Welcome back to SOLO AT SIXTY!
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea…..” (Isak Dinesen)
I truly believe this… Over the next couple of weeks I will share with you how each of these have helped “cure” me.
First off, SWEAT – I always feel better after a workout (no one ever said “I wish I had not worked out”)! When I come back to the office after a run, I feel like a new person. Sweating through hard workouts eases my stress. As my sweet mother would always say to me after my runs – “Do you think running brings out the poisons in your body?” to which I replied – “HUH? Are you trying to tell me I stink?” And she, with all of her grace and compassion, would reply “YES”! So maybe that’s the secret: sweating cleans out the poisons in your body.
I prioritize my workouts each week and know that I will be a happier person (and a better team member) if I get in at least one good workout each day. I am a planner and I love having a routine– so I look at the weather at the beginning of the week to plan my running days, indoor cycle classes for rainy days, step, athletic conditioning, body pump and yoga classes for the week. I have so much flexibility now that I live alone – I can come and go whenever I want to and take classes whenever I want to! And of course I am spoiled because I work for the best Fitness Center (acac) and have so many options available to me.
I love running….you can lose yourself when you run….After I moved to my dream house in a wonderful maintenance-free neighborhood, I had to find a new running route. And I had to get my “running mojo” back. BD (before divorce!) we used to run together every morning at 5 am….yes at O DARK HUNDRED! And we ran in our neighborhood right down the middle of the street – I mean, who else is out at 5 am running?!?!? Well actually there were a lot of other people out there! After almost running smack dab into the other crazy people out in the dark, we had to get arm band lights to alert others we were coming. Still, every morning there we were. Suddenly, in a new neighborhood, in a new house by myself, what had once been routine was now a struggle. So I had to make a change. First: a new route (thanks to my middle daughter), what I now call my “office route.” A wonderful six-mile tour through Charlottesville’s Best: The Downtown Mall, “The Corner” & “Grounds” (Looking at you, UVA folks), and around the football stadium. I keep saying I am going to find another route, but I like the fact that I don’t have to think about where I am going – it is just routine. I don’t listen to music when I run…I THINK. I have lots of conversations in my head (that I would LOVE to verbalize but know I never will), plan my day, pray for everyone on my list, and keep saying “look up” to all the students looking at their phones so we don’t collide!! I feel totally safe because there are always other people out running/walking/going to class. And I love it when Charlie, who is an acac member and drives a city bus, blows his bus horn at me when he sees me. It is amazing how you often see the same people running, or eating outside at Bodo’s (if you’ve never eaten at Bodo’s Bagels you must!), or walking to work at the hospital.
I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather (I keep a heater on under my desk year round). Luckily, I found many warm days this winter to get in my runs outside instead of being forced onto the dreaded treadmill. My favorite running time is summer – there is no thought as to what you are going to wear – it is just a tank top and shorts because it is hot and you can’t wear less! Otherwise, if the weather is in the 40’s it means several layers, headband for my ears, and gloves…..50’s are long sleeves, 60’s short sleeves, and 70’s and above – ahhhhhh – tank top and shorts! (I only agree to run when it is in the 30’s if my oldest daughter is in town – no one else can get me out there in the cold.) And no more running at 5am for me! I get to my office by 6:30 am, then leave sometime mid morning or early afternoon, depending on the weather and my schedule, to get my run in and a nice break from the workday. Much better! OH and thank you (and HAPPY BIRTHDAY) to my oldest daughter for running with me after my “move” to help me get my “running mojo” back!
I also know that weightlifting is so important to women for better, stronger bones. My middle daughter and I work out with a wonderful personal trainer once a week….this definitely makes a big difference in my strength! I am not one to go out on the weight floor and lift by myself. It is a bit overwhelming with so much equipment available and I would have to “think” not “just do”…..it is much easier when our trainer sets us up and tells us exactly what to do. However, I do love Body Pump classes – weights for each part of the body with good music in an orderly routine. And I always get to class early and set up my weights in the same spot. (Did I mention I like routine?) So between personal training and body pump, I try to get in weights at least twice a week. I am not a big cyclist but I do cross train with at least one cycle class a week and love it when I can get a step class in. Step is my “fun” class that lets me relive my high school cheerleader days! And we have the best step teachers at acac!
After being sidelined with hamstring problems, I make it a habit to stretch and roll my hamstrings after every run or class. And Yoga helps as well! YOGA…..ahhhhh……the necessary evil that always seems to fall to the wayside when I run out of time, but it should not. I always feel much better after a good yoga class, and they have been so beneficial. Can you believe this 5’2” girl could barely touch her toes before? Although this may not surprise anyone, the most trouble I have in a yoga class is staying quiet! I have a hard time going that long without talking to “my neighbor.” Focusing on the flow and routine of the class gets me through to the final savasana. For the longest time, at the end of every yoga class, I thought the instructor was saying “have a nice day, have a nice day”…so I was bowing my head saying to everyone around me “have a nice day”…..not until I had a lululemon bag with NAMASTE on the side did I realize, “OMG I am supposed to say NAMASTE, not have a nice day”!
So go out and get your SWEAT on and see how much better you feel! And always stretch after…..
Namaste (or… have a nice day),
“sweat, tears, or the sea” continues next Wednesday!