Posts tagged ‘swimming’

August 24, 2011

Sink or Swim

A week ago my youngest brother and I were in a boat on Lake Champlain.

I asked my niece, the driver, to slow down and drop us in the middle of the lake. My brother and I could swim ashore. I love the sink or swim mentality. I’ve never been on an Outward Bound excursion, but sometimes I think my life is an Outward Bound adventure. Before we even took a moment to rethink what we were doing and if we could do it, we dove in. The boat sped away.

I love the urgency and immediacy of putting  myself in a pressure cooker and seeing if I can handle it. This is probably why I’m always running late. I love the adrenaline rush of making the train just as it’s about to pull away. (I know, I know, there are many people in my life for whom this style of operating does not work!)

Back on shore, we couldn’t decide how many miles we swam.

Yesterday I signed up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in my office building. I am excited for the fall to start and the kids to get back in school (Kids, how are those summer reading assignments going? Not so good? Get reading!) so I can go back to daily fitness and healthy eating.

Maybe I will actually implement a healthy daily routine and not have to put myself in pressured situations in order to make it to shore.

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March 22, 2011

Foot Pain

I had major foot pain — on my heel and now on my big toe knuckle.

It hurt so badly that I woke in the night wincing. So a few mornings ago, I went to the podiatrist. Dr. Rottenberg thinks it might be a running injury or the early stages of arthritis. It is also, as I self-diagnosed, plantar fisciitis. She gave me steroid pads and anti-inflammatory pills to take nightly. I’ll go back in a week.

Dr. Rottenberg advised me to stop running or I will have to have surgery within the next two years. So after my huge HUGE success of running a 5K. Yes, a 5K without stopping. I’m being a little sarcastic, but also, yes, I’m proud of myself — I came in 150th in my age group (out of 180). I think I have to find a new sport. I need to do something for cardio.

I ride my bike almost every day in nice weather, but the bike has really failed me. One of the pedal’s fell off and the bike’s just given up on life. (See last year’s post on how my bike fell in love: https://runningaground.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/damn-you-gary-fisher/) I’ll probably get a new bike. That’ll be good.

Swimming might be good. I love the smell of chlorine. (I know, I know, it’s not good.) And I LOVE taking a steam bath after swimming. The steam room’s a great place to pray and think and simply be.

A couple of days a week, there’s also my workplace Pilates and Yoga classes. I love these. But they’re so woven into the fabric of my life that they don’t feel like I’m doing much. But as my gorgeous podiatrist Dr. Rottenberg said, “They’re the best.” Yet they’re not cardio. In college I loved Afro-Caribbean dance. Maybe I’ll go back to that. I love tennis, but that’s probably hard on the feet too.

Oh, one more thing, the doctor advised me to stay off high heels. Easy for her to say. (She got to wear them!) I like a little height. I like a little run. I like feeling healthy and fit.

August 19, 2010

Last week I walked

When I was with all my siblings and their families for our family week in the Adirondacks, I walked miles every morning with my sister in laws, Heidi and Nicole.  Walking is better than running because you can really talk.

We talked about the contagion theory of exercise. I loved this article from the New York Times magazine a year ago…

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/magazine/13contagion-t.html

Good behaviors — like quitting smoking or staying slender or being happy — pass from friend to friend almost as if they were contagious viruses. The Framingham participants, the data suggested, influenced one another’s health just by socializing. And the same was true of bad behaviors — clusters of friends appeared to “infect” each other with obesity, unhappiness and smoking. Staying healthy isn’t just a matter of your genes and your diet, it seems. Good health is also a product, in part, of your sheer proximity to other healthy people.

So, because I am altruistic (and not at all vain. No, not me), I am walking, running, swimming, doing Yoga and Pilates, for my friends, family, my wider circle. I am not working out for myself. I am doing it for all of you.

Okay, I feel good when I work out too. I’ll admit it — I do it for my own sanity. Last night for some reason, I was in a bit of a funk. I was missing my kids. I wanted to be where they were, but the city is a drag for kids in the summer. After work, I went to the JCC to swim. I told myself, You only have to do eight laps. I have no idea why I always tell myself,  Do eight laps. In any size pool, that’s my goal — eight. It’s manageable. But I did much more than eight. I walked in the pool too, punching the water in front of me, like a crazy aqua aerobics lady. I did 20 sit ups on the side of the pool.

I felt much better.

Exercise is better than anti-depressants. But it takes longer and you have to change clothes when you do it.

January 30, 2010

Joined the Manhattan JCC

The weather is just way too cold to go running in Riverside Park. It’s like 20 degrees out. I’m sure some crazy people run in this weather, but not me. Sorry. So, two weeks ago, I got a pool membership for me and the family at the Manhattan Jewish Community Center (Like, $1,700 for a year! NYC!). Yesterday, I packed my bathing suit and cap. I said to myself, “MB, all you have to do is swim eight laps or stay in the pool for 12 minutes.” If you recall, I seem to only be able to run for 13 minutes and then am completely exhausted. So I was cutting myself a break.

I got to the pool deck and handed the guy my membership card. The big lap pool looked so cold. Just so big and daunting. But the small lap pool, was I imagining it? A steamy, warm mist floated above the little pool. “Can I swim in there?” I asked the nice young woman. “Yes,” she shrugged.

And I ran in the warm pool. I ran back and forth and I lasted 15 minutes, that’s longer than I had planned. And I felt so good.