Hit the Pavement!

So…last week I took a break from the wide world of exercise.  Prior to that week, I was getting in about 3 workouts/week (to help maintain muscle tone, lower stress levels, and keep up with the massive amounts of carbs I’ve been eating…and to claim all the happy heart benefits of exercising….).  Anyway, by Saturday, my stress level was…shall we say HIGH…and I was missing the fresh air and pavement under my feet.  So, I decided that I was–come what may–going to run.

I found my workout gear, running jacket, iPod headphones, and shoes.  I laced up both shoes, then sat for a moment to add some recently acquired music to my “a good run” playlist.  As I did, I felt something poking the inside of my right ankle.  I unlaced my shoes (have I mentioned that I abhor tying shoes and avoid this action whenever possible?) to investigate.  I pushed around my sock and flicked at the spot in my shoe until I was satisfied that the sharp object digging into my skin had exited.

I started a load of (long overdue) laundry.

I stretched.

I added a few more songs.

I took a sip of water.

Then, I popped the ear buds into my ears and searched for a song that would pump up my energy level and inspire me to keep moving muscles in a way I hadn’t done for…well, let’s just say it’s been awhile…. 🙂

Rob Bass started chanting in my ear (thank heavens my dear friend edited the song for me so I could listen to it in peace), and my feet were keeping up with the rhythm, pounding with the force of weekly frustrations and newfound strength.  I didn’t even care about keeping pace or running far; I just needed the boost of pavement beneath my feet and the spirit of the earth flowing around me.  I felt renewed, refreshed, and amazing.  The wind hit my face like a wall, but I kept moving.  A few more songs, and I was back home to lift, do push ups and abs.

The next morning, I got out of bed with shin splints.  Oops!  I guess I forgot to stretch those muscles!  Still, with every step I took, I was reminded of the rush of energy of my run and of the work I am doing to live healthy and to be strong.  The shin splints were practically a gift…and I was grateful for them.  🙂

What do you do to combat stress and to increase your personal health and strength?

P.S.  Did you know that Brooks (awesome running shoes) has a Wear Tester Program for their products?  You can fill out a profile, and you become eligible to try out their new gear for FREE…pretty sweet, eh?  🙂

Adrenaline GTS 13

I’ll Tell You What I Want…

The red lines on the clock form themselves into numbers I can read.  7:58 a.m.  The kiddos are off to school, husband at work, and I walk to the computer, move the mouse to the Spotify icon at the bottom left corner of the screen.  I have to think about which side it is since I still don’t know my left from right without thinking consciously about it.

I scroll through playlists, and a title on my daughter’s list catches my eye.

Less than a minute later, I feel the cold tile under my bare toes scraping back and forth as I do jumping jacks.  And I’m singing along….

I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want.

My arms are burning (from yesterday’s arm workout) each time my hands sweep over my head and I want to cry.  Instead I yell….

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.

I continue to the chorus as my body yells for me to stop, but I keep jumping and counting and singing and up and down and counting and yelling.

What in heaven’s name is a “zig-a-zig-a” anyway?  I don’t care.  I just keep moving.  Down to the floor for push ups.  I yell the mocking words that are echoing in my brain that someone recently said to me, “Before trying more advanced moves, maybe you should learn to do a regular push up first.”

I laugh to myself, and my shoulders buckle underneath me, screaming inside my skin.  I can almost hear them.  The weights I take in my hand pull me lower, lower, harder, stronger, but I lift them anyway; I raise them higher and longer and more than I ever have.

I drop to the floor, put my hands down to support me, and walk my feet up the wall for a handstand.  Tighten abs, I tell myself as I try to hang on for one more second.

A new voice half-sings, half-raps over the speakers about fish in the sea, and I am back on the tile with more jumping jacks.  Sting.  Ow.  Keep going.  A few more minutes.  You can do this.  (The endorphins must be kicking in somehow….)

Drop for another set of push ups.  More jumping jacks.  Squats.  Punches.  Punches with squats.  And I’m yelling with Hot Chelle Rae about a “really, really messed up week.”  I can relate to that line.  And I’m punching harder, and my shoulders are still on fire as my legs threaten to crumble underneath me, landing me in a pile of ruin like the photos of Pompeii I saw in grade school.

Maybe I should give my body a break….

Nope, to the rug for abs.  Crunch, one-two-three-four-five, (suck it in), seven-eight-nine, (watch your neck), ten-eleven, (dang, I forgot to pray for Dad this morning).  I holler an audible prayer through labored inhales and exhales in time with the crunches and lose count.  Bicycling until my abs are screaming.  I hope I can move tomorrow…or even later today.

One more shoulder move…one more song.

I know how I “Wannabe.”