Most of my health journey up until this point has been focused on my diet and eliminating foods that are harmful to me and hamper my weight loss. But exercise is an important part of the puzzle too. I know, DUH. Everyone says, it’s not just the diet that is important, but how many calories are burned–in other words, how much you are sitting on a bicycle seat as opposed to an office chair. You can eat subsist entirely on lettuce leaves and bean sprouts, but if you aren’t exercising, you won’t see the results you want. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Throughout my life, I’ve been in varying degrees of fitness. Up until age 12, I was plump and out of shape by normal standards–in all the photos I’ve seen of myself from that period, I looked like a South Park character. After my first major weight loss, I quickly got in “figure skating shape”. I probably couldn’t have run a marathon or lifted 12-pound dumbells over my head at the gym, but I could fling myself into the air and contort my stretchy little body into spirals and splits with ease.
When I moved to Lake Placid, I enlisted the help of several local trainers, and I went from being a “marshmallow” to muscular. I remember hearing one of the employees at the rink saying, “I’m not going to ask her to pay for the ice, she could beat me up!”. Highlight of my life.
Then, at around 18, I went to school. Everything changed. The time I had spent at the rink or gym was now spent in the classroom or at home typing essays.I didn’t get “fat” exactly, but I wasn’t in “fighting shape”. The first two years weren’t as bad as the last two years of school….I still managed to get to the rink about 10 hours a week for the first two years of school, but the second two years, I spent about 5 hours a week skating, (if I was lucky). In 2010 I had started massage school, which took a lot of time and often left me too tired to skate or train much, (being a masseuse can be surprisingly exhausting!). In 2011, I transferred to another school which required me to commute two hours each way to the campus, (in VT) and spend the rest of the week completing assignments for online courses.
That didn’t leave much room for skating and exercise in general. I got lazy and fat quickly. Although I speed skated this past year, it was less “speed”, more “skating languidly in circles”. Not exactly intense physical exertion.
This spring I finished writing my book (subtle plug–“Lake Placid Figure Skating–A History”, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and on Kindle), and now, summer, I am working to get myself in shape. I have worked up to5-7 mile bike rides, (eventually will be able to go to Wilmington and back as I used to) and skate a few hours a week. My yoga practice began again this spring, and I take two 1 1/2 hour classes each week.
I won’t lie–it’s still really hard to motivate myself. If given the choice, I would much rather be writing, playing around on Tumblr or Pinterest, reading fashion or skating blogs, and generally wasting time. The only way I’ve actually made myself care about exercise was the thought of deadlines. As in, “I have ______ in a few days/weeks so I better be in shape”. Although I do agree with Will Smith’s philosophy about preparedness, in which he basically says “if you’re ready, then you don’t have to get ready”. A simple idea, but very true.
So my goals for exercise are as follows:
*Take 5-10 mile bike rides at least twice a week
*Skate at least twice a week (for an hour each time)
*Walk as much as possible. This is an easier task for me, since I have no car and therefore have to either walk or bike anywhere I want to go.
*Attend yoga class at least twice a week–work my way back up to one hot yoga session a week. I know, this sounds pathetic (especially considering I used to attend hot yoga two-three times a week, whereas now I just practice ashtanga yoga) but after not practicing hot yoga regularly, I know I need to start slow.
After spending much of my week at our skate shop, I feel ready to get back to exercise. It’s time to get serious again.