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Friday
Mar152013

Get Bent

Since I'm one whisker away from official middle age, I've decided it's time to get serious about my health. Since I will never quit chocolate or french fries, this means I need to get serious about exercise. Knox isn't getting any lighter and I can't afford to get any weaker. It's time to shake it like my arse is on fire. I need to get strong.

Like most things in life, though, the saying is easier than the doing. And it's the doing that is tripping me up.

For those of you who haven't been following along over the years, in order to get fit I need to overcome the obstacles of anxiety, depression, an impressively damaged spine, bad hips, weak knees, lungs that are still black from the five years I sucked back as many cigarettes as I could get my hands on, a sausage casing of fat around my middle and arse dimples so deep you could lose a finger if you poked at them.

I am a sexy beastie.

Last year I started running. And by running, I mean cursing loudly when I had enough oxygen in my lungs to do so and trying to wipe away my sweat before I was blinded by the volume of it. I was as graceful as a three-legged elephant trying to do hopscotch, but with persistence and stubbornness it got better.

I now look like a three-legged hippopotamus trying to hop but I get the job done. 

I've learned something about myself in my quest to become a runner. 

I've learned I hate running. I hate running on treadmills. I hate running on asphalt. I hate running on gravel. I hate hills, I hate straight stretches; I hate it all. There isn't much I like about running except for that sweet, sweet moment of when I stop.

And still, I run. Never fast and never really far because I start having visions of jumping in front of moving vehicles to end the dreariness, but still, I run. 

Yet I hate running. I would stop entirely, but since I started running, my back pain is under control. It's been the best pain management I have found. I'm never stopping. Even though I hate it.

But it occurred to me the other day, as I was cussing and huffing my way to the end of yet another run, that I am a grown-arse woman and I can totally find an exercise that I like to do. It doesn't have to be all pain and hardship and hate. 

Enter, yoga.

I've heard good things about yoga. Well, mostly. I once attended a church service where the pastor proselytized about the dangers of yoga, while shaking his fist and invoking the name of the Lord. I just figured he was bitter about not being able to do the crane pose or something. Everyone else I know, loves yoga.

I decided it was time to discover yoga and see what the fuss was all about. So I did what anyone who is serious about learning something new would do: I downloaded a bunch of apps.

What could go wrong?

With my iPhone in hand, I unfolded the yoga mat that had been collecting dust in my closet, opened up the app and pressed 'Start.'

At first, it was a total breeze. "This is so easy!" I thought to myself. "I'm not even breaking a sweat. How is this even considered a work out?"

A few minutes later, I conceded that it may be getting a bit harder, but that was only after I fell on my face after trying to get into a pose I had no business even attempting to get into. 

After stopping, brushing the dust off my nose, restarting the app, this time being sure to use the 'beginner' setting like I should have started with (whoops), I made it through an entire 60 minute workout.

I will be honest. I was feeling a little smug. I totally made that downward dog my bitch. 

I rolled my mat back up, stuffed it back into my closet and phoned my husband. 

"Ya, I don't think yoga is the work out I was looking for. It was way too easy."

"Um, okay. I've seen you try and tie up your shoes. You can't even touch your toes woman."

"Well sure, I had to make some modifications and I went with the easiest, gentlest level, but still Bruce. I think I need to find something more 'active.' Maybe zoomba. Or one of those boot camp type of classes."

"Or maybe you should join a yoga class and learn it properly. Millions of people swear by it. They can't be all wrong."

Nope. I was done. Yoga was way too easy. I got nothing out of it. I want an activity where I can feel the burn, I argued, proving that running really has ruined me and made me insane.

The next morning, I went to roll out of bed and let the dog out of his crate like I always do and that's when it happened.

The yoga train hit me. Apparently, all that yoga stretching and posing was actually doing something. Something like shredding every single muscle in my body into tiny bits and pieces. 

"What's the matter, Mom?" Nash asked as he watched me hobble into the kitchen for my morning coffee.

"Yoga is the matter. I hurt so much. Even my belly fat hurts," I grimaced.

"That's not your belly fat Mom. It's your abdominal muscles under your fat."

Which is really weird, because you know, I thought I got rid of any abdominal muscles I had years ago. Two pregnancies ago at least. 

It turns out yoga comes in like a lamb and roars out like a lion. Those yoga apps should all come with a giant flashing warning for amateurs (and stupid people like me.) PROCEED WITH CAUTION. IT LOOKS EASY BUT TOMORROW YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO WIPE YOUR OWN ARSE YOU WILL BE SO SORE.

So I'm going to keep up with the yoga, along with the running. Because I embrace pain and because there is a pose called happy baby that is both slightly obscene and really happy. This is my type of exercise.

But I'm going to find a class so that I can learn yoga safely and properly. 

