Okay, the new year is definitely here, blanketing us in yet another snowy drift. I choose to see it as a (somewhat damp) clean white sheet upon which to plan out shiny new goals for this year. (Previous (rambly) shiny new goals? : Part one and Part two.) So, what is this last post about?
Random fitness stuff… with metrics this time
A lot people who know me tend to describe me as “pretty active”. Honesty time: I literally have no idea where they get this idea. I’m not saying I’m a couch potato; I do, after all, have an 80-lb dog who needs walking twice a day and The Boy and I are pretty good about each taking a shift on that front, so at a minimum, I get in a pretty good walk (rain or shine!) every day. I get restless, so a lot of my “free” time at home is spent on my feet and moving, and most days I also work in some extra yoga, though I tend to count that more as “meditation” than “exercise”, although it’s obviously both. I like going dancing on occasion, or skating or skiing… but these aren’t activities I schedule regularly for myself. I paddle with a dragonboat team and play in a (very relaxed) beach volleyball league in the summers, but I don’t go to the gym, or anything like that. In terms of physical activity, I’d probably put myself just slightly on the active side of “average”.
Now, is this bad? No, but it’s not something I’m super happy with either. I have often stated that I’d like to be stronger, and watching myself slow down over the past couple months has given me a sort of “Ghost of Christmas Future” glimpse into a life of reduced fitness… and I don’t like it. Obviously, I realize that right now is not the time to be signing myself up for Cross-Fit or a September marathon, but it IS a good time to think about how I want to go about building movement — and specifically exercise that will help achieve what I want: to be stronger and have better stamina — into my day to day, once my daily life starts to even out again.
So, Running. I hate running, but I have to admit it’s a pretty cheap/easy/uncomplicated way of getting some cardio in. Better still, I can do it with a dog and a stroller, and I don’t need to drive anywhere to do it. Past summers have shown that I’m usually capable of trotting out a 5km without too much mental duress, but I am one slow runner. This year (since it seems they’re not introducing a 10km race despite the rumours) my goal is to do the Army Run’s 5km in under 28 minutes. (Totally arbitrary.) If I can make it under 25, so much the better! I highly doubt I’m ever going to sign myself up for the half-marathon, but
if when I hit this year’s target, I suppose I’ll find a 10km race to “graduate” to in 2015. (Though I will miss the atmosphere of the Army Run for sure!)
Yoga, as mentioned above, is my sometimes-slightly-neglected rock, without which my mood and ability to handle stress take a serious dip. As most people know, however, there are a zillion types of yoga, and what I’m keeping up with these days isn’t quite as vigorous as it could be. The goal, as things move along and I can start adding in more challenges, will be to mix up my balance of practice to include more Ashtanga, alongside the Kundalini and Yin.
While I do hope to get back to teaching at some point, I’m not putting it on the calendar for 2014 for myself. Frankly, there’s enough change in the pipe already that I think it would be wiser to see how our family’s routines balance out in the fall before I start looking at taking on that kind of commitment again.
Similarly, while I would love to make “go swing dancing weekly!” a fitness goal, I have no idea if that’s realistic at this point. So it’ll stay on the wish list for now, and if I happen to get a night free (and have the energy to go), then I can do that too!
Lastly on the vaguely fitness-related front, I’m considering buying myself my own bike this spring (whereupon I will install upon it the mileage-tracker widget thing that I’ve had for years). The Boy has a bike, which he’s fine with me using, and indeed for the past few summers I have definitely been the more frequent user. However, although there’s definitely a limit to how often we’ll be able to get out together on bikes, I think it would be a nice way to spend more time together. After all, more fresh air can’t be a bad thing! (And of course, most of these also apply to solo outings, and in a worst case, I can still do all these things on foot, too.)
- More weekend jaunts into the greenbelt near our house. The Boy and I sometimes walk the Smelly there but it’s a pretty slow walk. If we can train the puppy to trot reasonably consistently next to us while cycling, it would definitely extend our “day trip” range — and give him better exercise to boot.
- Knitting meet-ups. Not sure how many of these are going to happen in coffee shops this year, but even if we just cycle through folks’ houses, being in the habit of biking there while it’s warm would be a nice way to sneak some extra fresh air into the day.
- Local errands. For me, this covers the library, massage therapy, the nearby Asian grocery store and (assuming I call them to swap over) possibly the optometrist. If I get a bigger window of time for bike trips, I could also fit in the yarn store, the fabric store, and the bulk food store.
Not very ambitious, but it’s something to keep in mind. If I have stuff listed out, I’m more likely to think of it when the opportunity comes up. So that’s my thoughts on things to focus on in 2014!