I have a confession to make: I am a shameful runner and have been for years.
Let me explain…
My running journey started out in 2006 when I experienced my first heartbreak. With no prior heart healing experiences to call on, I turned to running to get through it. Slowly, I started out running at a 12 minute pace and eventually worked into a comfortable 10 minute mile, where I stayed for years and years to come.
During the 365 days of sweat challenge, I shaved off another minute, leaving me hanging tight at a 9 minute mile. It’s a pace I’m comfortable with and rarely do I speed up or slow down. It wasn’t until I created My Sweat Project on Facebook and Instagram that I noticed how intense some runners are and that I was incredibly far from running like them.
My old running obsession.
This longing was causing me to feel shame within my running self. For months I started tracking my runs on NikePlus and would gauge my running ability off of my times and those of others. The pressure I was putting on myself was making me fall out of love with something I truly enjoy. Not only that, I started ditching my running partner, Journey, because she slowed me down. It felt horrible.
After months of dodging running as much as possible I decided to try out a 60 day running streak. Feeling inspired by my little goal, I ran 3 miles everyday for the first four days with my favorite running accessory: a little black dog and my iPod (sans the running tracker). Day 5 it was wicked cold, which helped me decide to skip my outdoor run since I don’t belong to a gym
That run skipping day invoked this simple thought, “I get to create what my running looks like and make it fun again.” With that, I want to give my new running
- No timed runs.
- Bring Journey.
- 5 days off out of 60
New running style.
Three small things change the way I view running. I’ll keep up with this for the next 60 days and see if I can fall back in love with the sport. Low pressure = bigger gain.
Is there something that you can do to make working out more fun and less stressful? I challenge you to find a version that feels the best to you and ditch the stress. More fun means you’ll stick with it longer. Promise.
Please share with other readers what works for you in the comment section below. Now get to some sweating that you truly enjoy!
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Tagged athlete, betsy fry, betsy salzler, colorado, Denver, healthy-living, running, shame, sweat, sweating, Working out
Happy Everything to you and your loved ones!
I have gone back and forth on whether I should write a post about the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There have been so many beautiful articles written about the lives lost and how to continue down the road of healing. What could I possibly offer that has not already been said hundreds of times?
I am not sure. But what I can offer is more love and prayers going out to the loved ones who have been affected and daily meditational peace being sent to them from Colorado. I know that it is not just me, it is everyone that has felt the pain of this tragedy. Everyone watches the news and thinks “this could have been us, this could have been in my backyard.” Unfortunately, it has been in the Colorado backyard too many times. As a community, we know all too well the type of grief that Newtown is feeling. I have a hunch that there are millions of beautiful prayers being sent daily to Connecticut from this lovely state.
I have heard some say that sending love and prayers is not enough. We need action. I agree, action needs to be taken. The real question is, “what kind?”. My hope is that something happens, but not until all of these beautiful souls have been laid to rest. Let us all come together in peace and send them off to a better place with all the love we can muster up.
Coloradoans, if you are looking for a way to help heal some wounds, then checkout this event: http://www.coloradodayofpeace.org/
*Picture from the Colorado Day of Peace website.
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Tagged colorado, come together, community, Denver, human-rights, love, meditation, peace, spirituality, tragedy, Yoga
Since the end of the year-long workout challenge, I have found myself gravitating to a sweaty scene that primarily involves yoga. Perhaps it is healing my body from a year of non-stop sweat. My real theory is that yoga is teaching me that working out can be enjoyable, every time. Especially when it is different, every time. Add that to the reasons I love spending time on my red mat.
With the recent move to the suburbs I have had to explore (a ton!) to find a yoga studio that fits my lifestyle. Luckily, I stumbled across a gem in Parker called “iThrive Yoga.” Nothing could have prepared me for the view from the studio. The floor to ceiling windows boast a full view of the Rocky Mountains with a dusting of snow. It’s the most peaceful picture to stare at while breathing in detoxifying stretches and exhaling things we do not need.
The most persistent pest of a thought that keeps showing up in my life is my lack of ability to stay present. Especially during the holidays. Thanksgiving is over and then I cannot wait until Christmas! Christmas is done and bring it on New Year! For me, the holidays represent times where more love pours in than the average day. I think that is why we adore these precious days so much. So instead of rushing from holiday to holiday, yoga has helped me stay in the present. Breathing consciously for 3-4 hours a week and moving with intention has the tendency to teach just that. Presence.
This holiday season I hope you find the things that keep you present. If you already know what does this for you then please, please share!
