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Breaking Away

March 7, 2009

Oh my aching you know what...I’ve been into the fitness thing for a while now.  I tend to go off and on, but I have been pretty consistent with workouts since IT Boy was born.  One of the things that I have learned in this time is that it’s more motivating to work out when you have a goal in mind.  Certainly the scale can be a goal, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  In fact, I don’t pay attention to the scale, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. 

No, what I am talking about is having a sport.  When you are training with a particular sport in mind, you tend to have more motivation and purpose to your training.  When I was ice skating, all my workouts took on more meaning, because I was doing them to improve my skating.  I’m not skating anymore (which could be a whole other blog entry, but suffice to say, it’s the kind of sport you have to put 100% into to be mediocre, and I just don’t have that kind of time) so I feel often like I am working twice as hard, with less purpose. 

Tennis certainly comes to mind, and I have planned on starting to play again and really working to improve my game.  But it’s been a year since I sent Mr. IT to Costco to pick up that really great racquet that was on sale, and the label is still on it.  It’s not for lack of trying, but tennis is a sport for 2 or more, which means I have to rely on someone else to play with, and that’s a challenge in itself.

So, let’s talk bicycling.  I’ve become addicted to spin class, and I feel changes in my legs from all the activity there.  Biking is something you can do that on your own easily.  In fact, I have a nifty bike seat courtesy of a friend that I can use to take IT Boy out for a spin on while I get my workout in.  If I can just get Soccer Girl to learn to ride her bike, we can all go out for Sunday rides.

But that’s not enough.  You need a BIG goal, one that’s achievable certainly, but not without a bit of work.  That’s why I decided to sign up for the Five Boro Bike Race.  It’s 42 miles through the city streets, closed off to traffic for the occasion.  I haven’t done 42 miles in ages (last time I did 50 was easily two decades ago) so it’s something I will have to work up to.  NYC for the most part is pretty flat – I certainly wouldn’t tackle this in San Francisco or Seattle, and hats off to those of you who do.  I’m good with the endurance thing – sprints and major hill climbs just aren’t my thing.  The description of the race makes it seem doable…

The most significant hills are at the bridges. Experienced cyclists can challenge themselves at these climbs, while beginning cyclists and not-quite-in-shape riders can relax and refuel at the rest areas and spend the whole day enjoying the Tour and Festival.

“Relax and refuel” = that has IT Girl written all over it, no?  Certainly, I will go at any hill.  I’m riding with a group of other moms from my town, so I’m sure some will be hardcore, whereas others will not.  I’ll judge what I am capable of that day, and go for it.  In the meantime, I’ll keep adding some gear to my bike in spin class, and will lay off the Fritos.  Amusingly, the race is the day before I have to leave for my company’s annual sales conference in Florida.  So, if you see I’m standing in all the meetings, you’ll have an idea why.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    March 7, 2009 10:29 pm

    Good luck on your goal and kudos on citing the finest film ever made in Bloomington, IN in the title of the post. I got to know all the places in that film well during my time in college.

  2. Liz permalink
    March 8, 2009 7:42 am

    Ellen,

    I had no idea – good luck!

  3. March 9, 2009 12:57 pm

    Steve, my mom took me to see that movie when I was a kid. Just loved it. Still will watch it whenever it comes on cable. Great message, great story.

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