My head always ruled the day when it came to sports.
I had zero confidence and can still remember my Dad shouting from the sideline of my teen basketball games ‘Ann-Marie you gotta get tough, get in there for God’s sake’
I did some yoga, took some step aerobics classes, heck I even joined a gym (in a moment of madness, I say).
I went all out for a few weeks and then nothing, I’d stop going. My head well in control, telling me that I wasn’t enjoying it and that it wasn’t working.
So I’d cave in, however I’d still pay the membership fees, so as I’d look good and make excuse after excuse as to why I couldn’t go; it was raining, it was sunny, I was tired, it was cold, it was late, it was early, I had too many important things to do instead like cleaning the toilet…Oh Please!
And so this was my relationship with exercise.
This time I thought I’d try something a little different, I needed another approach. I obviously couldn’t trust myself to do it alone; the little voice in my head was far too strong.
So I asked my friend to work with me.
She had a real passion of exercise and had taught classes at the gym.
I used to think that these gym people were nuts, completely nuts to get up so early to exercise.
Sitting on that bike, with a sore arse, listening to Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ I knew that I must be nuts too!
One day I caught myself thinking ‘this is FUN’. OMG what did I just say; FUN!
What I realized was that I hadn’t really known how to exercise properly, to workout in a way that really served me. I’d always come from I ‘should’ do it or felt that I ‘had to’ do it.
I didn’t have the explanations to give me the knowing so I could move onto the doing. Until my friend started supporting me and teaching me, I was completely in the dark as to what to do. Every move, every stretch and every breathing technique she had me do, she explained the reason for it along with the effect it had on my body. And when things got tough and I wanted to quit because the little voice in my head was giving me grief, she’d encourage me through it.
On reflection, my heart had made the commitment to be fit and healthy and so every day I’d take a step closer to it. Even on the days that I didn’t train I was still looking after myself as my body rested and regenerated. This too was a whole new experience, to consciously allow myself to take it easy.
What started out as a knowing that I needed to do something around my health and fitness ended with me doing a women’s duathlon; competing in a run/bike race. Who’d have believed it?
While the distances were not that far, it was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line. Of course my friend was with me every single step of the way. We began the race together and finished together.
For once my husband was on the sideline cheering me on! What a thrill.
I felt very proud of myself that day and very grateful to have such a loving, caring friend.
The very next week, the blue line appeared on my pregnancy test and my duathlon days were over, for a short time anyway. A whole new challenge was about to unfold there, but that’s for another day.