How To Find Your “FitFam”

It is raining outside after a long week of harsh heat and sunlight. Here in Calgary, we were not accustomed to the sudden heat. Spring to sudden desert-like weather made most of us cranky! Now it is, mercifully, gray and raining. The weather is cool and the ground is getting the moisture it so desperately needs.

I have been dragging my body out of bed the last couple of days again. Yesterday, I did a little BBG HIIT training but all of the shoulder work had the bursitis in my right shoulder acting up, so I had to mix up some of the choices to keep my shoulder safe. I am a BIG FAN of knowing when to push through and when to pull back. Instead of focusing on reps, I have learned to focus on form and to listen to what my body needs. I have stopped listening to the little bully in my head that chants,  “You are a failure, failure, failure if you have to modify and aren’t doing ‘real’ pushups!” because that voice is a liar. I have learned to be careful. Tuning in to whether it is a good or bad pain, modifying routines when needed, and self care are all a part of your best fitness routine…and best self in general. I am slowly learning. My problem used to be that I focused on reps and gave up too easily. It is always a work in progress. But, if I had to pick on thing to tell people just starting with working out, it would be to work on your FORM. So important. (My past physiotherapist is shaking her head in strong agreement!)

This morning my alarm didn’t ring and my husband had to literally push me out of bed to get me going. The gray skies kept it comfortably dark in my bedroom, and the sheets were soooo warm. With my husband’s encouragement, I finally got up and strapped on my workout shoes (Thanks for the hand-me-down Asics, Mom!) to head downstairs.

That is how I managed to get my run in on the treadmill this morning.

Never did I imagine I would be the type to wake up early to run on a treadmill! Time changes everything.

Never did I imagine I would be the type to wake up early to run on a treadmill! Time changes everything.

I grabbed my old iPod to use for music and was surprised at what was still on it. A lot of Iggy Pop and Fall Out Boy. I decided on F.O.B. and, as I ran (and danced along on the treadmill), I cried a few happy tears. Why? A lot of F.O.B’s old songs are all about needing someone else, yearning, hating, codependency, and insecurity. The songs were a way for them to purge and work through those emotions. A lifetime ago, listening to those songs was MY way of working through and purging those emotions. I was unhappy, unfit…basically unhealthy physically and emotionally. A lot of it was that I allowed myself to listen to the toxic voice inside my head and I kept around people that weren’t supportive. I also thought the solution to my problems was always a grand gesture or a big move to another city. I never wanted to navigate through the difficult parts of my life, whether it was: personal conflict, unrequited love, office politics, a plateau in my fitness routine, unhealthy routines, feeling dissatisfied with who I was becoming…. I would rather move cities, jobs, houses, social circles. With health I used to push myself too hard and have to stop due to injury or malnutrition.

I was shocked to discover that, today, I no longer emotionally identify with those songs I mentioned above. I have now found that if you work on turning the little voice inside your head in to a cheerleader rather than a bully, you can (usually, there are always exceptions,) stand your ground and work through it. And keeping supportive people around that cheer you on is a big part of that. The friends and family I talk to on a consistent basis are all these types of people. But I had to learn to love myself enough to find these people AND feel like I deserved them. I am still working on the latter. Having a supportive tribe that gives so much love is so new that I feel like “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy!” (Wayne’s World. Still great.)

I had all of these thoughts during my run and it was wonderful. Every day I feel like I am breaking through walls. Last week, I was extremely depressed. It comes in waves and has since I was 12, but I work through it. This week I felt a lot better for no reason I can pinpoint. Every time I feel like a caterpillar turning in to a butterfly. I get low, I cocoon myself away, I emerge better and reinforced for new challenges. Physical fitness is a great relief from it and helps me cocoon less and emerge stronger every time. Today, during my run I has so many tiny revelations and emotional discoveries. Treadmill=therapy.

While I was on my treadmill making these little self-discoveries, I thought I heard something behind me. I turned to face the stairs behind me and saw two little giggling faces watching me do my run! My kids were just sitting there watching me before they went to have breakfast. They probably came to investigate the noise and just stayed. Little sneaks! They claim they like to watch me run and “get strong”. Um, okay. I found it both unnerving and impossibly cute. I shooed them away but it made me smile.


Have a great Mother’s Day weekend. Hug your mamas for me. They work hard and do their best. 🙂





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