When You’re Down, Does That Mean You’re Out?

If you’ve been following, you might remember that one of my 2014 resolutions was to plank everyday.  Checking in two weeks later and I must admit I’m lucky if I’ve planked half the days that have gone by.  What I came to realize was that all of my past, successful resolutions were all goals that omitted something from my life.  I didn’t shop for a year, didn’t eat meat for a year, didn’t drink alcohol for a year… all things that took something away.  This year I switched it up a bit.  Instead of eliminating something from my life, I tried to add something… and I’ve failed… or have I?  

My 2014 resolutions to blog, plank, and run all revolve around adding to my life.  It’s something I haven’t focused on in a long time and something that I haven’t had immediate success with now.  But, does that mean that I’ve failed?  I don’t like to think so.  Just because something is taking more time to succeed at doesn’t mean I should abandon it, right?

So I am starting fresh.  I’ve decided to keep a tally of how many days I can plank in a row.  Kinda like those workplaces that have the number of days without an accident, I will have a number of days with planks.  That way if I miss one day, my resolution isn’t out the window.  I’m not giving up on it that quickly!  Resolutions are all about making yourself better, and this year I will get better at planking! You have my guarantee! Now do you have any resolutions you’ve already given up on? Why? Why not just start new? It doesn’t have to be January 1 for you to change your life.

 

This girl has gone 1 day planking!

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What’s The Big Deal About Resolutions?

With every new year there is always buzz about New Year Resolutions.  Often what comes with that is speculation and doubt clouding many people’s resolutions.  Being someone who is extremely into New Year Resolutions, I’ve had my fair share of people telling me that I shouldn’t even bother and that I’m setting myself up for failure.  But, being someone who has now set and achieved New Year Resolutions for the past couple years successfully, people are starting to keep their negativity to themselves now.

My past successful resolutions included become vegetarian (which I kept for 10 years), buying no new clothes, maintain a 4.0, run a half marathon, run a marathon, and last year’s do not consume any alcohol.  Each has provided their own challenges but with each challenge I seemed to thrive.  My personality is one that builds on self competition and challenging myself; I constantly am trying to be the best I can be and prove to myself that I am capable of anything I set my mind to.  This year when deciding on my New Year Resolution I had a lot to consider.  This year I have some huge life events happening that will pose their own unique challenges in and of themselves.  To start, I am beginning this year with a torn knee ligament that has sidelined me from running and really any form of cardio with the possibility of two months recovery time.  This has prevented me from considering any type of running streak as my resolution.  As well, I am moving out into my own apartment for the first time in my life in a country I’ve never lived in nor even visited before with lots of unknowns and four full days straight of travelling and airports.

With this in mind, some of the resolution ideas that crossed my mind included restricting my dietary routine (becoming paleo, vegan, etc.), reading a set number of pages or books, finding a new blog to read every week, not buying any new clothes (again), doing push-ups everyday… the list goes on.

When I decide on my New Year Resolution it almost always follows a deeper theme that I want in my life.  When I went vegetarian it was because I wanted to find healthy eating, when I didn’t buy any clothes it was because I wanted to simplify my life and use what I already had, and when I made a running goal it was because I wanted to have a healthier, fitter, and happier life and I knew running could provide that for me.

This year, while I want to hold on to all of the past themes, I want to focus on expanding my horizons and learning new things.  I’ve decided to post a blog post every week at least and start reading some other blogs.  Some of my posts may just be “spent the whole day on an airplane” while others may be more in depth about my struggles, successes, and new experiences.  I believe this goal will help me realize just how great the opportunities I have in my life are and allow myself to think a little deeper.  

Another little “side” resolution I am making for 2014 is to plank everyday.  A minimum of 30s and an unlimited maximum.  It seems like such a small part of each day but I know that if I stick with this goal, then at the end of the year I will see some great progress.

For 2014, I also want to keep track of my mileage that I run.  Starting the New Year with an injury, I have decided not to put a specific target on myself but instead just keep track and see if I can surprise myself with what I can do.  

