Friday, January 7, 2011

On the seventh day, there was no rest

In many ways, I'm an overachiever. I work hard. I like doing things well. I like being good at something, whatever it is. If I'm dismal at it at the first go (i.e. playing pool or ping pong), I just find reasons not to ever do it. Lucky for me, I'm moderately successful at things right off the hop. In that way, I have a lot of fun (and call playing pool stupid. Because it is.)

There's one area I've always, always, always been an underachiever — health and fitness. I don't know what it is, but I've never really pushed myself; I've convinced myself that I always need a rest day, that 20 mins is enough, that walking around counts as exercise. I'm sure there are those worse off than me, but I tend to over estimate output and under estimate input, so to speak.

On day two of the new WW program, I'm realizing just how much those little things — cream in the coffee, tidying up the last of Chou's cheese or hummus or yogurt, a hunk of good chocolate — add up to many extra pounds. I'll be the first to say that I will always eat cheese, chocolate and yogurt. You should; it's good for you. But when moderation came to town, I looked the other way and made fun of people playing pool. I don't know how exactly to put this into words (which is funny, seeing as that's my profession), but I've never, ever put my heart and soul and overachiever attitude into my health and fitness.

I've improved some, yes. Four and a half years ago I started running. And, more or less, I've continued to. Somewhere along the way I lost 50 plus pounds (it can stay lost. I don't miss it). I eat better than I used to. I'm a better cook, too. But whenever it comes to a new fitness or health goal or regime, I tend to take the easy way out. I sign up for races and don't do them (some legitimately, others because of laziness, pure and simple). But, and this is where today's title comes from, even when I train, I don't train hard. I take full on rest days between 30 min workouts. Because for whatever reason I think I should? Um, right.

Today is day seven of Janathon. I have done yoga seven days in a row (a first for me), I have done either a 30 minute run/walk or Shred on alternating days. I have walked into town (always as fast as I can), and while on day three my muscles were sore, by day seven, now, I know that if I really wanted to I could go out and do a 30 minute run, even after Shred and yoga. 90 minutes of activity on one day does not in any way shape or form require me to rest the next day (well, except for a kick arse run, but we're not there yet, are we?)

If I learn nothing else from Janathon, it's this — activity is still rest, depending on what it is, and that each day I must move more and more, and then a bit more.

Janathon totals: Yoga 7/7, Run 3/7, Shred 3/7


K, like in caKe said...

"Active recovery" is a great term for it. And yeah, pool is silly. Forgive my ignorance, what is Shred?

Ms. Caddywumpus said...

Shred is a 25 minute weight/cardio/ab workout developed by Jillian Michaels, aka TV's Toughest Trainer. It's a decent little workout to get you going.

And yes, active recovery is my new mantra.