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second wind


Monday, January 30, 2012

remember the first time you experienced the "second wind"?

i had never even heard the name of it until after i experienced it. i was in seventh-grade, which was a year of "firsts" for me, foremost being my first year of middle school. which i hated.

puberty renders a shock of changes to the body. the development of breasts was to be expected, but i wasn't expecting to start developing a pudge. Now that i'm older i've come to realize that's not uncommon, but it hadn't happened to my sister or my mother when she was my age, and all of my elementary-school friends went on being skinny, so i had no precedence.

that was the first year i fibbed my weight on a form (while renting skis for ski club, i wrote i was 110 though i was 113).

that was also the year i didn't wear jeans. not once. it was 2001. remember 2001? around the time britney started going bad? when girls were expected to sport low-riding hipster jeans and the whale-tail thongs? they were simultaneously uncomfortable and obscene and my 13-year-old self was highly aware that she was not sexual enough to pull them off. especially the whale-tail. and yet that was all the stores had for sale. instead, i wore the same khaki pants every day, with a tear of nostalgia for the bygone years of the comfortably slouchy cargo jeans (o backstreet boys, why have you forsaken me?)

my mother was concerned about the weight-gain. perhaps she thought i was going to stumble into obesity (luckily, i've never come close to that milestone), so she started taking me to a personal trainer. somehow she managed it so gracefully that i never thought she was making me go because i was fat. she, too, wanted to lose weight, so she was going to the gym with me. i remember thinking ten minutes on the elliptical or treadmill would kill me. i was super out of shape. it was not here i experienced the second-wind. like i said in my previous post, there's nothing like the gym that discourages me from exercise.

at school we ran the mile in gym that winter. it was 27 laps around the basketball court. i had never "run the mile" before. i had no concept of whether that was a great or short distance. as a kid you didn't run distances--you just ran. you played tag. you ran for no reason. i had run on a treadmill, but that wasn't "how far" as much as it was "how long."

after 15 laps or so i thought i could die. i had that nagging stitch in my side. the athletic types were about to wrap it up, but at least i was nowhere near last place. (that said, "last place" was a kid named ben who casually chose to walk the mile, coming in at 25 minutes.)

then, something miraculous happened: the stitch was gone, and my body was surging with energy. the pain vanished, and i was speeding up. i ran the last few laps with no trouble, feeling like i could keep jogging into infinity. i described the sensation to my mother, who told me this phenomena was called my "second wind."

i've come to love that second wind. i get it quite often when i exercise. i was thinking about it today because today was one of those sad occasions when it eluded me, and i had to cut my biking venture a bit short. i think my body goes through energy cycles, because last week i was surging with energy. the last two days have been relatively sluggish, but at least i managed to talk myself into going out in the first place. i'll make up for it in indoor strength training tonight.

on that note, here's a couple of updates on previous entries:
-i can now do lunges with very little discomfort or soreness, and i've upped the reps for the first time last week.

-my weight is now down to a cool 131.5 lbs. a couple of months ago i actually brushed below the 130 mark, but i wasn't able to keep my weight down that low. i don't mind since i wasn't working out as much at that time, which means i've possibly gained some muscle.

-i don't really work out on the wii anymore. technically it belongs to the whole family, and since i'm no longer at home it stays with the parents. that said, i've pretty much out-grown the wii. it was the perfect tool for getting me to commit to the path of weight-loss and exercise, particularly in those first six months, but now i'm ready to pass it on to my mom. hope she's taking advantage of it.

-it's been over a year since i started working out and improving my wellness (i started dec 26, 2011--easy date to remember) and this time last year i was about 20 pounds heavier. here's to sticking to my boxing day resolutions!
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