By TED SILLANPAA
The passage of time and the expansion of my waistline, along with a daily commute that chews up time I used to spend at least thinking about exercising, has reduced me … I’m almost embarrassed to admit!
I’ve been doing yoga and pilates following workouts available via Comcast’s On Demand service. (There are all sorts of workouts available on the Sports & Fitness channel.)
Yoga and pilates are great overall body workouts. They focus on core strength and flexibility.
I have almost no core strength these days and have been notoriously inflexible, even when I was running, play handball and enjoying team sports. So, to the yoga and pilates workouts I’m able to add the benefit of raising my heart rate grinding through abdominal exercises and the stretching. When the instructor calmly says, “Now lift your legs and point your toes away from you…relax…feel yourself taking deep breaths,” I’m typically gasping, straining and feeling sweat pour down my face.
The fact that what are labeled as “beginners” level workouts are challenging to me doesn’t keep the inner athlete, the guy who used to compete, from showing up. I have no business questioning the merit of any exercise, but I do. For example, I refuse to acknowledge that walking is a workout. It’s just boring. I think about my days running in road races and forget that I’m the TV yoga doof.
It gets me in trouble with the athlete I’ve buried in years and body fat comes out and pops off.
A woman I know who insisted she would get in shape but, “That I don’t really like to sweat,” has lost 100 pounds working out every single day for the last couple of years. She’s now more fit than I am. Taking an aerobics boot camp class that meets outdoors at Placer County parks will make a woman more fit than a nearly sedentary man exactly her age.
The other day, she entered a 5K walk-run. She was quite pleased with her per-mile time. Then, she began to plan her next event. She picked a walk-run in Davis on March 9. She asked if I was interested in entering with her.
Sure. Yeah. Why not? If I can’t walk 3 miles … right?
She mentioned the distances were 7K and 13K. I offered that I had no interested in walking, running or evening thinking about a half-marathon. My body was still sore from the previous day’s yoga workout.
“OK, let’s do the 7K, then,” she said.
“What’s that? Like five miles?” I said. “That’s pretty long way to walk.”
She offered that she could probably get back up to running speed by March 9 and would be happy to run the 7K with me.
See what I mean about the athlete I’ve buried in fat popping off? That’s a long way for me to cover in any manner — walking, jogging, bicycling. Unless one of my sons wants to drive me from the starting line to the finish, I’m going to labor on the 7K course.
“I think I can handle that if you can,” I said with a smirk that belied the fact that I hadn’t jogged 5 miles in years.
She was rightfully offended given that she works out daily and … I … er … do yoga in my living room once in awhile.
Wait, the guy deep inside who played college baseball and used to enter raquetball tournaments wouldn’t shut up.
“If you and I are in a walk or a run and I find you pulling away from me … that’s it. I’m dead,” I said, although, there’s no reason for me to think she won’t pull away from over 7 kilometers. “If I can’t keep up with you … I’ll quit even trying to be in shape.”
March 9 it is then. A 7-kilometer walk/run. I used to run roughly 7 kilometers every day and time myself to keep at a 5 1/2 minute mile pace. Now, I’m hoping the fact that she’ll run me ragged is reason enough to pick up the pace with the yoga and get outside to see if I can even cover 7 kilometers without the aid of a working automobile.