Monday, July 11, 2011


I am about five feet tall. Maybe five one. (My license says five one, but the DMV didn't actually measure me. I just decided I was that tall and told them so.) I think I maxed out around the time I was fourteen or fifteen. It has its advantages and disadvantages, as all heights do, I am guessing. It works for me, which is convenient, as there is little I could do about it.

My weight, on the other hand, is a funny little thing that seems to have spiraled out of control. I weighed 115-125 in late adolescence, adding a few pounds Freshman year, shedding a few the next, pretty much squatty but very toned until I became pregnant. Nursed each kid forever, and had no problem shedding baby weight (don't hate) either time. Maintained the 120ish until my sweet Momma got really ill and did a 6-week stint in the stepdown unit of the ICU, with me living in the hospital room with her. Then the weight started creeping up on me, as I lived on hospital food (actually many quite good choices at New Hanover Medical Center, if you are ever hospitalized in Wilmington), takeout, and stress. Thought I was huge when I reached 135 (which, by the way, is also what the DMV thinks I weigh). Managed to maintain that, though, through moving to a new state and all that entailed.

Then, life got a little crazier. Momma and Daddy both died 11 months apart. I had a hysterectomy. My thyroid got wacky. I started teaching again and entered graduate school. None of these things served my waistline well. When I hit 145, I realized I hadn't weighed that much full term with either pregnancy. I did Shrinkdown through the school and the Y, and was developing some pretty good habits, but life took over and I got lazy. My blood pressure got wacky. I kept on eating whatever I felt like eating and sitting more than ever. At 164 I realized I was only a pound away from being fifty pounds heavier than I was 10 years ago. They say five pounds a year can sneak up on you. They are right.

My bestest buddy and roomie of all time (Nicole) is scary fit these days. She and I used to share clothes like we shared giggles and secrets, but my stressors have made me rounder and rounder, while hers have made her leaner and leaner. She had four children within three years, and her party-of-6 has led a healthier, more active lifestyle than my party-of-4, with far less TV, insanely fewer Happy Meals, and many more athletic endeavors. She's a physical therapist (my personal one, thankyouverymuch) and I've always depended on her to help me stay motivated and well, to power through injury, to tell me when I need to get off my butt.

And so I am doing that. A high school classmate of ours developed a neighborhood Lazyman Triathlon last year in Virginia, and Nicole is coordinating one in her Maryland neighborhood this year. She told me about it months ago, and I made her promise me she would hold me to participating at-large (punny, punny). Godblessher, she did. Basically, participants have one month to complete the distances of an Ironman Triathlon. For the month of July I need to accumulate 112 miles of cycling (or spinning on a stationary), 26.2 miles of running (or walking), and 2.4 miles of swimming (or moving in the water). I could have signed up for the Half Lazyman (y'all are smart enough to figure out what that would be), but I figured if I was going to do this, I had better do it full on. (Mind you, I did NOT see any sense in going for the DOUBLE Lazyman!)

Lemme tell you friends, it sounds easier than it is. I need to average 6.55 miles/week of walking, 0.6 miles/week of swimming, and 28 mi/wk of spinning. For those of you leading active lifestyles already, that might not sound like much, but boy howdy, I am spent just trying to get it all in without pushing myself to the point of injury. I was short of my target this week (which was actually 10 days), but when I think about it, I'm okay with it. I have felt myself pushing a little harder, going a little farther, trying to do one more length of the pool because I have a goal and a deadline. These are ordinarily things I don't handle well. I ignore deadlines until they are upon me, and I try not to quantify life. But I am working little by little to improve this one aspect of my life, and it feels fantastic.

Saturday afternoon, my whole family went to the Y and worked out in the Wellness Center for an hour. Tonight, the boys and I went for another hour. I have been walking around the neighborhood. I have been to the pool with my girl and made myself swim (not my favorite thing to do) while she played and encouraged me. This is all good stuff. We might reach the point where we all feel ready to go hiking, which my love and I used to love doing together. I might even learn to enjoy cycling, which my love has wanted me to like for years. More than anything, I know I will not be lugging 165 pounds down the blue hall to my classroom every day next year and trying to lift it off the floor every morning. This is good.

Anyway, that's what I am up to. My endurance on the stationary has already increased dramatically, mostly because I can READ while I do that, but partly because my heart and quads are learning to cooperate with me. I even came home after spinning ten tonight and walked another 3/4 mile with the yellow dog. Tomorrow I'll see if I can squeeze in both a long walk and some extra lengths in the pool. I can do this!

I'll keep you posted.