Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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After all, isn’t it all relative?

Grizzly Ryder

I’m not like a lot of my friends. Half Marathon, 21K/13.1 miles is my distance. I don’t run “long” and I don’t run “fast.” The folks I measure myself against and admire run much faster or much longer than me. It’s silly that I sometimes feel insecure measuring myself against them.  After all, isn’t it all relative?

For some, 21K is hella far.  For others it’s just a moderate training run. To me, my average 9++ minute-mile is slug slow. To some, that seems fast. Does it really matter how fast or how far? Should’t I just appreciate that I have what it takes to drag myself out of bed early every weekend morning when others are snug in their beds?

A more experienced bike racer friend once advised me; “If you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward.” He was referring to positioning oneself within the field of riders, but the statement works for life in general. With that said, I imagine we should wake up every day and push to make ourselves better than we were the day before. Move forward so to speak. Be your own “better.”

I write this post because I recently finished my first race of the season. It was 17k. It was hilly and it was beautiful. I ran slowly up hill and I ran fast down hill.  I got passed a lot on the first climb, but I too passed people going up and then I passed people going down. I passed people who had passed me earlier in the race and I loved that feeling. I was out there on this day for no other reason than because I wanted to be. I expected only to finish feeling proud of my accomplishment, for having taken steps to keep moving forward, to better myself. In the end I found that in spite of myself, I’d managed to finish first in my age group and better than halfway through the total field of women. I beat men & women many years younger although I’d been beaten by many more than I beat. My lesson; a reminder that my typical measure my success is out of whack. It had no place here on this day and it really has no relevance what so ever, as… success is relative, specific to any given day, situation, imagination.

So, go out and run/ride, whatever… do it because you can and because if you aren’t moving forward you’re moving backward. Remember, how you measure up in your own mind doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you get out and do it… Do it every day and do it to the very best of your own personal ability. You may just surprise yourself one day.

P.s. My pal Pen raced this day as well. Pen was one of the very first people over-all to cross the finish line. And, Pen even stopped before the line to pick up her 3-year-old son Max so they could cross together. Nice job Pen! (Is it any wonder why Pen is at the top of my measuring stick?)

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Praise for my peeps

When you’re a kid in school you get a report card that tells you (and your parents) how you’re doing in class. Report cards are also good for the teacher because they tell us how well we’re getting through to our students. Remember, whether you’re a good student or a challenging one, it is the teachers’ job to insure that you succeed.

It’s the same with trainers. It’s our job to make sure that you reach your goal. It’s not so easy sometimes to motivate people and keep them on the track to success, but nun-the-less; it’s our duty and commitment to you when we take you on as clients. It’s too bad that trainers don’t give report cards, I wish we could. It might help with some folks, but then again it might piss some off.

Anyway, I’ve decided to give props to two of my clients today. This doesn’t mean that the rest of you don’t deserve props. It just means that these two get gold stars (remember those?).

First, Diana; Diana has been working out two days a week with me consistently for 10 months. As of last month Diana has lost 17 pounds, gained a ton of definition and ran her first 5K foot race in July. Diana’s race time was just over 24 minutes (an excellent time). My favorite part of all this is remembering that when Diana first came to me she refused to do more than about 10 crunches and after 5 minutes of running she’d stop, bend over and gasp to catch her breath. Now, Diana asks me to push her harder and actually asked me to bring out her nemesis, The Jump Rope. Diana has surpassed her weight loss goal and is motivated by her quick 5k time. With that, her new goal is to compete in the Warrior Dash Obstacle Race in a few weeks, something that has astounded her friends and family. According to Diana, “The best part of all this is that I now love to get dressed. Getting dressed is fun because everything fits, or is too big.”

Now, Nick; I met Nick years ago but he and I just started working together in June. Nick lives in The Napa Valley so we don’t see each other more than once a week at best. However, Nick and I chat almost daily about his training and the workouts I send him via email. Nick is about to run his first half marathon at the end of this month. Nick came to me for guidance because, years ago he registered to run a full marathon but never made it past the first few weeks of training do to an injury brought on by training too hard before his body was ready. Nick is a 45+ single father who works on his feet, around 5 star Napa food all day long. It’s a physically exhausting life that promotes poor eating, sleeping and fitness habits. Since June Nick has lost 24 pounds and is more than ready to run his half marathon. Nicks goal is to run the race in under 2 hours and I’m absolutely certain he can do that. When I asked Nick if he felt that his training had been hard to manage, he said, “Actually, it’s been pretty painless. All I have to do is focus on what you have me do and that’s simple.”

As I write this I can’t help but feel extremely proud. When I started this life as a trainer I never thought about how I would feel when my people reached their goals and did well. It never occurred to me. I was too concerned with what to do with them, how to get them to do what I said and most of all, how to keep them from getting injured. Watching Diana and Nick and GP-2011 and all the others that leave my workouts feeling great I feel truly blessed and thankful to be able to work with these people. People who were not so dedicated at first, and now look where they are…