To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~Buddha
Last week was a mess of a week mentally. Did I exercise? Nope. My ITB/Piriformis have been an issue for me for a few years, have I stretched or gone to physical therapy? Nope. I was over weight and achy all over, did I choose a sustainable diet to maintain a healthier weight? Nope. I had a several years post college athlete where I was over weight and putting myself down, was that productive? Nope. Like the quote above says to keep the body in good health is a duty and I am ready to get back to work.
When I was a basketball player I practiced 3x a day, 2x with the team and a solo 1-2 hours on my own. I was dedicated, sometimes I hated it, but mostly I loved putting in the time. I enjoyed the agility drills, plyometrics and the dynamic stretching type warm ups. I loved that as a post player I could run with the guards. In fact the last season I played, my pre-season timed mile was 6:31. I didn't eat healthy, I was the player inhaling a Taco Bell Burrito right before that 6:31 mile, but I could definitely afford the calories back then. These thoughts all came flooding back to me today while at physical therapy for my ITB issue. After basketball practice I would always go to the trainer, get some ice, maybe some stim and get rubbed down with crazy hot tiger balm stuff. Today I got a little of everything at PT and I even got to leave with an ice pack wrapped on my leg with saran wrap, ah the nostalgia. I left there feeling like an athlete and OMG is felt frick'n awesome. Talk about Monday Motivation, I-CAN-BE-AN-ATHLETE again, seriously! Ok, not division I basketball athlete, but certainly in the "mom of two kids still running and doing triathlons" division, which in my humble opinion might be better than Div I basketball. You see college athletics ends in 4 short years and I have all kinds of time to continue in the mom of 2 kids division of any sport I choose, which at the moment is running and triathlon.
One of the other ideas I left with was the concept of stretching. Duh! I chatted away with my physical therapist, a former collegiate track athlete, about how we used to view sports. I put in time like it was my job to be fit, strong and versatile as an athlete. We traded stories about how we felt as college athletes, the different stretching techniques that would help me as a new runner and the things I did as a basketball player that would help build my strength as a runner. At one point my therapist asked me what my stretching routine was. I went total "deer in headlights" look. Stretching? Wow, um, I kinda don't stretch. I love yoga, and I'll randomly do some static stretches at home, but I do not stretch before running and only rarely do it after a run. The fact of the matter is if I treat my running or triathlon like the commitment I had as a basketball player, I could be significantly more successful as a person/athlete. Keeping my body strong will no doubt keep my mind fit too. No mental lapses like last week, no weight issues to put myself down about etc. I am very easily coming down to a flattering weight and I am excited to start focusing on some toning and strength training exercises to round out my physique. One of the things I am going to do to help give myself a boost is incorporate dynamic stretching pre-run and some static stretching post run. Dynamic stretching is not static, it involves moving while stretching and some plyometric/agility type drills integrated in to warm up the muscles. It is fun and can really contribute to increased flexibility. I am confident that my tight muscles will be a thing of the past with a few minutes of old school bball warm ups before a run.
What's your stretching routine?
- Duh! remembering I am a pretty knowledge person about dynamic stretching and can really help myself by embracing a form of stretching that is fun for me. Why basketball stretching for running never occurred to me is beyond me.
- For finding out my heel is just bruised and it is not plantar fasciitis. Another day or two of icing and I should be good to go!
- For being motivated to try and earn a 31 year old version of my 19 year old athletic body. Legs are looking good, now gotta work on the arms & belly. Seems like such an attainable goal to tone up and I love having that positive of an outlook about it.