Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Turning Point

I seem to have reached one. Five weeks ago, before I accepted the challenge of training for a triathlon, I was incredibly out of shape. It hurt to get out of bed in the morning. I got winded climbing a flight of stairs. My home life was suffering as I watched my kids play instead of playing with them. Even the Boyo got in the habit. While we worked outside on any given project, he would ask me if it was time for a break, as I needed them often and for longer periods than I worked.

The Lakota believe that all of the universe, and life itself, is cyclical. The Sacred Hoop. The four seasons always circling around following one another. Birth, life, death, and beyond. I'm believing that more and more these days. Five weeks ago my Life Hoop went something like this...

I gain weight -> I'm too heavy (in my head) to exercise -> I get more out of shape -> I get depressed because I'm fat and out of shape -> I eat because I'm depressed and stressed -> I still don't exercise because I'm tired and sore -> I gain weight... repeat for ten years.

Five weeks ago I agreed to try a Tri. This week I've reached a turning point of sorts. On Sunday, I went for a fifteen mile bike ride and followed it up with a 2.2 mile run/walk. Monday I swam 1000 yards. Tuesday I ran/walked 3 miles. That's right! The first three mile exercise I've done since I left the USMC. It was pitifully slow by USMC standards. I'm following the C-5K plan a bit, so it was run 1:30 then walk 1:30. But I did that for the entire three miles and still feel pretty good! For a few of the rotations I was actually going just over 5 MPH! (I had to treadmill it since there was a thunderstorm outside) But my body is doing things this week that a mere month ago would have most likely killed me!

I'm rebuilding my Life Hoop. It is becoming something like this...

I am losing weight -> I feel lighter in my head, and push myself to exercise -> I get more in shape -> life seems a little better every day as the weight leaves and the energy and endurance increase -> I eat healthier because my body is actually craving more nutritious foods -> The increase in energy and endurance mixed with the lighter body means I exercise longer and at greater intensity -> I lose more weight...

it is a self feeding circle, and it feels great. I still ache a bit when I get out of bed, but mostly now it is from exercise. I can run around with the kiddos again, making all of us happier. I don't get winded climbing stairs. And life really does look a lot better as the weight melts off and I get back into shape. I've turned a corner in my life and found a good path. I'd like to stay in this cycle for awhile. It's fun!

What are you making of your Life Hoop these days?

More Later


Ann said...

Love your post John! Good luck with the tri- I have been trying to train for a 5k but then I had an unfortunate encounter with a bowling ball this week and things are a bit derailed... keep it up! You'll do great :)

Ann said...


Love your post. Good luck with the tri- I was training for a 5k with hope of finishing one sometime this fall. I really am not a runner, but want to loose weight and be able to run with my kiddos, too. But I had an unfortuate run in with a bowling ball this week, so my training has been derailed! Good luck and let me know how it goes :)

Sharon said...

Belated comment: ( I'm catching up)
I am so proud of you. My "hoop" is flat on one side these days...but I do feel that slowly...very slowly... I am getting it rolling again. You are my inspiration! Keep up the good work!