My wings lift me up
whenever I have fallen
and I soar higher
Today's music selection was Balkan Beat Box. There's something about those crazy rhythms, accordion as a house music instrument and rapping in Bulgarian that makes me smile and inspires me. Yeah, I'm weird, but it's all good.
Whenever I go out for any workout, I set 3 goals: minimum, expected and the "I totally rock at this" goals. I also got through a half tour of the stadium. Lately I've been pushing myself through 15 sections and usually around the 10th section I'm dying. Today it was around section 15 when the jelly legs kicked in. I suspect a piece of that has to do with the humidity and using my inhaler before getting started since my allergies are kicking up right now. I admit that the half tour was my expected goal, 15 was the minimum and 20+ was the rocking goal.
But what struck me this morning was Brogran, the fearless leader of the November Project, reminding folks it's time to turn the fitness industry on its head. While you respect that some people need those crossfit, PX90, gym memberships and running club dues, fitness is something that can be done for free and turning out with a growing group starts getting people moving.
When I met Brogan at the Big Man race in June, I mentioned that I was thinking about signing up for a boot camp to get myself started. He suggested I come and give the stadium a try. It was free and I could do it. With the economy what it is and my job on hiatus until Labor Day (for all you folks who think teaching is a piece of cake, you try going without pay for 3 months and tell me how sweet it is... yeah I saved some of each paycheck to get through the summer, but still, would you really tolerate that in your job?), I figured free is good and if it didn't work out, well, I could always sign up for a boot camp.
I'm 7 weeks in here and bootcamp isn't even on the radar any more. I'm sad that I won't be part of the bigger group once Labor Day rolls around and I have to be home no later than 6:45/7 so I can shower up and get to school on time. I'll have to get to workouts early and finish when folks are starting on Wednesdays and Fridays. I won't be entirely alone as there are folks who get there early so they can do a full frogman tour (50 sections), so I look forward to that bit. I still have the rest of the month to go to enjoy a routine that has inspired me so far. Yesterday I found myself pulling out my cards and doing a deck of cards workout while watching TV as sitting seemed too little. I've been out walking, I'm riding my bike more and more. While I love McGreevey the Wonder Bug so much (what's not to love about a black on black 6 speed turbo bug that can go wicked fast and has butt warmers for the winter?), I've spent less time in him these past 7 weeks than I have in all the years I've owned him.
This has changed my life. It can change other people's lives as well. Even if you're not showing up at Harvard Stadium at the butt crack of dawn on a Wednesday morning. Imagine putting on shoes and walking out your front door. Imagine walking up and down the risers at the local high school football stadium or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. We shouldn't be relying on other people to tell us what we can and can't do, we need to rely on ourselves.... and if you need a group of folks to help you do that and you're in Boston, then come join us. It costs nothing but the feeling of "I should do something...."
Who knows, maybe it will get under your skin and you'll find yourself doing something crazy like feeling good about your jeans looking like mom jeans because they're so big and baggy or that shirt you wish you got in an XL and now wishing you had the M instead because the L is just a bit too loose these days. Maybe you'll find that you really need that personal trainer to push you or that you enjoy the comfort of a gym, at least you'll appreciate those things a hair more. What have you got lose... but some weight and self doubt?
Friday morning we'll be at the corner of Summit and Beacon in Brookline at 6:30 in the morning for our 5 hill repeats. That is my expected goal of this week: walking up 5 times and running down 5 times. I can do it. Come see if you can do at least 1 or 2 trips up the hill yourself. If nothing else, the view from the top looks pretty sweet and let everyone else guess why you're smiling as you sip your coffee with a new gleam in your eye.