Thursday, March 11, 2010

TEACHING AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS


After all these years, is it possible I (and others) have this all wrong? In my annual quest for self improvement, I started seeking a new way to do what is familiar, which has led me on an enlightening journey, filled with frustration, disbelief, awareness, and finally acknowledgement that maybe what I’ve been doing for so many years just isn’t working.

Remember when I posted back in January about reading a book by a woman who had done an Ironman who also had her own fitness club, wrote books, was a female body builder, etc.? Her belief was that maybe all that steady state cardio really won’t help you keep that lean physique everyone seems to want but which is elusive to many of us. Because I found I fit that category, it got me, and kept me, wondering and seeking more information. I will add that while her articles got me thinking, I found after the fact that her program was not what I needed. Still, she did earn good marks for sending me down this road of self-enlightenment.

During training and after doing the IM, I pretty much expected that I would have no lingering weight problem, my body fat percentage would drop dramatically, I would be stronger, leaner, faster, healthier. Imagine my complete surprise and disappointment when I realized this had not happened. Yes, I had completed one of the premier endurance events around, and yes, that alone gave me a huge amount of self-satisfaction, also fulfilling a goal I had carried around with me for many years.

But still, something nagged at me. Something made me question whether I had accomplished the one goal I sought after more than anything: reaching the ultimate in good health and fitness.

To be honest, I was concerned that I did not have that many years left to achieve these things, and was even more concerned to find I was not in the best physical condition that I could be, or thought I would be, after that event. Without going into a lot of mundane details, being the person I am, I set out to make a better me.

I researched dozens of fitness articles, as well as the authors for credibility. I examined dozens of workout programs, and again their authors for credibility. I studied many philosophies about fitness and what makes a person fit, but what I mainly found was once you got in depth into a website, often the bottom line was someone wanted to sell you something—and not necessarily anything you needed, but made you think you might. First there was the buildup, then the enticements, and finally the closing of the sale. I do not usually part with my money readily without being absolutely sure I believe in what I’m buying or need it more than another similar product. Basically, most of these programs I decided I wasn’t buying. There were a lot of good parts here and there, that combined might have been an ideal product or program, but nothing in its whole could convince me it was worth my time long term. And I know from experience that if I am not going to stick with something long term, there is no sense in starting it--like yoga, for instance. I do not want to spend the time to get good at it, so it is more of a nuisance to me and my time if I do it.

Then, quite by accident—and usually, don’t revelations happen this way?—I came across a link that totally changed my thinking of everything fitness related I have been doing for over 20 years. In the process, it blew apart for me the whole cardio thing.

And now, I will entice you, to come back soon and check for details. I am still in the process of trying out and further researching a program, but unfortunately with work and other commitments, I am unable to go in depth right now. That and I'm getting ready for my yearly tropical vacation and have yet begun to pack or plan for that! I promise, however, if I do have internet service while away, I will post not only my vacation details but try to get a continuation of this report posted so as not to leave you hanging. The one good thing for me about being gone is I can put this experiment to more of a test.

So stay tuned!

5 comments:

Lisa said...

oh, you are such a tease. Making us wait for the details and such.

Lily on the Road said...

I can hardly wait!!!

Oh a tropical Vacay, lucky YOU!!! where to this year??

ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, what a cliff hanger!!!

But perhaps I already know of this tropical vacay and can get the scoop firsthand? Whatever the case, good luck with it and look forward to hearing more!

chia said...

I kept expecting you to try and sell me something. I'm such a sucker I'm sitting here disappointed with card in hand. I have no self control.

Have a fantastic trip!!!

Just_because_today said...

hmmm I'm interested. When I trained for my first marathon, I thought like you, that I would get so thin the wind would blow me away, no such thing. I guess as we work out more, we compensate by increasing our intake.
What I have found out in my 10 years now of running is that, my body looks more toned even if the weight is not dramatically different which makes me look thinner than I really am.
Good post!