Let me preface this by first saying that I don’t like to run. I am a horrible runner! For many years, in fact all except the last 4, I have also had an aversion to the gym. The thought of someone watching me while I run, sweat and wimpily (not a word but I don’t care) try to lift weights on a machine was actually quite repulsive. Even though I was active as a kid I had now stopped participating in the team sports of my youth due to travel and lack of a home base. I will say that while travelling I mostly walk, occasionally taking public transport out of need or because it’s something cool to do, but mostly I use the power of my own two feet to see new places.
But then I hit that age where you start to realise that you’re not a kid any more. All those muffins are not helping your waistline although they go deliciously with a mid-morning latte. The latte probably isn’t helping either but cutting that out is a deal breaker. So you end up in this predicament…. Eat less or exercise more?
Health for me is all about moderation. This is mainly because I don’t do anything in extremes (I’m also rather stoic) but also because the thought of running a marathon seems like a dumb idea and the thought of giving up chocolate, coffee and red wine is just foolish. Clean eating is not my idea of a good time! So I choose to live life in moderation. Occasionally the balance tips either way… I live the high life one week, partying and indulging in delicious food and the next I hit the gym, cutting back on chocolate bars and afternoon snacks. Overall the equilibrium is maintained and general health restored…. At least until the next indulgence.
While I normally crave winter, I have slowly started to enjoy summer. Mainly because despite the fact that I am a horrible runner (again, I truly am a horrible runner, no exaggeration here) I prefer to run outdoors than on a treadmill. Treadmills scare me and while I will use them when it is absolutely necessary, I will avoid them at the earliest opportunity. Does anyone else feel like a rat in a cage where treadmills are involved? No? Just me? Ok then……. Winter running is horrendous and not to mention cold, so in winter I prefer the gym. I have slowly gotten over my aversion to people watching me exercise and have realised that I’m not actually the most uncoordinated person in the room (or inflexible). Perhaps this has come with age or simply the idea that I’d rather be working out than expanding my waistline by the minute whilst sitting on the couch. It started when someone convinced me to try zumba…. I got more of a workout from laughing so hard than I did from actually getting the moves right. It took two friends to make me go but from the first time it became our weekly time to enjoy each others company while laughing hysterically at our lack of coordination. Then I progressed to body balance for a more relaxing yet painfully stretching experience. Again, I was convinced to try this yoga meets pilates and has a baby called thai chi, class by a friend. Someone that raved about it and wouldn’t dare laugh at my inability to touch my toes (which by the way I now can). As we convinced others to join us we became a posse and then one night on a whim and the fact that it was Tuesday and the class doesn’t run on a Tuesday, we decided to give CX works a crack. If you haven’t heard of CX then you’re missing out. It’s 30 minutes of absolute core and ab torture. That’s right… I said you were missing out! It’s 30 minutes of pain but I love it. Now when I don’t go, I miss it. Who would’ve thought?
So where are the zombies? I actually just used that title to get your attention…. No really …. Ok, I didn’t. But I do run from zombies!! While I do not want or like to shamelessly promote products, in my quest for health and motivation I downloaded an app for running and it involves zombies. In my efforts to become a better runner, every bit of motivation counts, and what better motivation than the threat of zombies catching you and ultimately eating your brains. Initially I was sceptical when a friend suggested this app. I thought it would be so cliché and ridiculous that it was laughable. But I have learned that laughing is itself a great work out (remember zumba?) so I thought what the heck… it’s $5 I can afford not to spend on chocolate bars after all! I can now safely say that it is the best $5 I have ever spent on anything so frivolous that didn’t involve food or coffee. Running from zombies is the way of the future!!! I even went running in the rain I was so motivated to listen to the next chapter of the story and to evade as many zombie mobs as possible. My running skills are still horrendous, but enduring 30 minutes of physical activity while being chased by brain eating post-apocalyptic hoards has become enjoyable. Not as enjoyable as sitting in a café eating a muffin and drinking a latte but not much else is, right? My health is now reliant on running in the real world being chased by virtual zombies and that’s kind of how I like it.
I guess the moral of the story is that health is balance. Enjoy what you’ve got while you’ve got it, push your limits beyond your fears or aversions and do it with people you love to hang out with. Health comes with doing things you love with people you love and being comfortable with who you are. Now that’s a philosophical ending if ever I wrote one!
I tried the weekly challenge