the water. Viva Aqua Zumba!
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
6. What is your favorite physical activity overall? at the gym? Explain.
My favorite thing is anything wet. Swimming, water aerobics, water jogging, Ai Chi, kayaking, snorkeling, water adaptations of yoga, pilates, dance----you get the idea. But I got here relatively late in life.
When my kids were preschoolers we did a lot of weekend day trips to seaside areas. It freaked me out to think of them toddling off a dock and me not knowing what to do to rescue them. Freaked enough to send me to swimming lessons and then to lifeguard training. It was during a swimming lesson that I had the big epiphany. All the motions for the breast stroke had just coordinated and clicked into place, and I was smoothly swimming up and down. I thought, "This must be how birds feel flying in the air. Your body is built to be suspended in this element and strongly propels you. I can fly in the water. I was made for this."
It all went on from there. Royal Lifesaving Bronze Medallion, Red Cross Lifeguard, water aerobics participant, then teacher, Ai Chi instructor. So my favorite thing is the pool at the gym. The rest you'll hear about tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
5. What demotivates you and takes you off your fitness and health goals?
Lack of progress and boredom, hence the idea of "shaking things up" that brought me to this blog challenge. There are good things about having a routine, mainly that you don't have to work out every little detail of every little thing every time. It's great not to have to figure out what to have for breakfast every morning, not to figure out how I'm going to get my exercise done, not to worry about when I will get a rest day. All these are part of routines that work well for me.
But I have gotten to a place where these routines have done as much as they can do for me. They have helped me to progress, but something will have to be different in order to get further. It is unsettling to experiment beyond the tried-and-true, readjust and recalibrate, but I'm pretty sure it's what I need at this point.
One way to break up routine is to take a vacation, and that's exactly what I'm going to do next week!
Monday, November 04, 2013
4. What motivates you to stay committed to a healthy lifestyle?
Well, thereís the timeline for the Grand Canyon trip (see yesterdayís blog). But mainly there are the benefits I have realized at this midway point. I want to continue to enjoy them and to improve on them. I am motivated by the compliments of the participants in my classes, and by a desire to demonstrate for them what healthy lifestyle changes can do.
I am motivated by my desire to be with and enjoy the company of my family and friends for as long as possible, and maybe to show the younger generations what old people are capable of!
Sunday, November 03, 2013
3. What is your big picture, long-term goal? Why is this goal the one you work towards?
Whoops. I think I muddled up the short, long, and medium term goals. What I talked about yesterday was my ultimate long-term goal, but let me tell you about the fairly-but-not-ultimate long term goal that really got me started.
About a year ago, a good friend of mine talked me into signing up with my DH and a bunch of other crazy Alaskans for a 2-week rafting trip in the Grand Canyon in the fall of 2014. Yup, this is such a rare and rationed experience that you have to sign up for it 2 years in advance. Itís billed as a hikerís extravaganza, with lots of hikes up side canyons along the way. I knew it would be a lot of fun, but I also knew the hiking would be a major misery unless I could unload at least some of the excess baggage I have been toting around lo these past 25 years or so. And then, upon signing up, came the list of physical requirements from the rafting guides:
--Ascend and descend two flights of stairs carrying a 20 pound bag without using a handrail
--Get up on top of a kitchen counter, stand up, and return to the floor without using a stool
--Climb several sets of stairs while urgently needing the bathroom
--Rise from a seated position on the ground up to 30 times a day.
--Balance a plate of food on your lap while eating.
--Suspend your weight from a pull up bar for 15 seconds.
The accompanying letter suggests ďworking on stamina, aerobics, and muscle strengthening between now and your tripĒ.
It was enough to scare me into action. Iím in OK shape for my age and size, but itís a no-brainer that a smaller size and better fitness were definitely called for. And two years was a reasonable time line to achieve it.
Why do I work toward this goal? Well, the rafting trip will be a major load of good fun, a unique and thrilling experience, and the better prepared I am, the better the experience will be. And having the date of the trip for a deadline, and a big deposit down on the cost adds a no-bs urgency to my motivation. Plus, Iím vain enough to want to NOT be the fat, slobby old lady that slows everybody down!
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