I figure the humiliation of learning yoga in public will be counterbalanced by all the Yogi Bear jokes I'll make in my head as I learn.

Hannah-Barbera will be so proud.

***

It's been a tough week filled with a sick boy, a teething puppy and a lot of hospital food. I'm glad the week is over.

 Don't feed the Bear.

What Abbott does whenever I sing. I kid you not.

Boy sized delusions extend to the size of his wheels, apparently.

Pillow talk at nap time. Little sleeping was done.

Buddies.

Have a great weekend everyone. Here's to getting bendy. Without the pain that follows.

Reader Comments (26)

Can I ask what app this was? I've been looking for a good one :)

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAurelie

Don't you see? All those physical issues are why you don't have to run. At least that's what I tell anyone who suggests that *I* run without my life being in danger. My knees can't even handle the elliptical trainer. Yoga, Qi Gong, Wii Fit, anything so un-rigorous that a sports bra is optional -- right up my alley.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen Anderson

I do swimming. I don't enjoy it, but it's the only exercise where I come out cleaner at the end.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkorinthia

5 years ago, when the youngest child was nearing a year old and I still weighed the EXACT same thing I weighed when I left the hospital, I went to the gym. I was terrified, wore an extra large old t-shirt that covered my behind and off I went. My goal was that as long as I could walk the next day, I'd do it. I knew if I didn't get results relatively quickly, my attention deficit would kick in and I'd quit. I wish I had the willpower to run or do stuff by myself, but basically I need a class. I like the camaraderie of other people to make faces or groan loudly with me. I can handle the stamina to get dressed and drive there; once I'm there, just tell me what to do. I'm currently working my way back to 3 times per week, but I'm such a happier person when I go. I joke that no one calls me Mom while I'm there and at least I'll feel as though I accomplished one thing that day.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura in Little Rock

I LOVE happy baby. happy baby is the best pose ever invented.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

It is fun to challenge ourselves to try new things at midlife. (I can say it because I'm there, honey. I'll be turning 50 later this year.) ;-) Anyway, I've been working really hard at becoming more active -- and have been shocked to discover what my body can do. (Of course, I haven't tried yoga -- yet. Apparently, the personal trainer I just started working with sees yoga in my future.) But I'm amazed by the amount of progress I've been able to make in improving my fitness level in a relatively short time. The human body is a really miraculous machine.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Douglas

What a delightful read! I am so glad that you didn't quit Yoga. I am a yogini and a certified Yoga teacher. For me, Yoga was very personal and I just recently started blogging about this aspect of my life as well. Interestingly, I just posted the second post in this category. I highly recommend you to read my first post:

http://sandhubhamra.com/2013/02/28/yoga-so-you-thought-it-was-all-about-getting-into-downward-dog-or-headstand-read-on/

and definitely check out the latest on "breathing":

http://sandhubhamra.com/2013/03/15/you-think-you-know-how-to-breathe-wrong-let-yoga-teach-you-correct-breathing/

I'd recommend you breathe correctly before you attempt any Yoga pose. Good luck! And let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them :-)

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnu Sandhu Bhamra

My lovely kiddo who has spina bifida and wants and often needs to be carried around has gotten over 40lbs, and my back is not happy about this development. I need to start exercising. My unhappy messed up knee joints cannot handle running, but I've been seriously meaning to get back into doing yoga. I generally eat super healthy since I'm allergic to a bunch of normal food, but I just can't seem to make myself exercise.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMama Meerkat

Wait until you try hot yoga. You haven't oozed sex appeal until rivers of sweat are flowing off the end of your nose during plank pose.

March 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatja

I hate running with the heat of a zillion blue hot stars and yoga? Not only do I lack the patience to move and stretch slowly through the poses, I fall over constantly (I'm missing the usual array of balance nerves). My doc recommended getting a recumbent trike -- I did and it is utterly BRILL! (I wrote about it here: http://donna-tellmeastory.blogspot.com/2012/10/i-want-to-ride-my-tricycle-tricycle.html)

It's so much fun that I feel it's not exercise but it is!

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Maderer

I have experienced that next day yoga pain train! Ah the joys of yoga.

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTarasview

My husband got me into yoga years ago. At first I spend my time cursing and grousing. Everything was too uncomfortable. Then it grew on me, and I started feeling wuuuunnnerful afterwards. I've fallen off that wagon, but gotten into working the elliptical at the gym and then doing yoga stretches afterward. Then my husband inspired me to try running again, and this time with real fitted shoes, which made a huge difference. I also cued up some running music on my little ipod to distract me. Anything that makes it easier, I say. God, do I understand the the cursing part! I'm the biggest pisser and moaner. In fact, I'm not really crazy about any of it while I am doing it, but I do feel really good afterwards. even then I have to drag myself into it.

