Being Present

You may have noticed a lack of blogging on what most would think is a personal trainer’s sure-fire topic: New Year’s Resolutions. This is because I’m working hard every day, not just in January, at being present with what I am doing. This approach manifests itself in various ways as I try to live a fit life.

One way I was present with myself was by listening to an inner voice that told me I wasn’t yet done with my ultramarathon training. Despite being pleased with my achievement of running a 50K on trail in December, I knew that I could go faster. I really wanted to push myself, and by voicing that desire– and the belief that I was trained well enough to run much faster– my dad told me that there was a 50K in Dallas last Sunday.

Once again, I piled the family into the car and hit the road. On Sunday morning, my dad and I gathered with 10-12 other runners at White Rock Lake’s Big Thicket cabin to begin the Recover From The Holidays 50K. We set out with a plan to run for 5 minutes and walk for 2 minutes, and that’s what we stuck to (more or less) the entire way. Five hours and twenty-one minutes later, we finished. That’s 78 minutes faster than the 50K we did just three weeks before. Being present, listening to my thoughts, and acting on them really paid off!

Another way I’m being present in my fitness efforts is to realize that, just like in other parts of my life, when I look good, I feel good. I hadn’t been giving this too much credence lately, but when Michelle Rodriguez asked me to contribute to her Well-Styled blog, I was again confronted with that truism. I’m now committed to revamping my workout wardrobe to wear items that a) fit, b) are appropriate for the activity, and c) wouldn’t embarass my mother if she knew I was wearing them out of the house. If you’re in need of workout wear but don’t know where to start, Michelle is leading a guided field trip at Title Nine later this month. Look good, feel good, want to be healthier, take better care of yourself, look even better!

Many of my workouts are done with others, and I enjoy the social interactions I have while exercising. While I don’t want to eliminate those workouts completely, I want to return to doing a few workouts a week by myself. I want to enjoy the simplicity and primal nature of moving my body. I want to listen to my body as it works. I want to acknowledge my thoughts as I have them. I can do a better job of being present if I can focus only on myself.

I am also working to be present when I eat. No more eating in the car or while wandering around the house. I want to sit down, chew, and taste. I want to be grateful for the food I have available and the ways in which it nourishes my body. All too often, even when eating with the family, I’m too focused on other things to really be mindful of the food I’m consuming.

Being present is an ongoing challenge for me. But I believe it is a key to wellness, as it requires me to slow down and give thanks. Doing so can only be beneficial.

Good health and great happiness to you.

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