|Olympic preliminaries by R Schofield, on Flickr|
Although I wasn’t glued to the set during the Olympics (there was a little thing called BlogHer going on for 5 days…), we did tend to have the TV on in the evening to watch events that were replayed after our kids went to bed.
As a new Pilates instructor, I was particularly impressed at the physical fitness levels of the athletes. Of course, they’re going to be in top shape because they’re the top athletes in the world, right? But I could just not take my eyes off how amazing their abs, arms, legs were! Why was it so unusual and fascinating? I think it is probably at least partially because I live here in Dallas, one of the fattest cities in the U.S.
I think it’s difficult sometimes to describe to my green friends and readers in other states and cities the kind of environment we live in here in North Texas, with the over-consumption of food, the constant junk beverages, the driving-everywhere and walking-never. It’s not that there’s a lack of awareness as much as the status quo is lower. We’re not comparing ourselves to Olympic athletes, we’re comparing ourselves to someone else who is fatter than us. That might be why it’s been tricky to fill our classes at Ultimate Pilates. We must rely on the word spreading to the near-underground world of fitness enthusiasts in the area. The fitness community is here, it’s just a little isolated unto itself.
Most of my friends are what you would call the regular mainstream, and I know you guys think I’m a little nuts sometimes with my eating habits, my green cleaning and homeopathic remedies, and now my recent fitness enthusiasm. And I’m OK with that, because I don’t really do these things for anyone else’s approval.
What I have enjoyed about the Olympics being on TV over the last few weeks is that it has helped me realize that I’m not as crazy as I feel sometimes. These athletes had to say “no” to a lot of things, they had to really focus on their own goals and discipline their bodies to reach the level of fitness that would get them to London in 2012.
There are a lot of times when my classes are empty and I do my own workouts in the empty studios. In those hours, I admit that sometimes I take the easy way out. Instead of pushing through 2 minutes of a move, I let myself go on to the next move after 1 minute and 48 seconds. I stop and take little breaks for water or “to look at my notes”. But when I do workouts with a full class, like I did at SLT in New York, or when I take a class with other instructors, like I did last night, I push through the pain and I’m stronger than I think. There is actually a point in muscle exhaustion where the burning turns to numb – did you know that? You just have to push through the pain until you get that warm numb feeling.
It’s something I want to remember when I feel like giving up on conscientious living because “no one else is doing it”. I think about the athletes and how they pushed through the pain over and over. How I get so much better results in my own workouts when I push through the pain. And how I honestly believe this applies to our everyday life.
Have you ever pushed through the pain and had it be worthwhile?