Born to run…or walk at a relatively fast pace

As a sheltered kid growing up on the mean streets (not really) of Teaneck, New Jersey, my overprotective mother would allow very few activities where she couldn’t keep a vigilant eye on us. That left us with precisely two play areas – the backyard and the short stretch of pavement at the end of our dead-end street.

Back when kids still played in the street, my sisters, cousins and I spent hours racing down to the end of that dead-end. In my memory, I was fast. Really fast. I would also say I won all the races. And while my memory of my win/loss record is sure to be called into question, (see I’d forgotten about that for more on my awful memory), one thing I do know for sure is that I loved the way I felt when I was running.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t confident enough at the time to transform that love into joining the track team or even taking running up as a hobby.

Fast forward 25 plus years and I still love the feeling of running.

When I imagine doing it.

In my mind.

Because when I’ve actually tried to do it, the feeling I get is not the same as the one I got years ago.

Running down that dead end street as a kid I felt fast, carefree and like I could run like that forever.

Now when I run I feel…my right hip, my left knee and the chafing of my construction grade sports bra against my back. *Sighs*

A younger cousin ran for a while and wrote about the hip pain she felt that led her to give up running. I now understand. And the truth is, no matter how much I want to run, me, on all fours (crying) on the corner of “bless her heart” and “she just wouldn’t listen” is not a good look. And not good to look at.  And hollering at the local hotties while sweating in the fetal position on the sidewalk is no way to meet a man.  Not one with teeth anyway. Trust me.

This is not to say that women runners in their 40s and beyond aren’t tearing it up on the side streets of America. I know they are – the bright light of their fitness glory blinds me each and every time they whiz by me on my WALKS. Kudos to them and those aerodynamic baby pusher things that have them navigating through the streets of Oakhurst like they’re training for decathlons.

As for me, I’ll keep watching the runners enviably from the sidelines. In the meantime I’ve got my walking and I’ve found a new workout muse – Michael Jackson The Experience. Michael Jackson and I have been tearing it up on my Wii.  If enough of you ask I’ll even video a session so you can get a good ab workout from laughing with me while you watch. No, not really.  Image: Not me running – Source:Flickr: Emanuel Leanza “Eleanza”

What’s your fit-at-forty story? Share in the comment section or on our Facebook page.

 

Survival of the fitness: Holiday feeding frenzies

00182714I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks. Two road trips (one 30 hours round-trip), a girlfriend getaway (more on that in a future post), my first ever spa treatment, and a lot, lot, lot of food.

I officially fell off the wagon, or as I like to call it, “the back of the food truck” somewhere in Birmingham, Alabama after a barbeque feast fit for a queen. Due to a meat induced high, the details are somewhat sketchy, but there was roasted corn, potato salad, grits, biscuits, sausage and cinnamon buns, and that doesn’t even include dinner. *Sighs*

Today, back to reality. And as 40 year old bodies often do, mine is reacting negatively to the meat parade that just worked its way through my system. I have no one to blame but myself though, so you’ll hear no moaning from me. Instead I’m stocking up on the veggies my body is now most certainly craving and drinking water like I just got out of the desert.

Continue reading Survival of the fitness: Holiday feeding frenzies

Speaking of losing weight…

pea on fork Editor’s Note: On Monday I shared with you the fork in the road of my ongoing health/exercise/weight loss/fitness battles. Sadly, I’m no stranger to fad and starvation diets. But today I’m sharing a great post from Esther Kane on a better path to weight loss. As a social worker, counselor and “ardent anti-dieter” Esther’s take on dealing with unwanted weight gain in our 40s is enlightening, and she offers a softer, gentler way to achieving weight loss.

Balanced Weight Loss by Esther Kane

Normally, I try to avoid talking about weight loss, being an eating disorders therapist- it can be a touchy subject indeed. But lately, I’ve come to realize that there is what I believe to be, a balanced approach to losing a bit of extra weight if you really need to for health reasons. How did I come to this realization, you ask? Personal experience of course!

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On the road again

00387446 After weeks of laying off the knee I injured in the embarrassing incident now known as The Matrix Paper Retrieval Incident (TMPRI), I finally took the old knee for a test drive. It was a short one. A one and a half mile walk, with Kingston along for support. I even prepared for it by getting myself a pair of those butt/calf toning sneakers (not the Reebok version shown in their soft-core porn ad, but a cheaper, less salacious brand), and donning a knee brace. The verdict – the walk was great – until the day after. My knee, sadly, is not back to its pre-Matrix-move state, and my walks, which had gotten up to five times per week, will probably only be two to three times weekly for the next few months. It’s a fork in the road to fitness I hadn’t expected.

It’s ironic that just before the TMPRI, I’d decided that since so much of what happens to us in life seem out of our control – jobs, lay-offs, the economy – we should take ownership of the things we actually can control. Eating and exercising was at the top of my “Things I can control” list. Or so I thought. The next day I broke the record for the most embarrassing knee injury story ever. Coincidence? I’m not sure.

Continue reading On the road again

WAF’s Five for Friday – The “Metabolism Madness Cure” Edition

On Monday Dr. Oz gave us one possible answer for why it’s so hard to maintain/lose weight after 40. “It’s your metabolism stupid!” Those weren’t his exact words, but they might as well have been. During the show Dr. Oz shared a few inexpensive metabolism boosters and a couple of neat must-haves. I’ve added a couple of my own to come up with this week’s Five for Friday…

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair 1. Remember those plank exercises for your core? Try watching a night of TV balancing on The Gaiam Balance Ball Chair. The chair provides toning and shaping for your core while helping to alleviate the aching back and legs that comes from sitting at a desk all day. It’s designed for people between 5-feet and 5-feet 11-inches tall, weighs 13 pounds and has a 300lb weight capacity. The Balance Ball Chair retails for around $80. Happy balancing!

2. Oolong Tea – This traditional Chinese tea has been shown to aid the body in burning fat. Oolong should be prepared with 180 to 190 °F (82 to 88 °C) water (not boiling) and steeped 3–4 minutes. Premium quality Oolong can be brewed repeatedly and, unlike other teas, improves with reuse.

Continue reading WAF’s Five for Friday – The “Metabolism Madness Cure” Edition