I used to be an Athlete. When I was 5 I started to swim and then from the age of 6 on I swam competitively every summer (and then fall, winter and spring too). In 2nd grade I started playing soccer and did that for a few years. From 4th to 8th grade I played softball. In 6th and 7th grade I also added basketball. In high school I mainly stuck with swimming but then added cross country, boys wrestling (my brother was getting bigger than me, I needed new moves so he wouldn’t beat me up), and added some cheerleading. But mostly I was a fish. Swimming and water polo were my forte. I went to a swimming school. My water polo team was one of the top in the state and we got first or second in regionals every year. Swimming we were by far the top team in the region. I grew up with Olympians (both water polo and swimming). I was recruited to swim in college and did.
And then it was ripped away from me. My symptoms started the spring of my Senior year of hs. I suffered through every turn of morning swim practice and slept all afternoon. For the rest of the season I would only get in the pool 3 times a week. No longer could I make it through my 200 freestyle events (8 laps, race pace for those of you who don’t know). I suffered through a 50 at a race pace that wasn’t even close to what I was used to. In college it was more of the same. I was no longer a middle distance swimmer and was switched to the sprint group. People asked why I was on the team, not knowing the pain or lack of energy I was experiencing. It was a rough year. I was no where near the level of competition I used to be at. I was sick all the time and spent most of our Florida training trip asleep in bed while everyone else went to the beach between workouts. I was hospitalized multiple times during the season and told that working out and competing at this level was no longer possible. My body wouldn’t let me.
Since the spring of 2004 (when that fateful swim season ended) I haven’t worked out much. I was pretty good the summer of 05, when my summer employment had a great gym and awesome workout classes. But then my kidney’s started to shut down on me. Since that huge flare I have barely worked out. I’ve tried to be motivated, I’ve tried to muster up the energy to start swimming or running or workout dvds or whatever. But usually I start for a few days then stop for months on end. I’ve tried swimming again (but when I have to be on TV every day it’s really time consuming and energy consuming to dry and straighten my messy hair EVERY day– note usually I go every 3 days washing my dry thick hair). Pools are also hard to come by in upstate NY and often require an expensive membership. So running is free, what about that? If I try to run my joints say, nay yell “what the hell are you doing to me woman?!?!” Gym membership, too expensive for my bones right now. So I have some workout dvds. But honestly the low impact stuff bores me. I don’t feel like I’m working out when I’m doing yoga.
But I WANT WANT WANT to do something. I want to get my energy levels up and get to a place where working out helps me get through the day instead of it hindering my day like it does now. I want to have the strength to lift and carry my 30 pound camera on my shoulder (or work out the other shoulder so I don’t get Serena William syndrome…you know where one arm is bigger than the other). I want to be able to run with my boyfriend when he does his smaller races (he also runs marathons, I know my limits and there’s no way I’m running a marathon). I want to be healthy again.
I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on fitness DVDs lately. I thought I might try Body By Bethenny. Not only am I a huge Bethenny fan, but from the twitter reviews it seems like it’s not boring and actually gives you a good workout.
What I’d love to eventually try is the Tracy Anderson method that some of the Hollywood celebs use. It looks like so much FUN! But I’m not sure I have the energy levels for that yet.
I’m just not sure where to start working out, or how to get the motivation again, especially since I’ve been feeling kind of blah lately. But I want to be the girl that works out, the girl that’s in good shape. Honestly my goal is to do a sprint triathlon. (I know I’d be great at the swim!) But, I have no idea where to start. Does dog walking 3 times a week for 30-40 minutes count? They’re big dogs……