Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reaching Beyond Your Outer Limits

"The only way to define your limits 
is by going beyond them." 
- Anonymous

The road that lies ahead for many runners can appear to be daunting at times. Like entering into one's own personal Runner's Outerlimits espisode.

There is a hill and another hill, and the road slopes and twists and turns down like a hungry slithering snake. We may feel a bit out of sorts, stressed, tired, unsure. Soon the primitive reflex of self preservation called avoidance starts to make its entrance into the scene and we find ourselves at a cross roads. We can let avoidance take center stage and continue to run the course known and well traveled or take a chance and reach beyond our own outer limits.

It never seizes to amaze me how far we can go if we don't think too hard about the act of running and just do it. This week 2 of our members completed just over a 10K trek while starting out to do a customary 4-miler on Saturday. Congrats to Kim & Jenn! The route was not the same, there were hills along the way. They did it without knowing it, though their bodies may  have started to feel it before their minds became aware, because they were not focused on "Time," "Pace," or "Distance." They were just enjoying the company and the surroundings.

Sometimes, even if you are training you have to run just to run as long as you can run and when your body feels it has had enough, give it just that extra "ump" to do a little more. Soon the old long runs become short runs, the short ones become warmups and your trekking like you never trekked before.

We may not be able to control the verticals or horizontals of the paths that lay ahead, but we can always reach new outer limits.

Monday, March 12, 2012

WEEKLY KNOCKOUT! INSPIRATION - "WE CAN DO IT!" Motivational Poster by J. Howard Miller

Sometimes a picture is really worth a thousand words as the old adage goes. This image by J. Howard Miller for one of many 1940's employee motivational posters for Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company has served to inspire many and brings to my mind the expressions "Yes, We Can!" "Si, Se Puede!" that politicians love to boast. Politics aside (I know some of your are thinking, yes please way aside!), and corporate propaganda as well, they all speak to our innate human desire to achieve, to succeed, no matter the challenges that get in our way.

At some point in their lives, even the best of the best of us, has to face an upward battle to rise to success; sometimes the challenges are external, monetary, social, environmental, others internal, mental, physical, emotional health, well being and lack of knowlege.

We have come a long way as women, from 1943 when this poster was released to today, 59 years later. Though we still have a way to go, we  have crossed many barriers women before us could not in education, employment and economic opportunities. We live in the age of instant electronic knowledge exchange, faster than superman's ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Are you a beginning runner looking for some tips? click here
Are you an intermediate runner planning to run your first 10K? click here
Are you an experienced runner who has run a few marathons? click here
Are you looking to walk your way to a better, fitter you? click here
Are you looking to step up your walking prowess to race walking? click here
Are you looking for nutrition tips? click here
Are you looking for financial health tips? click here

We do indeed have the world at our finger tips. Whether we have PC's at home or have to go to a local library to use one, we just have to let our fingers do the walking to access a wealth of knowledge that will enable us become healthier and fitter and in the net result our families will too. How awesome is that?

In a previous post we shared a cartoon by Randy Glasbergen in which a doctor gives a man a choice exercise for one hour a day or be dead for 24. The choice seems obvious but how often do we not make the choice until we are faced with the dreaded "It's too late," "It's almost too late," health issues only to do a 360-degree turn on our health & wellness lifestyles because we want a second chance at LIFE?

Let's not wait for the second chance card to come up before we get motivated to engage ourselves in regular physical activity. Live LIFE don't play it!

Not everyone has an hour a day to exercise. I know that to be a fact. My daughter like many women is up and about for 16 to 18 hours a day! Which leaves her with just the weekend to workout and catch up with other things. We will walk instead of taking the bus to and from running errands for a total distance of 4 miles and she will jog/run or walk at least 4 miles with J.K.O. Running or use the bicycle at the gym for an hour followed by the rowing machine and other equipment. Until the if or when her schedule changes this is her reality and she has to make the best of it.
Salvador Dali (1904-1989), The Persistence of Memory (1931)
If you are faced with a similar scenario of having time melt away in the heat of your days, leaving little of it for the fitness side of you do the following:

First, don't think to much about the time you do not have, instead focus on the time you do have!

Next, figure out what fitness activity you can do regularly and consistently during that time and stick to it!

Finally, have a couple of alternatives in the event that you can free up a little more time during the week.

Holidays are excellent examples and if you are a student there may be days you have off in addition to Winter, Spring and Summer breaks. Use these opportunities to max out workout times so when your time is cut short due to other events you can at least maintain your current condition with a weekly workout and healthy diet.

Surround yourself with individuals who extend positive reinforcement and motivation. In moments of doubts, and struggles, when the light at the end of the tunnel looks like a flicker of a candle's flame ready to dim, bring to your mind every slogan and mantra you have in your motivational arsenal and remember:

You CAN do it!

YES, You can!

Si , se puede!