In the past two weeks working out has become… What’s the word I’m looking for? Humbling? Challenging? Complicated? Obviously, I’m gaining weight and my center of gravity of is shifting. I couldn’t be happier about that (most days). However, I can’t run or even walk as fast as I used to – and picking up things is beginning to become a test of balance. Getting comfortable in my clothes, let alone on the treadmill, in the weight area, or on the spin bike adds an extra 2-5 minutes to my workouts (especially the clothes – I feel like I’m constantly adjusting!). These things are all pretty minor though. I’m not finding working out particular difficult. If anything, I feel my best when the endorphins have kicked in and getting in a good sweat session. BUT things are different and mentally it’s a struggle in a way I never imagined possible: I’m used to pushing myself hard and I can’t.
I’m sure you’re thinking – WTF is wrong with you? Can’t you give yourself a break? You’d think after two (very healthy) pregnancies where I worked out just as much as I am now I would get over this struggle, but this feeling? It’s kinda new… and I blame running.
It’s not surprising that running has built up my endurance more than any other workout/exercise, but I guess I never realized how much running pushes me to WORK HARDER. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) it’s now engrained into my brain and it’s not as easy as I thought it was going to be to shake! I was on the treadmill on Friday when this hit me. Just 4 months ago I would have cranked that sucker up to 7.2+, added an incline, and ran as fast as my lungs would let me. This time? I was pushing 6.2 (a 9:40ish pace) and the treadmill was as flat as a pancake — and that was FAST for me. As I ran next to people who were both hauling ass and giving me the side eye – I couldn’t help but be jealous. And then I thought – WTF is wrong with me?
The green-eyed monster struck again later while I was doing a strength training workout. I was lifting 10lb weights (lower than my norm) and while I was sweating up a storm, I felt like I COULD have been challenging myself more. Then, I sat on an exercise ball and leaned over to pick up my weights – and almost fell off the ball. A few minutes later I almost fell forward doing a side lunge. Slowly, a small does of reality set in: Umm nope, I should definitely NOT be cranking up the workout!
It’s funny because in all this time that I’ve been running I didn’t necessarily “get” why it’s so hard for people can’t just sit out a few weeks to recover from a (minor) injury. Or why people rush to get back into running after they have a baby (Ok, I still don’t necessarily get this one – I barely have the energy to pick up my clothes off the ground after having a baby), but I kinda feel them now. It’s not the calorie burn or the even the endorphin high that gets you – it’s the challenge. It’s reaching goals. It’s pushing yourself harder than you ever thought possible. There is an addiction in that and I guess I have the bug more than I thought!
So, how can I am channeling my inner voice? Well, I did sign up for Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp. I’m not doing it for a “best body” perspective. I’m not doing it challenge myself or my fitness. In fact, I’m sure some people thing I’m crazy for signing up! But even the toughest workouts can be modified for pregnant women. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of pregnant women doing Crossfit right now! I’m doing it because I love the structure of the workouts. It gives me something to look forward to and focus on. It’s challenging, but in a different way. So tomorrow, when I hit the gym, instead of thinking “Man, I wish I could do XX faste or lift XX with a heavier weight”, I’m going to tell myself I’m badass for signing up for a 8-week Bootcamp challenge when I’m 22 weeks pregnant!
And truthfully, the most motivating thing for me right now is hearing people tell me I’m crazy, hearing that they would never do the workouts I’m doing if they were pregnant. That I am insane. It’s not the same as pushing myself on a long run or upping the weights past fatigue, but it’s mentally satisfying. I’m doing anything that would be considered harmful (and I always, always stop if I’m uncomfortable or I don’t feel right), but I don’t have to loose my endurance-junkie self. I also know that in 6 months I’ll be back at it (<-wow crazy to think about!) and bitching the entire time. So I might as well enjoy the “down time” while I can!
Anyone else surprised by what’s challenging them after a change in mindset? It’s kinda like after I graduate from college and found myself bored out of my mind without 4 projects to work on at a time!