Half Marathon Week: Fit Behavior

So, you ever have one of those moments where you do something crazy and you KNOW it is going to come back and bite you, HARD, one day and you just try to talk yourself into believing that it won’t be “that bad?”

Ummm, yeah.  This is one of those moments.  And it’s feeling pretty bad.

This summer, I reeeaaaallllllyyyyy had a moment.  I woke up one day and decided I was just going to do some things that I had never done, a half marathon being one of them.  That was July.  Here I am, five days before, not trained enough, sore, half way injured, tired and terrified.  And yet there is a part of me that asks, “Why?”  While I know running is a sport that requires discipline, endurance, form, a little bit of insanity (o.k., maybe that’s just my perspective) and practice, I don’t think I am nearly out of the loop as much as I think I am.  This is because I don’t just “run.”  Or I just don’t “do” yoga.  Or just “teach” Piloxing.  I have a fitness lifestyle.  I engage in Fit Behavior.  Or I thought I did.  I need some fine tuning. 🙂

I had the honor/privilege to review the coolest e-book ever published by FitBehavior.org.  (For someone with a short attention span, having a book with videos in the middle of it was way cool but I digress.)  I wasn’t sure what to expect but as a fitness professional with a counseling degree, the two automatically go hand and hand.  It’s where I see the most failure in my clients.  The “lifestyle” doesn’t become a habit.  We like to pick and choose what we do, see it as punishment, defeat ourselves in the mind before we even start and then justify our behavior with excuses. When I was reading this book, I became sad, excited, confused, determined, ambitious, confused again and then driven.

One of the things I realized while reading this book and the main reason why I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around running 13.1 miles is that I don’t enjoy running and I isolate myself when I do it. I did recruit my friend Shenna (well, some of you will know her as LaShay B on 103.1’s WEUP) to do it with me when I first signed up and we promised to run together but we haven’t in almost four months.  Not one time.  When I run, I think about it being over.  There is no one to keep me in it.  I have always believed that’s what makes a strong mind….me being able to cheer/encourage myself.  It’s true…to an extent.  But, one of the things I really picked up on in the book was how there was such comradrie in what the storytellers were doing, with their friends, their coaches, their teammates and they LOVED what they do.  Then I started thinking, “Isn’t that what I do EVERY TIME I teach a Piloxing or Zumba class?”  It’s THAT feeling that I love?  So why I am trying to force myself to do something I don’t enjoy? And alone? (Even though I am an introvert) You know what that equals.  Misery. 

Another reason I have struggled (not just because of the run but fitness in general) was because I have felt like, at 37 years old, I am too old to try to take up something new.  Well, would it amaze you to know that a guy in this book played 100 ROUNDS of golf?  Oh yeah, he did it on his 100TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!  The stories in here are remarkable, full of hope and recovery and go-get-it-ness.  They found what they loved.  I felt sad because I realized I spent most of my childhood alone and I didn’t play any sports (still don’t) and I haven’t found that “thing.”  And yet, I felt more determined to keep trying new things, keep searching, keep moving until my heart stops because fitness, for me, is a behavior.  And, who knows?  I might cross that finish line (I am praying that it wont’ be in an ambulance) and decide I want to do it again.

While each storyteller had their own unique journey, they all agreed that:

1) There is no time like the PRESENT to start.
2) Compete only with the person in the mirror
3) Be positive and keep the right perspective
4) Shop around for what you enjoy
5) Make your experiences social for support AND enjoyment

With their transtheoretical model of behavior change (interest, alignment, commitment, action, renewal), I have found myself questioning where I am the circle.  I take action and never renew to keep my interest burning so I am always looking for something else so I never get really good at anything (hence jumping into this run and not training like I should). I really enjoyed this book. I was so inspired.  I would love to hang out with one of the storytellers and have them school me. 🙂  We ALL need inspiration. 

What’s your FitBehavior?  Are you staying healthy by doing what you love?

Check out their website at www.fitbehavior.orgClick here to buy the book!

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