The end of the year is always rough for me. Not really in a bad way, just rough as in very busy way. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kat’s swim season, New Years, year end reports at work, the cold, the snow… you know what I mean. Anywho, you take all of those things and put them in basically two and a half months and that leaves very little Heather time. Sadly, the thing I have to cut is the gym. I wish it were not so, but I have to be realistic. Like they say, “Sometimes, it is what it is.”
Here it is the middle of January and I am finding it hard to WANT to get back into the swing. I know I did this last year, I remember this EXACT feeling, even though I was not half as dedicated going into 2015 as I am and have been going into 2016.
In the months leading up to my first Spartan Sprint, I did the gym thing. I had no idea what to train for, or how to train, so I stuck with the basics. A lot of my work out was on the bike or a few select machines. I won’t lie, I never really push myself. I don’t think I even understood the concept to be honest with you…
I ran Miller Park. I finished my race. I felt good. Not physically good, physically I was beat down, but good in my heart. Proud of what I had accomplished. The fact that this race was in November, I remember thinking that I was basically good until after the new year. (I did squeeze in a Santa Hustle 5k in December, but that was just a fun run. No big medal, No obstacles. No stress) After that, I basically just let the couch eat me for the rest of the winter.
March rolled around and the days got longer and the air wasn’t as cool, so I decided I should really get back to it. I spent roughly 3-4 days a week at the gym. The more of a change I noticed in my body the more I wanted to be there.
I laugh as I type this, but my mother once told me, “when you exercise regularly and eat right, your body starts to crave that activity and doesn’t really want the sweets and junk food.” I thought she was crazy until about April. I NEEDED THE GYM. I NEEDED FRUITS. I NEEDED VEGETABLES!!!! I indulged all of those needs, and it felt good.
By mid July I was spending more like 5 days at the gym. I upped my game to the treadmill, the elliptical (which I have already shared that story with you), some free weights, squats, dead lift, and more of a variety of the machines. I even invested in a trainer in September. I was going to be ready for my next race this time!
Again towards the end of the year I was doing a Spartan. As a matter of fact one year minus 7 days later I was running my second Spartan Sprint.This time Ft Campbell. Although comparing the two races would be apples and oranges, I felt WAAAAAY better about this one. It was longer than the first one and a mud run vs a stadium race, but I felt better prepared and physically stronger through out the race than I did my first one. Heck, I even managed to never get the pukey feeling that I had several times in the Miller Park.
When I fire jumped I felt that same good in feeling in my heart. Yet again, I accomplished something that previously I would have died laughing just thinking about.
The few weeks that followed that race I was out of town with Angel and Chris as they finished their race season. Then came Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Years… and here I am. Coming full circle. Smack dab in the middle of my year end reports at work, battling 11 degree temps with a full 3 inches of snow, and just now home from Kat’s swim meet.
I have heard that sometimes you just have to talk yourself back into what is good for you, and that is what I am trying to do here. I know I need the gym, I know it will make me feel better, and I know I will be happy once I get back to it… this time I can honestly say I am not lying to myself when I say I will be going back. Not today, probably not tomorrow, but the gym has become a way a life, and I plan to not stray from the Heather that it continues to transform me into.