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My three fitness tests - one must have standards

Monday, August 17, 2020

So I don't find eating clean and balanced diet all that tough. Okay, it is tough for me to get in as much protein as my Spark nutrition tracker would like to see but I guess that is what a Greek yogurt and fruit sundae before bed is for. I find it pretty easy to pass by on sweets and greasy salty treats even though I love them. "Going without" is basically my life's economic foundations. Sure I didn't get to 195 pounds (down from 215) by eating sensibly but when I do get myself back on track, I've always found that not doing something or deprivation comes kind of naturally.

No, the tougher part of the "intentional eating/intentional movement" equation is moving. Just like I can talk myself out of a snack by convincing myself it'd be too much bother, I can easily talk myself out of exercise. Especially strength training, calisthenics, and even yoga. Eh. I don't wanna. So to keep myself from slacking I have come up with three fitness tests that are an important part of my life. If I get up and know I can do all three of these, I know I'm heading in the right direction. I retire in four years and everything I do is seen in the light of me having the strongest, healthiest, happiest retirement ever.

1. If you had to run a mile to save someone's life, could you do it?

I overheard an elementary school gym teacher talking about how every school day should include a "daily mile" whether walking or running it helps so much in their ability to focus the rest of the day. She said she asks her students at the beginning of the year "if you had to run a mile to save someone's life, could you do it?" it was like the heavens opened up. I wanted so badly to answer YES! I imagined myself being a superhero and running for help from somewhere that was exactly a mile away!

Because of this image of me and my cape summoning help for the dying, I jog every other day out in the woods, along the river or around a lake. Rain or shine I go out and jog my little heart out. Unlike other exercises, the rest days in between make me sad because as slow as I am, jogging is my new favorite drug. I had never run a city block before I was 49. I used the UK NHS C25k podcasts (below) to get up to being able to make a run-like motion for 30 minutes. I run a 5k in about 50 minutes (bwa ha ha ha!) but if someone was dying I could probably run a 12 minute mile if I had the adrenaline from the circumstance on my side.

2. Can you get up from sitting on the ground with a full glass of wine in each hand?

Oooo I heard this one on facebook and told folks there was no way I could do this. Once no one was looking I had to try. I started with two empty plastic cups and you know what? I could do it on my first try! Then I put water in the cups and I still did it! Then I decided to trust myself, filled two wine glasses (with only water sadly) and by that point I had done it a couple times with the cups so I had worked out how to do it. And dang if I still was able to do it. I love finding out there are things I could do but just didn't know I could.

3. Overhead luggage squat lifts.

This one is because there is no reason to do an exercise that doesn't have some baring on the rest of your life. I love to travel. Since my incredibly friendly divorce a few years ago I am finally collecting stamps in my passport! Yay! Okay, but not right now because I am in the US and most countries right now won't let me in because of how we as a nation are dealing with this pandemic, but a girl can dream! So here it is, my favorite pretend-I'm-traveling exercise:
a. clean off the top of your refrigerator.
b. dig out your favorite carry on suitcase. The one you could live out of for months.
c. Put 22 pounds of flour, sugar, books, canned goods, or hand weights in your suitcase.
d. here is one rep....
pick up your carry-on
stand up
press the carry-on over your head
place the carry-on onto the overhead compartment (the refrigerator)
stand up
pull your carry-on off of the refrigerator
place the carry-on on the floor

I like to yell out a different dream-destination at the beginning of each repeat because it makes the whole thing even funnier. Another good pretend traveling exercise is filling your carry-on, put it on your back (my carry-on doubles as a back pack if you want) and spend three hours being a tourist in your own home town. Walk around downtown, take a bus, go to the library, maybe hike a bit. If I want to be able to travel and see other people's towns with all my brought-along-stuff on my back, I sure as heck should be able to do it in my home town!

So there you go. But honestly never take my advice. I know next to nothing about nutrition and exercising. That's why I call it intentional movement and intentional eating - I figure as long as I am sincere, having fun, and not overindulging myself on a regular basis, I must be doing something right. Moderation in everything, including moderation.
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