I am a girl who loves mountains, changing seasons, running, true backpacking, strong coffee, and knitting with high quality yarn.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Coming clean on numbers

This post will be kind of an opposite to the previous one. But, I am reading a great book on communication, and the first chapter has awesome thoughts - one being how we often label somebody, and how it takes us away from the person, because even if a label is "good" (or so we believe), there is more to each of us than one side.

Yes, I love trail running. But, I also love having good results, in wherever that is, running not excluding. Getting results takes work. Just going out there and lolly-gagging through miles of trails will not get me there.

However, I am also normal human. Like any next door neighbor. I need motivation, and I seek it where I can. The reason I had coaches before wasn't to "learn the tricks" per se, although the first year with Scott Jurek was the best - after all, there is so much literature, friends, ultra-list...the reason was simple: I need to be accountable to someone for my actions. Like a normal school student: if there is no test, there is no way I am reading those chapters! (Speaking of school, I had finals in Massage Fundamentals last night). Of course, there are those rare individuals who are driven by their own will, but not only it doesn't happen too often, they, too, have their downfalls, we just may not see it.

That said, back to "I am normal". I get inspired by reading somebody's blog entry not any less than some may get inspired by reading mine. Circle of life and experience exchange - isn't it wonderful? :) I also kick my own butt when the goal race is in site - but right now, with 3 months not running, I am not an idiot to not realize it'll take a good month or so to get into a groove. And my goal race is far and delusive...

Ronda had been really good in providing inspiration. How does she do it? Easily: she writes what she does. And then she "challenges" others. Well, not like she says "I dare you, Olga", rather "you know, you may want to try it, it'll be so easy for you". Somehow, she manages to believe in me - and it's not like we meet on regular basis. So, I read her latest entry on the blog and emailed. CrossFit is a buzz that's going around like crazy. I can't afford it in neither time nor money - but I am curious. I am also lazy like hell to have no push from behind to perform it. Isn't it good enough on Monday I did a full leg workout Ronda provided last winter? Oh, well, since I can't do a single pull up from described routine (and no, Ronda, I can't even do a Kipling variation), we agree on a push-up instead. So, burpee-push up combo alternating with overhead press. Ha! I died at 10 burpees before going to next exercise. And I managed 3 sets instead of 4 (of 10), what made it for total of 30 and not proposed 50. And I didn't even start a timer! And my breath was erratic for quite some time! Tough...but a good shake-out. Thanks!

So, to not let myself live this let-down, after my hour of cardio I did a "fitness test" (not all, but again, from Ronda's entry). 2 min timed for each push ups and sit ups. Sit ups were the easy part, although I have to admit. doing the full range does take time, and since I don't do them this way, I was slow. 54 sit ups in 2 min. My stomach didn't hurt a bit as I think my ab routine is more difficult (yes, I do have abdominal muscle under that layer of Buddha belly), but I am not quick in going all the way from the floor to full up. Push ups were another story...I rarely do them (may be once a month, in a set of 10 3 times). Going non-stop was a huge challenge. I made it to 18 in good spirit, and then it went down spiral. Last 10 I had to make a "downdog" in between each (I didn't allow myself to rest on my knees) and the form deteriorated greatly (as in: as long as the elbows are bent 90 degrees, I am fine). All in all I got 42. Whew! My arms are still shaking!

What else can I share in "I suck" category? As of today my weight is 143 lbs, where I was for the last 3 months (occasionally getting down to 139 and then back up) and ironically exactly where I was a year ago before beginning my quest on food diary (what Gail had agreed to do with me again - after the Thanksgiving holiday). For comparison, I ran Bighorn weighing 128. I am going to be honest with you, just as I am with myself - there is no way I am dropping a pound until next year starts. Yup, I love my food. Are you kidding? Larry is cooking traditional Thanksgiving meal with whole nine yards, and I am aslo going to Russia for Christmas 10 days vacation - do you really think I'd be cautious?? I told you, I am your next door neighbour:) But comes January, I better get serious. And I know I can do it.

Being accountable to all of you will help:)

So here you go. Naked numbers that are not looking nice. Now go enjoy your Holiday and give thanks. Because, numbers or not, trails or roads, job or no money, each of us have so much to be thankful for. Much more than being upset about. Much much more.

