Just Run with It

Ah, the new year. That annual event the flabby masses claim as motivation to “really get in shape this time.” And I include myself in those masses — I didn’t darken the gym door from Thanksgiving until 2012.

I do have some extra motivation to strengthen my body this year though, given that I spent months in chiropractic care last year after throwing out my back. I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed one day, literally, and *poof* couldn’t stand up straight. The good docs have sorted me out, but apparently I’m not a teenager anymore. Wow, did I really just write that? We’re both in decent shape so far as BMI is concerned, but that’s such a small part of true health. My muscles aren’t fine-tuned, my stamina is pitiful, and my nutritional approach often mirrors Bill Cosby’s chocolate-cake-for-breakfast rationale. And then we discovered the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, which prompted David to eat kale for what may have been only the second time in his life. We’re ripe for change and hoping for a fruitful year (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

We definitely have “first world problems” with our health. For instance, we have good jobs but they don’t force us to get up and move. We don’t live in a very walkable neighborhood either. Besides the Victorian “turn about the garden,” we’re the first culture in the world to include exercise as a strictly quality-of-life measure. The good news is, at least our first world health issues comes with first world activity options. Like dodgeball. Yep. It’s our flavor of the month.

Our friends P & K recruited us for a 21-and-up dodgeball league and so far it’s been a blast. And it’s great, because every time we start taking ourselves too seriously, we realize we’re playing… dodgeball. Although the guys throw a lot harder than they did in middle school, and my curveball leaves something to be desired. It’s the first “organized sport” I’ve really enjoyed though, and there’s even a bit of strategy to it (the fact that our team ignores this is beside the point). From a health point of view, sure, it’s completely anaerobic, but it gets us moving before we even realize it. So yes, team Occupy Ball Street scores one for health. Even if we can’t actually win a real game (yet).

Step two involves all my siblings, some friends, and one of the best races on the East Coast. David and I have both run the Monument Avenue 10K before, but we’re a bit more intention this year for a few reasons. First of all, we challenged my younger brothers to prove a point. They’re in the “I can do anything because I’m a teenager” stage, but now they have to actually do more than talk about how fast they can run. They have to actually run. Then Joe and Megan signed up too, and we know beyond a shadow of doubt that they will leave us in the dust. Pair that with my pathetic pace, and… yeah. We have motivation.

I’m not sure a marathon is on my bucket list, but I don’t want to abandon the illusion just yet. I’ve been told that only 5% of folks over the age of 30 can run consistently without injury, so if I’m going to do this, I have to make the decision soon. Will I or won’t I? Who knows, but for the first time I have a (tentative) goal beyond this goal. Extra motivation.

Step three… has already run into a wall. We conveniently acquired a yardsale juicer from David’s mom (the woman is a yardsale Jedi; I am but a Padawan) after watching “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead,” which sent us scurrying off to the salvage grocery store for fruits and veggies. It remains the only time in his life David has come home with a bag full of kale and been excited about it. We tried out beets, carrots, apples, kale, etc. I got adventurous one day and concocted a blueberry and beet juice that looked disturbingly like special effects carnage. And drinking that one required a mind game, as it did not look so happy and friendly as blueberries usually do. See?

I was just starting to enjoy this step when the juicer’s yardsale origins sprung up. Or rather, died. So now we’re trying to decide if a new juicer is worth it, or if it’s just a fad we’re joining.

Are we healthy? Well, maybe comparatively. But here’s to some new goals and a better year.

P.S. Anyone have thoughts to add on the juicer? Is it worth the cost/cleanup time to you?

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