Not Still, Not Broken

I never thought fitness was an interesting enough topic to expand on.  But, as I’m cultivating my inner athlete and doing more and more sport, I want to remember (and share) what exactly happened this week at the gym.

Fist, my short training background: after year and a half of CrossFit, I quit this past March.  I burned out from feeling like an inadequate participant – always finishing WOD’s last and struggling to recover from workout to workout.  I liked the heavy lifting, but it was always my poor aerobic stamina that set me far behind everyone.  So when I quit, I immediately decided to take a step back and work exclusively on my cardio.

Now, my only experience with running was a short stint two years ago when I was prepping for the 10K Tel Aviv Nike Night Run.  And though it took me over 75 minutes, this run was huge challenge to overcome.

This time, I turned to the RunKeeper app and chose a 16 week training program for beginners with the aim to run 10k in sub-65 minutes.  My first run was 3.5 km 13 weeks ago.  Yup, I’ve been training consistently for 13 weeks now! And though the program is not yet finished, I’ve already met my goal, having run 10k in 65 minutes or less multiple times.

I have earned my right to call myself a runner.  I’m changing my identity. I’m disproving everything that I was told as a child, which is that I’m not athletic, I’ll always be a lil’ chubby, and that I have the “wrong” genes. Oh no, we are turning this ship around!

And with this pride, I walked my ass over to the first available trainer this Thursday morning, and told her, “It’s been several months since I’ve been weighed, and I think it’s time!” With a solid diet, and months of intense interval/long distance running, I had no fear standing up on that scale.  And yet, nothing could have prepared me for the digital display: I lost a miserable 300 grams (0.6 pounds).

You can image my disbelief, and without my permission or any warning, tears just began streaming down my face in front of this poor trainer.  I was so embarrassed by my own reaction.  Sure, I was disappointed, but this level of drama?! Over my weight?!  It’s just too teenage!  There are wars going on in my region, people are terrorized, starved, and murdered, and I’m standing here crying HARD over the god damn scale.

Anyways, I proceeded with my workout, and yes, my talents include crying and running at the same time (thankfully this spectacle lasted only through the warm-up).  I shook it off just in time for the trainer to approach my treadmill and offer to discuss the results.  It just so happens that this trainer is Adi Rotem, female world champion of kick boxing and the world champion of Thai boxing.  Um yeah, she definitely has my attention.

Adi told me some trivial things about weight loss, which (I think) I already knew, but needed to hear them just one more time – for good!:

  1. “Your heart looks great! Lean, strong, and sexy. Now, if you want the rest of your body to look like this, you have to do strength training.”
  1. “It’s almost impossible to lose weight, sculpt, or tone-down with just cardio. In fact, running alone may burn through your existing muscles and may make you feel a little flabbier.”
  1. “Strength training doesn’t mean pumping iron. It could be just adding some crunches, light weights, or super sets. We’re talking twice a week, 20 minutes…”

Duh, Beata, duh!

But, while the scale scene broke me a little, I came back that Saturday and broke my distance record of 14.5 km; that’s over an hour and a half of steady running.  So with my tears in one pocket, and this insane milestone in the other, I’m walking away from this week with the following:

  • I’m learning the hard way, just like the rest of the uber successful/over-achievers
  • Nothing has been done in vain: I’m more capable today than yesterday
  • Obviously I have everything it takes
  • Fuck the scales!