I promised to continue updating the blog with lots of goodies once the workout challenge finished and I have been slacking. I hope that this makes up for it and provides some of you with some new running goals to get you through the winter season.
Day 313: Today is the day that 100 of my closest friends and family start making their way to town to celebrate our wedding tomorrow. Up until this point I have primarily focused on the planning details, not the love that will be surrounding us. This morning I decided to go for a run around my fiance’s neighborhood and allow my running brain to get lost in the gratuitous thoughts of having such great friends and family.
Unfortunately, I ended up more along the lines of just plain lost. I spent 40 minutes trying to make connections to roads that I might have seen when I was in high school. I also realized that I had a lot of firsts in this neighborhood…first real crush, first kiss, first sip of alcohol (it was a Mike’s Hard Lemonade, does that even count?) and add this to the list- first time getting seriously lost on a run. Luckily I decided to turn off the head phones and listen for the closest major road, which eventually led me back to my fiance’s house.
What was intended to be a blissful run with my head in the clouds turned into something else and that is okay. It’s what it was meant to be on this rainy Ohio morning that felt sunny to me.
***I am also incredibly grateful for Ken Gordon, a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch, that wrote this awesome article: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2012/08/17/wedding-worked-into-her-daily-workout.html
Day 307: Now that the wedding is a few days away, I have found myself less stressed and able to truly enjoy the process leading up to the festivities. Saturday morning kicked off my (semi) zen-like-state when I went to Diane Sieg’s class at Sacred I Yoga. It was the same class that two months ago , when I promised myself I would attend regularly. Unfortunately, my schedule has not allowed that, but I truly will try to make every Saturday class that I can. To say that the class is grounding is a huge understatement. It’s almost as if your yoga mat grows roots and the branches are grabbing at your limbs, longing for you to join that community.
Seriously. Check. It. Out.
Day 308: Yesterday my two sister friends and I went on a hike at Mt. Falcon Park, followed by a quick-lunch at the Ale House at Amato’s. The hike was a little less than two hours and a good hybrid of downhill/uphill with only moderate steepness. My body was happy to breathe in the woods and talk with friends about life while taking in the occasional doe. I do not think this could have been more tranquil if we tried. Have I ever mentioned how much I love life in Colorado?
Day 309: After a restless night of sleep the last thing my mind wanted to do was get up and go for a run, but my body really was craving the deep breaths. So I laced up and headed to the park for a five-mile run before coming home to laundry, lists and suitcases. The run helped me power through my list with just enough time to spend with my fiance before leaving for Ohio in the morning. And so the wedding week/end begins…
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Tagged betsy salzler, colorado, Denver, friends, hiking, ohio, running, sacred i yoga, walking, wedding, Yoga
Day 283: As the days of my challenge tick by I am realizing that working out is now embedded in my everyday regimen, blogging on the other hand is the first thing to take the back burner when life gets busy. I promise to you that I am sweating, life’s busyness has just taken the forefront.
Thursday morning I met a friend in Wash Park for a three-mile run and followed it up with a yoga sculpt class at Core Power (you’ll really start to see a trend here).
Day 284: Friday morning I woke up in Denver to complete sadness. My fiance came home from working a night shift at Buckley Air Force Base and told me to turn on the devastating news in Aurora. Like most tragic events, it took me some time to comprehend the magnitude of what had happened just a few miles from home. My heart was shattered for our state that has already endured so much pain in the past.
Working out was the furthest thing from my mind. So much so, that I decided that a picnic in the (empty) park, followed by an hour-long walk with Mike would have to suffice. We talked and talked trying to work through the overwhelming day. Sometimes I think that’s all we can to do find some ease.
Day 285: Core Power Yoga Sculpt.
Day 286: Ride to and from work and Core Power Yoga Sculpt.
Day 287: This morning I went on a three-mile run and then to Bonza Bodies tonight for a bootcamp style class. As I was in class tonight, I kept catching myself doing the wrong exercises, lifting the opposite leg as my classmates or zoning out to the point of not knowing what exercise my body had just completed. It was a huge realization to myself that I am still processing some things and feeling a little stressed in life. Running felt like a gift to my mind and although my body loved the hard class, my mind was left feeling more confused.
Tomorrow I will shoot for a yoga flow that can hopefully give my mind a little bit of a rest.
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Tagged betsy salzler, bonza bodies, bootcamp, colorado, core power yoga, Denver, Health, running, walking, Working out, yoga sculpt