Today I was reflecting on one of the most important things my weight loss and maintenance efforts have done for me.
And that would be: The sense of accomplishment & competence I've gained as I've learned how to use my body. And how that is slowly S-L-O-W-L-Y ... S...L...O...W...L...Y easing the remembered pain of gym classes from so many years ago.
I was a slender, active child who, it seemed, suddenly became encased in fat during her adolescence. And after that time, gym classes & my place in the social pecking order in junior high school and high school was never, ever the same. I really dreaded gym class, from the clothes-changing in the locker room to the humiliation of being fat in unflattering gym clothes to the awfulness of being subjected to athletic rituals in which I failed utterly & miserably, over & over. I could not wait to graduate from high school partly because compulsory gym class would end forever.
So now, flash forward, and who'd have thought I would have come to such a pass? It's a complete reversal of how I felt when I was 17. As part of my weight loss efforts, I began to walk, then to run (till my feet acted up), then to bike & use an elliptical & swim & take yoga & Pilates. I go to the gym willingly. Even happily. I do this every day. I feel guilty if I miss a session. I've even participated in organized classes, with an instructor. I can see some muscles. I feel competent. I do not feel like the class klutz or idiot anymore.
I don't mean to sound too self-congratulatory here, but I finally recognized that there is something remarkable about this.
I am so curious about the rest of you. Has anyone else experienced this about-face in attitude toward their body & what it can do? Or are you all lapsed jocks who rediscovered your bodies & your, ah, jockitude all over again when you reaffirmed your commitment to exercising?
12-30-2009, 11:16 AM
I remember taking PE in summer school to get it over with. And being required to run a mile around the track---4 laps of course. And being pretty sure I was going to die. And hating every minute of it.
Now I use the track for speed work and I've run 2 half marathons. Who knew running could be fun?
I see the sports my kids are involved in and thriving in and I grieve for the kid I was. I was never exposed to any of that. I missed out---big time.
But just like it's never too late to have a happy childhood, it's never too late to unleash your inner athlete.
I still get a kick out of my visible muscles. And the weights I can lift. And the distances I can run. I'm in awe of the process. It's like, "Who ME???"
12-30-2009, 11:24 AM
Yup, that's me! I'm sure I'm not a jock ... however ...
I remember, in highschool, I seriously considered writing an essay rather than running the track. Then I found out I could walk it ;)
If you had told me several years ago that I would some day be thrilled to get an ez bar for Christmas or that I'd have a weight bench or that it'd be nuthin' to jump on the elliptical for an hour .... I'd've laughed ...
12-30-2009, 11:35 AM
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I am still a klutz though.
12-30-2009, 11:52 AM
P.E. was humiliating. I had good reflexes, size, and strength on my side, but my vision has always been bad. I was the one in the 'coke-bottle glasses' . Keep your eye on the ball! What ball??? Looking back I guess I was the 'lesson in dealing with disadvantages' for eveyone else but I was miserable.
Several years ago I took up exercise at home with DVD's. Now I own two barbells, dumbbells ranging from 3's - 25's, one 20lb kettlebell, a treadmill, a step, a high step and innumberable other equipment. As well as too many DVD's.
What happened to the couch potato???? :o
12-30-2009, 01:07 PM
Well, I love being active, but I can't say it's stopped my klutziness :shrug: ;)
12-30-2009, 09:22 PM
Still a klutz, but at least I earn my bruises!
I love Julie's avatar :)
12-30-2009, 09:26 PM
I am with team Klutzy Athlete. I injure myself both while exercising and at rest (most recently I gave myself a black eye while asleep. :yes: ), but at least I am strong and active!
12-30-2009, 09:34 PM
Still a klutz, but at least I earn my bruises!
I love Julie's avatar :)
Thanks :). It's motivating, that's for sure!
Thighs Be Gone
12-30-2009, 09:58 PM
ditto what Julie said--I am loving being active but yep, still a klutz! That's why I stick to activities that are easy--running, biking, etc.
12-30-2009, 10:18 PM
Unfortunately, I am and always have been the epitome of a klutzy athlete.
My foot catastrophe (got out of bed a funny way, tripped and broke/crushed nearly every bone in my foot) when I was 17 running cross-country and had a full scholarship the next year to a division I school for softball.
Even day to day, my husband will ask why I have a huge bruise in whatever place and I will have no idea or fell down or knocked into something.
12-31-2009, 12:01 AM
Klutzy athlete - I love it! :lol: Yep, that's me.
If you had told me this time last year that I would be running, going to dance workout classes and biking 25 miles at a time, I would have thought you were crazy. But I am doing all that and more! I'm still very overweight, but it's really amazing to me all the things that my body can do already. I think that's what's made the difference with my weight-loss efforts this time. In past attempts I've never really focused on the exercise and never incorporated fitness goals into my plan. Now I'm doing 5Ks (including on on New Year's Day), am training to do a half-marathon in the spring and am doing a triathlon later this year. Who am I?!? Sometimes I feel like a completely different person, in a totally good way. :D
12-31-2009, 12:26 AM
I was a couch potato most of my life who did anything ANYTHING to avoid gym classes. I was always picked last, I was slow. I wasnt even fat yet. I failed the Presidential physical fitness test. I HATED track and field day.
And I couldnt run. COULD NOT. The first time I remember running was in 4th or 5th grade when they "trained" us for the first "longer" run we had to do for the PPF test. I think the test was the 50 yard dash but in gym one day they had us run some ridiculous amount like 2 WHOLE BLOCKS. I couldnt do it.
