Friday, March 29, 2013

The Meaning of Being Fit

On the way to Florida, I spent some of the incredibly, awesome 22 hours reading ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer.

Yes, I know. Snoozeville at times, but I found a couple of topics which really made me think.

Tell me about a time when you felt you were the fittest
That used to be an easy question to answer. I used to say I was in the best shape of my life when I played volleyball at Western Illinois University. That's when my coach, Julie Kartel, emphasized good nutrition and introduced me to weight lifting for athletes. In college, I dated a P.E. major who did triathlons and enjoyed running races, but no, not me. I was not a runner. I didn't want to "train". I just wanted to play volleyball. I ran when Coach Kartel required it of me. I didn't enjoy it. Are you kidding me? Running is painful. I just wanted to play volleyball.

I graduated from college, got a job, got married and had kids. During that time, I struggled through my 30s with my parents' failing health and eventual demise. I swore after my mom died that I was going to get in shape and not follow in her footsteps.

Before I turned 40, I decided I wanted to be Fit, Fabulous & 40. How was I going to achieve that? I decided I wanted to try and do a triathlon. Yah, I know, Mr. P.E. Major. "I'm not a runner. I don't want to do triathlons. I don't want to train." Blah, blah, blah. But I also don't believe in failing. So to prove that I could do it, I had to train. I had to put in the sweat and the hours of work. And, suddenly, before you know it, I'm at the finish line of IMLOU screaming to my family, "I am an Ironman!" Running has not only become a requirement for my training plan, but it's become my therapy time. My time to think about life...or forget about it. My time to solve the world's problems. My time. MY TIME.

So naturally, the answer to my question has changed. I would now say that I am in the best shape of my life. I can swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, and run 26.2 all in less than a single day. I weigh just a few pounds more than I did in college. Of course, some of the body parts look a little different than they did when I was in college, but Hey! I've given birth to three babies. Leave me alone!

Jeff & I at Wyndham Palm-Aire
AND...for the first time truly ever that I can recall I am wearing a bikini. Yes, at the age of 44, I purchased a bikini and I've worn it on vacation ALL WEEK. Mainly, because I will never see these people again, but I am wearing it.

I feel fabulous. I know I am the fittest I have ever been in my life and probably in the best shape I ever will be again. I love the way I feel in my own skin and want everyone around me to feel the same way. So, what is the meaning of FIT to me? The feeling which comes from inside, the feeling which says I am happy with who I am, and where I am in my life. I am FIT, FABULOUS and in my 40s.


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