Stephen and I are off to warm up our bones to sunny Texas, where we'll binge on that turkey Larry is cooking, as well as in all the other things. Overindulging is good once in a while:)


ChicagoSlacker said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I am happy that I discovered your blog because your honesty and your joy continues to be motivational for me and believe me with my slacker tendencies I need all the motivation I can get! I still really miss the mountains but will enjoy running by the lake as it moves into its wintertime personality with ice galore...I sometimes forget all the things I have to be thankful for...

Sarah said...

Happy Thanksgiving Olga! You may suck but you sure are fabulous. : )

Rooster said...

You crack me up! Always up for trying things and challenging everything....that is very motivating to me. Have a great holiday and enjoy all the foods and wine too.

Rick Gaston said...

I'm right there with you with the accountability thing. Because of all the talk about Crossfit and the advice to get off the machines and use more free weights I hired the trainer at the gym. So much better but like you I really got to find out how much weaker my upper body is compared to the lower part. It totally sucked and it still hurts but I'm gonna plow through it as best I can.
After 5 sessions with her I have a ton of new exercises to do but I miss the accountability part. So I'm going to suck it up and hire her for a few more sessions in the winter.

Have a great time in Texas. I plan on doing some over indulging myself which is bad cause I've already been doing it:)

Larry said...

Well, you definitely motivate and inspire me! I do need goals, however. It's what keeps me on track when I train. And, I think it is one of the mysteries of the universe where you hide your 143. I theorize you have put on muscle mass from all the crazy weight training you do three days each week, plus the yoga. And, as someone who, personally, gets to spend time with you, but not as much as I'd like, you look awesome! :)

SLB said...

Great post, sometimes we can find the filler in the cracks!

Donald said...

Coming clean is never a bad thing, really. I totally agree that it's pointless to worry about weight until the new year - you've been through the routine often enough to know how your body will slim down and strengthen up once your focus turns to racing. As you indicated, your focus should be different now, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Or maybe I'm just sympathetic because I've put on about 10 pounds also :)

Happy Thanksgiving, Olga. Your first "American" holiday!

robtherunner said...

Enjoy the holiay season guilt free. I agree with this theory as well. I am keeping an eye on weight, but am content to hold steady for now. I am intrigued by crossfit also. Maybe I'll phase it in to my gym time.

Journey to a Centum said...

Have a great holiday weekend getting naked with your numbers!

Backofpack said...

Numbers are just numbers. Friends, family, bliss, joy, that's what counts! Have a fabulous TX weekend and turkey!

AnthonyP said...

Have a Happy Thanksgiving !

angie's pink fuzzy said...

have fun in texas!!!

Anonymous said...

Hope you guys are having a great Thanksgiving while I'm away.

JeffO said...

It's been an honor knowing you (as much as Internet & fleeting-gretings allow), and I'm thankful for every extraordinary knucklehead out there that I get to know.
It's not so much that specific individuals inspire me so much; it's the whole ultra community.
It's important to keep our priorities straight. Extreme sports can really make us lose sight. You're very good at showing us balance. That's how you inspire me, Olga. If you know me, I'm not balanced! LOL! I need influence from people like you.
Have fun in Texas!
Like my Czech grandmother, Bobby, used to say, "Eat, eat!" ("Bobby" is short for babushka.)
Then next year, "Run, run!"

Meghan said...

We will hold you accountable to whatever you wish us to, Olga.

I hope you're having a wonderful time in Texas, and happy Thanksiving!


Moogy said...

Happy Thanksgiving Olga. You suck? Hah! You rock! I have always had a hard time doing those extra pieces to make myself a better runner...like pushups, situps, etc. I am so pathetic at them...always thinking what the meathead doing his 300lb bicep curl is thinking about me. That is why I will stay a mid-pack runner. I would love to be a front runner but maybe it ain't in the cards. I freaking inspire your motivation.

I did my first Bikram yoga session yesterday. I was kinda worried going in but I actually enjoyed it. 8)

Hope to see y'all soon!!

Danni said...

You can check the crossfit workouts on the website and do the workout of the day or an approximation. You know enough about "gym stuff" to do it without paying.

As for accountability, I will join you come January for a fatassery melt-off. I am really packing it on! Not that I'm as brave as you are to post my weight.

You are an inspiration for others, just remember that.

kelly said...

Happy Turkey Day Olga. I hope you and Larry and Stephen enjoyed yourselves. I love your honesty. You are awesome. I hope to see you soon, teammate!!

Post a Comment