mixed-up monday: olympic tracks
Confession: I used to sleep with my basketball.
After surviving the self-inflicted punishment of backyard drills and shooting games, I’d shower and curl up next to my faithful orange sidekick. The next morning, I’d try to strengthen my weaker side by brushing my teeth, reaching for doorknobs and eating cereal with my left hand. I was in the zone — the Twilight Zone, maybe — but nevertheless a zone delivering focus and results that translated into all other aspects of my teenage life.
Since my 20s, running and lifting replaced my hoop obsession, with yoga, sprint triathlons, a 185-mile Ragnar Relay Race through Tennessee and working out bootcamp-style with a punishing trainer thrown in along the way. I approached each with the same intense focus and reaped the same reward — a sense of momentum, mental clarity and oh yeah, feeling fit.
Another confession: The athlete in me has been on hiatus for the last few months.
That’s a nice way of saying that somehow the girl who used to get a kick out of watching streetlights blink off during early morning runs has stopped moving. Not tapered off, but slammed on the brakes.
There have been other blips on my fitness screen — from those jugs of Gallo wine with dinner in graduate school to two chocolate-chip cookie fueled pregnancies — but somehow this stretch seems more sinister because even though I’ve learned that without exercise I’m not me, I still haven’t budged.
I almost had a breakthrough moment while watching this scene from ROCKY and talking to my son about the power of visualization. For a few gonna fly now moments, I thought movie magic might ignite my fitness spark. Didn’t happen.
Having my favorite race — the Shelter Island 10K — come and go without me running in it . . . surely that “left out” feeling would motivate me to lace up again? Nope.
And then along came the Olympics. I was bombarded by athletes who make sitting still feel like a crime. Something shifted. Who the $%!$ am I to turn my back on such an important part of myself? For crying out loud, aren’t I the girl who used to sleep with a basketball?!
Today, I’m not wondering why the Olympics was the trigger or trying to figure out the “why” behind my lapse. What I need to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other. The rest will fall into place the way it always does when I’m in an exercise groove.
By the time you read this, I will have found my sneakers and finished a Monday run — no looking back.
Is there a part of you that’s been lost in the shuffle? Whether you’ve been overthinking it, afraid of it or ignoring it completely, take a deep breath and name it.
Now don’t think. Move.
To get pumped up with an Olympic-inspired Spotify playlist, click on the flag below: