A pretty good week, fitness-wise. The end of week and weekend provided me with the chance to cycle. Friday I simply rode to taekwondo, Saturday morning I got a bit over 12 miles in, and Sunday I got a solid 22 miler in. Sunday’s ride was both hard and eye opening. Part of me wants to reclaim the form I has in my youth. This ride was the longest I’ve had in years; over a decade. I covered a small part of one of my favorite rides. One that is built for climbing. One that showed, glaringly so, how much work I have in front of me.
My feelings weren’t negative, though; not at all. Tranquility really defines my attitude afterwards. I pushed hard, but was mostly able to meet it. I know I can reclaim something.
Oddly, I’m really not trying to “reclaim”. I’m looking for a whole different way. My youthful eating was horrible. The habits I formed dreadful for my long-term health. So, the only piece of reclamation is the time I spent on fitness. Above that, I seek to add a better diet, with deeper insights into health.
I am trying to build a truly healthy, fitness focused lifestyle. And I can see the transformation. It feels great.
Just weighed myself. To my horror, I’ve gained 6 pounds! Huh? I’ve been diligent about taking my calories, having solid confidence in my data. My pants are another belt notch tighter. I can see better definition in my upper body. “How could I have slipped”, you might ask. My answer: it’s more complex.
Besides running and cycling, I’m into taekwondo. Actually, martial arts is my primary fitness activity. And that’s the main complicating factor. Recently, I’ve focused heavily on core training. My abs, arms and back have been worked hard. I was frustrated by failing to get past ten pushups. And I’m getting results. I can do more, way more pushups and crunches. But muscle weighs more (pet unit volume) than fat. Thus, significant muscle growth often gains weight faster than fat loss will lose it.
So many folks’ single health metric is weight. Really, we should add other pieces: arm, leg, chest size, distance, time, weight lifted, etc… All of these are more important measures of fitness. And, if fat loss is the goal, then BMI.
My goal is better health, to grow fitter. More pushup capacity, to be able to run with joy, and greater endurance with my running and cycling. Over the next year or so, I want to ride the Seattle to Portland, run a 5k, increase my flexibility and crank out more pushups than the twenty-year-olds in my taekwondo studio.
That will serve me better than simply focusing on weight. And my vision is long-term.
Yesterday I had a brief post about a new online community for runners. A side note was about my attempts to recapture my love of running. Running, now, is a significant amount of work. 20 years ago, it was fun; meditation in motion. I thought about it and hit one key thought: weight.
I weighed about 175 in my running/cycling heyday. When I started reclaiming this lifestyle, I hit 208. Now at 194, things are more pleasant. But those 20 pounds will still affect my feelings. I’m sure that getting my weight closer to an ideal will really help. And getting my fitness level up will, too.
The other thing I noted: a lifetime of terrible eating habits. Since I lived physical activity and would run/bike for hours, I never paid attention to what I are. At the point in life, eating a good diet is crucial to accomplishing my goals. Actually, I think I need to focus in a great diet.
My fitness tracking tools show a nutrient breakdown of my diet. Truly, it’s sad how pathetically few nutrients I get from food. I need to take a multivitamin to get crucial elements. I want to develop a diet that gets me my fully nutrient load, while also not jamming me full of sugar.
Clearly I have work to do.
Over the past few months, I’ve been working hard to get my fitness level back up. Years ago, I was a hard-core runner and cyclist, with many hours/miles logged. Though I’ve slipped on cycling, it’s still a regular part of my life. However, running has not.
Back then, there was a zen quality to running and cycling. Now, cycling still has that quality. Running, however, is simply work. There are moments, when I run, that I feel my mind slip away into the rhythm of my cadence. Moments, fading into work.
Having accountability, connection, makes the return to this level of fitness much more fun. So, seeing on GeekWire that Brooks and MapMyFitness have started a new community makes me feel good. Run Happy looks like it might really add something to the fitness community. I look forward to seeing how this evolves.
Many years ago now, I was a pretty hardcore fitness buff. The past few months have seen me reconnect with that part of me. Besides taekwondo, I’ve been focusing on time in the gym. Mostly on weight machines and cycling (stationary bikes). The focus on building up my core fitness before I shift to more aggressive pursuits.
My gym of choice: Vision Quest in Edmonds. I love the town, and it’s a decent gym. I wish they’d get new stationary bikes, but that’s another post.
The only beef right now: weekend hours. For me, it would be great to come in before 7:00 am on Saturday and Sunday. Now, I understand business and that they can’t build around one person’s needs. Can’t stop a guy from wishing, however. And it does make 24 Hour Fitness more attractive. With a LA fitness opening up close by, that might change things, too. However, I love to support the local guy, the home team. So, we’ll see, I guess.
As we move solidly into spring, I look forward to more outdoor stuff. A big one: taking my family on several hikes (Wallace Falls, along with others). And that, too, is another blog post.