Good luck with the yoga! Especially with the right video/ap/class, it can be hugely beneficial. Side benefit - you often learn to hold yourself more aligned and move in a way that is more in tune with your body's inherent structure. Cool, eh?

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

I've been a treadmill walker for almost 10 years now (I run two months of the year when I coach Cross Country and feel obliged to practice what I preach), but I just discovered (as if it's a new invention) Yoga a couple of months ago. Loving it! I agree that in the moment it doesn't feel like you're working hard enough, but your muscles show you the error in your thinking the next day. In 7 weeks, I've become more flexible, and I actually look forward to going to class (which I never have with any other type of exercise). Plus, I truly believe it's good for my stress level as well. Great post!

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate (This Mom)

I've been a runner for around 17 years (minus years for pregnancies, etc.) But, it took me three years of running before I actually started to like running. Now I haven't been able to run for over two years because of pregnancy and then a pregnancy-related running injury. And I miss it. Hopefully you'll get there someday too, in the meantime, that's awesome that it helps your back pain! wow!

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkate C.

I have to say, I was so upset when you wrote your final post on Redneck Mommy. I have followed your blog for so long that I don't even remember when I started reading or how I stumbled onto it. I am not a mommy-blog reader in any form. The blogs that my friends set up or posted links for never really held my attention. Not for lack of interesting material, they just didn't hold a great deal of relevance in my own life. Then somehow I found your blog, and the poignancy and honesty in the words that were written caught at me. I couldn't stop reading. I read all the older posts (there weren't all that many at the time) and amazingly, I kept coming back. At the end of the workday, I'd check my email, Facebook, bank accounts... and then to see if you had posted anything (I am nothing if not a creature of habit). I'd smile at your little anecdotes, snort with laughter at your stories, and I even cried the day you lost your dog. I was so unhappy to discover that the one and only blog that I followed was ending. I was losing a part of my daily routine and a friend. I felt like I got know you and your family-just a little, but enough that I wanted to know the end of the story. I've never commented on your site before, but I thought maybe I would let you know how much I appreciate the time, effort, and bravery that it must take to share part of your life with your readers. I am glad that you came back with the new and improved version...and that my daily routine can continue on as usual :-)

March 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChara

OK seriously...I haven't tried yoga yet because of that exact same reason. It looks way too easy, and all I ever hear about it people pushing cardio, cardio, cardio as the way to lose weight.

I might have to break down and give it a whirl. Especially if there's an app for that. :-)

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSincerely,Jenni

I've done yoga off and on (more off than on lately - need to correct this) for about 20 years. When I do it faithfully, I really do feel better. Crazy why I stop, 'eh? Good luck to you.

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb

One word: Pilates. If you get a good instructor, he can work with your back injuries and make you stronger. I've been doing Reformer Pilates for years and will never stop.

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisaK

I'm glad you decided to stick to Yoga :) It really does help strengthen your muscles by using your own body weight instead of using other tools like you do in the gym. There's no doubt about the flexibility that you gain by doing all the postures... they all come to you gradually if you persevere. My aunt and her family run a Yoga institute for over 3 decades now. I learned from them and also taught Yoga to school kids for a teeny bit of time. But that was a long time ago and I am ashamed of having let go and getting into such a bad shape. But you, I am sure, will do a good job of it and achieve your goals :)

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPallavi

The picture of Knox and Abbott is just beautiful!

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

Thank you for this Tanis. I ran yesterday. I ran today. On a treadmill and only 20 minutes and well I run a minute and then walk a minute all the way through. I've never run before. But since herniating a disc in my back I've struggled to find something that would help. Swimming helped in the beginning but it's fucking hard to go elsewhere and swim all winter. Walking wasn't enough. Didn't think I could run, but I decided to try. #c25k may be my new bitch. heh.

So...thank you.

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIssa

Please share the Yoga App!!

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlizneust

Yoga would be great to maintaining your emotion and mind. I love to do so. Some restrain also could make me feel sick but it good for inner peace.

March 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTakekawa

Do you have any clubs with lap pools? Before arthritis took over, I loved to walk, but the stress on my joints put a damper on that. Not to mention heart issues...but swimming is a wonderful and relaxing aerobic alternative (breast stroke for me--not as cardio as other strokes, but works for me! ;-)

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Stoddard

Lol, I agree Yoga rules but it is much harder than it appears!

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Years ago on the news from Lake Woebegon on Prairie Home Companion, Keillor told the story of one of the residents who was a runner. Who hated it. But he always had his wife drive him to the edge of town so he could run home; it at least gave a purpose to the run, intead of feeling like a mindless gerbil activity. He was running home!

March 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpq

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