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100 Days of Body Practice

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100 Days of Body Practice

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 Back in December, I signed up for Hanne Blank's 100 Days of Body Practice challenge. She even had a post that said Have a body practice goal? Win a book! This was my goal:

My body practice goal is to faithfully use the Couch to 5K program three times a week, because I’d like to have more stamina and better breathing.  And I want to feel positive emotions while I’m doing it. I don’t insist on “runner’s high,” but I’d like NOT to feel bored, or frustrated, or angry. Happiness, contentment, even smug self-satisfaction will do, just so that I don’t feel the USUAL emotions I feel when exercising for exercise’s sake, which are basically “I would rather be cleaning the cat box than doing this.”  Music doesn’t tend to alleviate it, because I wind up associating the music with the exercise and coming to hate it. I’m hoping audiobooks will help.

Considering that I actually won the book -- The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts  -- and it was terrific -- I figured I'd better follow through on it.

I didn't start on February 1, when the challenge did, because, first of all, I find it a lot easier to start three-times-a-week things on Mondays, and, for another, last week was a really bad week for brainweasels, and just getting out of bed was a challenge. But I started today.

It didn't go perfectly. First of all, it was COLD. Below-freezing cold. And I sort of misjudged things; I had a nice new pair of workout tights, but I should have put the windbreaker pants on over them. And I couldn't find my neoprene face mask -- a thing I seriously need for cold-weather outdoor exercise, because one of the triggers for that not-asthma breathing trouble I was having last year? Cold. I tied a scarf over my nose and mouth, but it was bulky and awkward.

Then there was the app. It's set up so it'll run with music in the background, but somehow when I started the music I paused the app without realizing it, and so I spent a good bit longer on the "warm-up" (brisk walking, in my case) than the program intended. And then when I re-set it I managed to have the music player in the foreground and the C25K app behind it, so it only vibrated in my little arm holder instead of beeping and talking to me when I was supposed to switch between walking and jogging, and I may have gotten them reversed. Between the elongated warm-up and the confusion, I was too tired to manage the jogging part on the last three signals, so I just walked. I did get back just as the "cool-down" started. And I did some long-held lunge stretches so hopefully I won't mangle my knees the way I did the last time I tried this. I also mostly used the nice new flat and even sidewalks that they finally finished on the main drag, so with luck I won't turn my ankles on uneven pavement.

In terms of emotional state? I do have to say that listening to Richard Armitage read the audiobook of Georgette Heyer's The Convenient Marriage  was an enormous help. Richard Armitage's voice runs probably a close third favorite of mine right after Paul McGann and Samuel West, who are actually tied for first, and that's my favorite Georgette Heyer novel, at least on alternate days -- the other one is Friday's Child. The audiobook is abridged, and I know the novel so well that I can spot some of where they've abridged it; they left out the monkey! And that Horatia's shoes pinched her, at an important moment. And a particularly catty line that the Earl's former mistress said. None of those were really important, but they also left out half an exchange between the Earl and his mistress right at the beginning, and it would have been better to leave it in, for the parallel structure, and for what it said about her. But, anyway, the intense familiarity of a favorite book plus the lovely voice worked a lot better for me than music to keep me from flat-out hating the exercise.

Because of the difficulties posed by nasty weather, I also broke down and joined a $10/month gym a few blocks from my house. You don't get free classes unless you sign up at $20/month, but that's okay with me, because I HATE classes. They make me feel clumsy and inadequate. They do offer you a free personal training session, which I'll take, because I don't know how to use all the equipment or how much weight I can reasonably lift if I use the weight machines. I think that at first I may just use the empty classroom so I can pay attention to my push-up and sit-up form in the mirror. and ask the trainer how to set up a cycle that matches C25K on the treadmills. There's also a pool, though I'm not sure that's for me, and a steam room, which is definitely not for me because guess what ELSE triggers my breathing trouble? And the locker room feels kind of grubby, so before I even consider showering there, I'll need to pick up a cheap pair of flip-flops or shower shoes. But, as it's only a few minutes from my house, there's no reason I can't shower at home.

I figure, if eternaleponine can go to taekwondo classes six days a week, I can certainly get my butt out the door and onto the sidewalk or into the gym. I had thought about joining the one that's right next to her dojang, but it's a lot pricier. $10/month is about what I'm willing to deal with.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll have fewer attacks of the brainweasels without having to change my meds.

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