Then in 7th grade I was in a car accident and damaged the cartilage in my knee. WOOHOO! I thought I was saved from ever having to run again but the sadistic :censored: gym teachers didnt see it that way. But at least I got out of Track and field day.
The last PFF test we had to take was 11th grade and we had to run for 12 minutes. I think to pass you had to run 1.25 miles in 12 minutes. Something just faster than a 10 minute mile. I failed.
In October of 2008 I qualified for Boston by running a 3:44 marathon. ~ 8:35 minute miles.
I am a runner and an athlete and no one, not even me can take that away from me. I tried to take that away from me this year but I went and ran the HARPETH HILLS FLYING MONKEY MARATHON :D on "inadequate training" and realized that it is too late. I am a runner and runners run.
(Trent - that wasnt gratuitous spamming, but as long as I was telling my story I figured I'd toss it in)
12-31-2009, 01:08 AM
I never really liked physical activity -- gym class, etc. In high school, I took early bird PE because I wanted to free up time to take art & choir. I graduated with a bunch of extra credits because of that. At any rate, it was the first gym class that I really worked hard in. I was the most improved student in the class on running the mile: I want from taking 20+ minutes to around 13. I knew my body, and some days I would have problems. My gym teacher pushed me to tears when she accused me of being lazy.
Right now I am just trying to be consistent with my exercising. I'm not super crazy about the exercise itself, but I am really excited about the results, so for now that's enough to push me to carry on. I will give it my every effort, and I hope that eventually I will learn to love it, and it will be something that I do for the rest of my life.
12-31-2009, 01:11 AM
Oh, and I'm pretty clumsy... I always seem to have cut myself, burned myself, have bruises, knock into things, etc. Sigh. Maybe after I shed more of this weight it will be easier to get around!
12-31-2009, 10:38 AM
I'm loving reading that there are other klutzes out there who love to move.
I flunked ball bouncing in kindergarten (a test they did to check coordination), and have the report card to prove it. In my defense, my parents were non-athletes and didn't even watch sports so I didn't understand the concept of bouncing a ball.
In middle school (early 1970's) my best friend was a jock and dragged me along to every sports tryout. Because I was the tallest girl in the school (heck, except for 2 boys I was the tallest student in the school), I kept making the teams and the coaches kept trying to develop my "talent" when all I was trying to do was not fall down too often on volleyball and basketball courts.
Today, my activities are those that can be enjoyed without concentrating too much or too much fun to care that I'm doing it completely wrong (like the Zumba class).
Rock on my klutzy athlete friends! I'm so happy to know there are others like me out there...
Shannon in ATL
12-31-2009, 11:24 AM
I am totally a klutz. My mom has always said I am less than graceful. :) I have bruises and bumps all over myself. Two days ago I clocked myself in the right thigh with a dumbbell and have a nice bruise there today.
I hated PE in school. I used to get doctor's notes to get out of it. My PE teacher used to make me do the bare minimum to pass and then let me sit and read on the bleachers. It was safer for all of us - I hit kids in the face with volleyballs, tripped myself and others on jumpropes, whacked my teacher with a medicine ball, the list goes on and on... I used to rollerskate outside while reading, my mom would punish me by sending me outside to play. :dizzy:
I hated hated hated exercise.
Now I have a pretty solid home gym in my garage with treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, weight bag, yoga mats, squat rack, weight bench, dumbbells, a barbell with 250 pounds of weight, and most recently a bosu. I'm running a 10k tomorrow and planning a half marathon in March. I'm a totally different person now.
12-31-2009, 01:02 PM
It's funny, I do things that require high manual dexterity, skill and steadiness. But when I'm not doing those things, I'm tripping on flat floors, running into walls, and knocking things over. :shrug:
12-31-2009, 03:58 PM
I flunked ball bouncing in kindergarten (a test they did to check coordination), and have the report card to prove it. In my defense, my parents were non-athletes and didn't even watch sports so I didn't understand the concept of bouncing a ball..
That is so funny and so sad. I cant believe they had ball bouncing on your report card.
12-31-2009, 05:23 PM
I love reading the responses here. But maybe I should have just asked how many discovered an inner jock they never knew they had, since a lot of us are admitting they're still klutzy.
Half of me thinks that we're all being too self-deprecating. A lot of people here have accomplished amazing things that they may take for granted.
But it's true: I am also a klutz. In yoga and Pilates class, I've discovered that I have very poor balance. Partly from having a very bad left foot, with an arthritic joint in the big toe & plantar fasciitis from overcompensating for the arthritis while running. This makes me not trust that foot. And half of balance, I'm discovering, is mental rather than physical. Bt whatever my problem is, I am always experiencing that moment when the whole class rises up & stands on one foot, like a flock of flamingos, or gracefully put one foot out & touch the floor before them with the tips of their toes, like testing the temperature of the ocean on the beach --except for me. I start teetering, wave my arms & fall over. Every time. I can only stand on one foot while wearing a supportive sneaker & with no one watching. Having no witnesses seems important.
But in all other ways, I am doing so much better physically than I did at age 17 that it's hard to believe I am the same person.
I used to wish for a magic weight-loss pill, which would enable me to become thinner instantly, overnight, without watching what I ate or exercising. Well, I still wish there was such a thing. But I recognize that, had I resorted to that, I wouldn't have discovered that over time, with daily exercise, I could become (oh my God ...) athletic. If I hadn't been trying to lose weight & become healthier, I would never have managed that achievement. And that would have been a crying shame.