This morning my plan was to "relax" a little. I had cub scout meetings at 10, but since I knew I would be going to a spinning class at noon, I hadn't planned to do much else in the morning, but for some reason I was feeling a little antsy. Even though my legs, especially my glutes, are still sore from yesterday's class, at around 6:30 or 7am, I started to consider going out for a run. Just about that time, my husband came by the house to drop off his gym bag before heading back out to work. He had been at the gym early (5-6am) to do his strength training before he started his shift. He told me who all he saw there working out. Hearing that from him sealed the deal for me. I was "resting" while someone else was not. I needed to get moving.
I changed my clothes and jumped on the treadmill and ran 3.5 miles, then I did about 30 minutes of strength training of my own - shoulders and lats. I also spent some time practicing jumping up on a stool. I am very insecure when it comes to jumping up onto a step or platform. Have you ever seen that episode from several seasons ago of The Biggest Loser where there was a female contestant who was petrified of jumping up on the platform and it took her all week to finally conquer her fear and do it? That's how I feel. I'm not sure why. Yesterday during class, our teacher was trying to get us to do a complicated version of plyo-jumps onto our steps. I couldn't get it. My coordination was totally off and I just couldn't get my legs to lift high enough or move fast enough. By the third set of reps, I had finally figured it out and had better luck staying in sync with her, but by then my legs were so tired that I was worried I might trip. So, this morning I got out a little 8" tall step-stool and practiced jumping up onto it - over and over. Sometimes I'm surprised by my lack of strength and coordination, considering the hours I spend running and working out. One would think I would be much stronger than I am, but every time I try a new exercise, I am pretty bad at it.
Anyway, after scouts, I headed to the gym for spinning. While I was there, I got to see and talk to a friend who is an instructor at the gym but also a runner. She just ran her first marathon - Pocatello - and this was my first chance to really talk with her since then, so it was fun to see how she was feeling and how her recovery has been going. After class as she and I were talking, she asked me how many classes I had been taking at the gym. As we talked about it, Misty, who had just taught our spin class, mentioned that she had said to someone recently that it was a tie between me and this other friend/instructor as to who spends the most time at the gym. I wasn't actually sure if she was saying that was a good thing or not, and I was surprised by how I felt when I heard her say that. While on the one hand, my mind was telling me that I should be proud that I work so hard and am consistent and dedicated to bettering myself, I almost felt more embarrassed and a little guilty, like my priorities are off? Maybe if I looked like either of these two fitness instructors (i.e. 0% body fat and beautifully toned and sculpted muscles), it would seem logical and appropriate and I would feel justified in the amount of time I spend working out. But because I am still a work in progress, and maybe will never reach that higher level of fitness, I suddenly was questioning my own reasons for this obsession with working out.
As I drove home, I continued to think about it and I realized I really, really need to make some goals. I need to decide what I'm trying to accomplish here. Is my main motivation to be a better or faster runner? Do I want to build up the endurance to try something harder or farther than a marathon? Do I want to be physically stronger for a specific purpose? Do I want to look or feel better, do I want more than just being average, looking okay in my clothes, but not looking - whoa, good in my clothes?! Part of me thinks that the guilt that I feel comes from the place inside where I have issues, worrying that the things I'm striving for and craving in terms of self-improvement are superficial and worldly, rather than bettering myself for a deeper, more grounded and spiritual purpose. Still, I think there's something to the idea that a person who is driven towards excellence and/or perfection, whether they actually ever achieve anything close to it, is a person who can accomplish so much more in life, creating richer, more meaningful experiences and I suppose that's partially what I'm trying to achieve. Right now I really just don't know what my main objective is or what it will or should be. I'm not even sure how to get my mind around what might be possible. Is it true that anything really is possible? I mean, 3 years ago I would never have thought I'd be able to call myself a runner, let alone a marathoner. So who knows? What could I accomplish, if only....time will tell. More thinking on this needs to be done.