I would definitely call myself a perfectionist.
Over the years I have managed to tone down and distract this side of my personality so I don’t become completely frozen every time I want to try something new.
But what if I look stupid?
What if I can’t do it?
What if people think badly of me when I look stupid and can’t do it?
Not how you do cheerleading
Not how you ski
These are the sort of things perfectionists think when they attempt new stuff, and it’s the best way to never get anything done (there’s a very good reason most procrastinators are perfectionists, after all).
All or nothing thinking is really hard to avoid, especially when, like me, you prefer extremes.
Moderation? Why would you want to do that? Go hard or go home!!
But in a lot of ways pushing the envelope can be very helpful when it’s time to switch things up a little.
Which is all a very roundabout way of saying that lately I have been doing nothing, and doing it gooood.
After getting back from holidays and catching up on some sleep I was very surprised to find that Morning Me, the one who bounded out of bed at 5am to go for a run, had completely disappeared.
Instead there was Woe is Me, and Why are you doing this to Me. Every early morning wakeup call or planned run was making me feel as though I were being punished. After a week or two of thinking I was just out of practice at my running routine I realised that it was not my willpower that was lacking, it was that I hadn’t given myself time to rest before starting again.
All around me people were throwing themselves into get fit for summer campaigns and diets. Sloughing off the winter skin and preparing to emerge on the beach like some beautiful toned and suntanned butterfly.
Me? I was on the couch catching up on 8 weeks of tv and making friends with my old buddies champagne and vodka.
Every week I would think, this is it, fresh start Monday, ready to get back into it. Then Monday would come and it would feel just like Sunday did, or Friday; that a lot of exercise was just not what I needed to be doing right now.
I have no doubt that if I wasn’t working I would have found great pleasure in going for long walks, or swimming in the local outdoor pool, but we all only have 24 hours in the day, and suddenly I wasn’t able to find that hour I needed to run. Or do much of anything that wasn’t pure relaxation. I worked, I Mothered and I wrote. If there was any energy left after that I would sometimes run. But usually there wasn’t.
In the month of October I ran a total of 7 times. So my legs won’t have totally forgotten what to do, but it’s still nowhere near my normal level of exercise.
On the plus side, taking a break like this is the perfect time to try something new, which I have been doing.
Bouncefit is my new fave way to tone my core and upper body, at the same time giving you a great non-impact cardio workout.
80’s style workout gear optional
The classes are fast and hard and completely fun!
If you think planks are hard on flat ground, wait till you try them on a concave surface!
While there are some basic aerobic staples in there like planks, pushups and situps, there are also plenty of off the wall options for those that are willing to give it a try.
Double-legged jump to handstand, front and back flips (either into a pit or on the trampoline itself) Dodgeball games and other team races, then a 10-15 minute free-time session on the big bank of tramps which means you have plenty of time to practice your back flips, or your back-to-stomach bounce moves.
It’s pretty much go-go-go except for the odd water stop, and by the next day (and the next!), boy could I feel it.
While you’re doing a flip you don’t even think about how it’s toning your core or fine-tuning your sense of balance, but all those little movements add up to big gains when running. I’ve been going once a week for a month and now that November has seen a decent return to running – twice last week, four times this week – lately I can really feel the difference in my posture and stride. All thanks to Bouncefit.
Another plus – even though I have been doing pushups and lifting small weights for some time now, this is the first time I’ve ever seen any actual muscles on my biceps. My back is already starting to look like it did when I swam for a club, my arms may take a little longer ( oh arms, why do you have to be so weak??).
I would say the classes are well worth it, at $16 a pop they are not cheap but get great results. And even as “An Old” I cope easily with the bending and stretching (although if you have back problems I definitely wouldn’t recommend it). More to the point they are exciting and fun, and put me in a great mood afterwards.
It’s great to be back and to have found my zest for running again, but even better is the thought that I have added a new string to my bow, and such a fun one too!
Finally, I have to admit, it is such bliss to go back to not having to worry about watching what I eat (is it PC to say that? I don’t know, probably not!)
And ice cream. And chips…