I hope that in a year I will look back and see success.  I hope that through this I can connect with new and encouraging people.  And I hope that you reading this right now aren’t discouraged by some of the New Years Resolution haters but are motivated to set your own goals. 

On the Grind

Exams are over! What a wonderful feeling!

I have decided to redeem a free 30 day gym membership I was gifted to my local country club.  The club is stunning, equipped with tennis and racquet courts, a fully renovated weight room, cardio floor, and beautiful change rooms that include saunas and steam rooms.  Since I am not going back to school until February, I really want to go hard with my fitness for the next month.  I want to see the progress I can make if I put my entire mindset into it.  

I am still training for my marathon, albeit not as hard as I would like to be.  This winter in Canada has been pretty intense so far.  It’s now common to have -25 degree days with over a foot of snow sitting on the sidewalks.  It’s made running long distances hard as I have been catching a chill between the 8-10k mark that I can’t seem to shake.  Also, and let me know if anyone else has this, but my ass freezes!  Literally my backside turns numb and then I just want to cut my run short and have a hot bath.  I’ve tried layering up, buying special leggings for winter, and all that.  So, needless to say, my long runs haven’t been as long as they should be at this point in my training.  

So with all of that in perspective, I want to go hard in this next month.  I am going to try to really hit my running distances in these next two weeks and get the gym back into my routine.

Wish me luck and happy holidays everyone! Stay active! 

Have You Lost Your Freedom?

In the past couple weeks my running has taken an interesting turn.  After the close of my running series (that I ended up winning my category in and coming 8th female overall!) and my emotional upheaval last month, my running has been less about intensity and more about the experience.  I’ve allowed myself to let loose, forget about time and the stress that comes with meeting a certain pace, and allow myself to just focus on the miles.  I switched from a set, regimented playlist with planned tempos to playing my iPod on shuffle and taking the songs as they come.  I’ve worried less about finishing in under a certain time and booked off entire mornings to complete my long run with Starbucks pitstops halfway through.  

I know that by seeing my runs these past couple weeks as a success simply because I was able to get out the door and log the miles gave me the freedom to make it to the end of the kilometres.  Yesterday my training plan had a big, fat 25km marked in the calendar.  I know that in the situation I’m in of being still in the works of getting back on my feet and finding my inner strength, that if I placed a time goal on the run, I would have given up halfway.  Instead, I gave myself the freedom to have a sense of play in my run.  I was able to make it to that 25km mark (with a time on par with my other long runs) but without the stress of making pace.  It was amazing to see how accustomed my body was to continue the training it has been through and to see what it could do without my mind holding me back. 

I’m not sure where you are at in your fitness intensity.  Whether you have set goals you strive towards, milestones you want to hit before a certain date, or just take it day by day.  But, I do want to encourage you to allow yourself the ability to let some of the stress go.  Our lives are filled with planning, schedules, and time restraints.  We live in an incredibly fast world that sees success and quickness as synonyms.  So who is forcing us to treat out fitness the same way? Why can’t we measure fitness success by the way we feel instead of by the time our Garmin says?

Back to the Blog

Well, I have been thinking a lot about this blog lately and after some deliberation I have come to the conclusion that I want to start posting regularly again.  I’m not making this choice on a whim that will dissolve in the coming weeks but truly have thought about it and want to commit to it.  

I find myself in a great position to start blogging again as I’m just coming back from an injury and have goals that I’m setting for myself. It would be wonderful to be able to blog about my goals’ progress as I get myself back into a fit-minded lifestyle and back into the best shape of my life again.  I have a marathon coming up that I will be running with Team in Training this January and feel that throughout my journey I will have stories to share and progress to talk about.

As well, I know that when I blog about my journey, I am able to appreciate it more and stay consistent.  Even if no one ends up reading my posts, at least I’ll know that I was able to do something for myself and take time out of my day to help myself reach my goals.