Practice Makes Perfect; Practice Makes Better?

There is some truth to this statement, think long and hard about it. Actors are constantly working with coaches, running lines, fine-tuning their performances. Musicians are always working their voices, fiddling with their instruments, working out the kinks in a new song. Athletes are ALWAYS practicing, it’s called training if you are an athlete, but really, it’s the same thing – they are getting stronger, learning new moves or plays.

So if people in each of those groups are always working toward their goals, to achieve their dream, to become successful; why shouldn’t us, the layman do the same?

When it comes to trying to improve ourselves, practice is the key. Now, if calling it practice reminds you too much of childhood traumas where you may have had something forced upon you to fulfill your parents dreams or maybe a school requirement, never fear, there are many other names you can call it!

I am a big fan of training. I am a runner, or at least I like to think I am one. I mean, I run, therefore, I am a runner right? The best way to refocus your plan can be a simple rephrasing of what you are looking to do; word choice, ultimately, can frame your thoughts. So if the word practice doesn’t trigger any motivation, try a synonym.

For me, training (aka practicing) is a habit-forming activity. If I can turn my running into a habit, then it’s no longer something I am practicing or training, it’s a fully formed part of my life. It’s another thing I get to do each day; another hobby or activity that I get to look forward to today.

Maybe that is your viewpoint – your activity is your hobby and a hobby is often something we truly enjoy. Now professional athletes, celebrities, they have perfected their hobby. Many may have started because it was an activity they enjoyed practicing; it was a hobby they were good at and make a part of the life to practice, train, study, prep, ect.

In theory, if I (or anyone), can train enough, we can achieve whatever our goals may be; mine, for the next 3 – 6 months are to get back to the race pace I was at when I ran the 2016 NYC Marathon. Have you figured out what you will be practicing or training towards? Have you set your goal, have you set your final focus?

Be it writing, fitness, learning new things or skills, becoming more proficient in technology, improving your interpersonal skills, growing your baking or cooking skills; the trick is to just keep on doing, restart as often as possible, but never fully give up.

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Ways to Find Your Motivation

I am sure you have seen a post similar to this on this very blog before. I am pretty sure I have started my fitness journey over a few times now; that doesn’t change how starting over feels each time.

Two years ago I had surgery. Two years ago I had just started physical therapy from that injury. I spent about eight months in PT. By the time i was released from PT I am fairly certain I was in the best physical shape I had been in since I was a teenager! I vowed to keep it up, to improve even more, to continue to get stronger, to get faster. I wanted to continue seeing the progress I earned.

But then ‘disaster’ struck. Something knocked me down. I felt constantly exhausted, fatigued, run down. I found myself sleeping nearly 10 hours a night (for someone who is not a ‘sleeper’ this was a first flag). I found my energy to workout was fading, the motivation to move was disappearing. I wasn’t sure why this was.

I started listening to my body. I rested. I slept, I relaxed. I stopped working 12 hour days. I kept up my healthy eating habits, but slowly fell in to some bad ones. I started added sweet or sugary snacks to my day; I started having chips or pretzels with my lunches. I went to back more sandwiches instead of salads for lunch. While I was still following some of my healthy eating habits, I was quickly losing the energy to keep it up.

I went to the doctor, I asked him to run a full blood panel. I felt off, this was not normal. He said everything came back, but add some vitamins. So I did. Slowly I started to feel better. My desire to workout was returning, my need to sleep so much was decreasing.

Then work and life got in the way. I went back to working 12 hour days, my work travel increased again. There are probably close to a million reasons (or excuses) as to why I just didn’t pick-up the fitness as must as I should have.

In April I ran my first race in over a year; it was a 5K, just 3.1 miles, yet it was one of the hardest races I had run. Two weeks later I ran a an 8K, just short of 5 miles. This one felt even worse.

Yes, I completed each race, but the happiness, the joy i usually feel at finishing was no where to be found! My performance, for me, was horrible. I walked each race way more than I wanted to; my lungs fought me most of the way, my legs felt weak and like lead at the same time.

There is where starting over took over. After that last race I installed a couch-to-5K app on my phone again. I have not used this training method in 5 years, I had no need for it. But this time, I am starting from less than scratch (or so it feels). Since I want to do this properly, I am starting in July; this is when my crazy work travel ends, this is when I will have more freedom to make the time to give this all the attention is deserves.

I will admit to you all that I am a bit scared about this journey; nervous at just how much fitness I have lost in the past year. But I am hopeful I will finish; I am hopeful this will make me stronger at the end, that it will give me the motivation to start cross training again, strength training again.

Today I started out step one of this journey. I took my bike out for a 4.6 mile ride along the boardwalk. My legs were not happy at times, the return ride was right in the wind, a little resistance training thrown my way.

Starting over is a sign of strength; it’s a sign that you are ready to re-build, that you are ready to overcome what ended your journey last time. I am ready to start over, I am just not hundred percent certain I am ready for how hard the journey will be this time around.

Thoughts From 30,000 Feet

Ask as any traveler whether they prefer window or aisle and the reasons behind the answers will vary ask vastly as the sky outside that window is.If the photo above is any indication to you, I am a window seat traveler. I have a need to look out as the world passes me by, always wondering at the greatness that is our planet.The view, the passing landscape, the solid white of cloud cover, the endless possibilities of a life well lived. Everytime I stare out the window of another airplane, I can’t help by wonder; the end at the horizon, but what about the beyond, the world over on the otherside.I question myself, the path I’m on, the roads I’ve taken and not. I ponder how I can start to travel more and actually see the things to be seen in the cities I’m stopping in, instead of just another hotel and it’s meeting rooms.Staring out a window at 30,000 feet makes me appreciate the life I’m leading, but also makes me want more out of that life. The view from the window, it truly is a wonderous place to ponder, to ask yourself the big questions. That window not only allows you to see out to the full vastness of our planet, but to try and see in to yourself.

Rambling Musings

Two days ago I decided to restart this lovely little piece of internet that belongs to me. This occurred while I am on-site operating a meeting (for those new or who do not remember – I’m a meeting planner by day).

The amount of stress, anxiety, overall burnout I have experienced in the past 3 months is a large part of why I have restarted. The need to find yet another outlet to ease the work burden on my brain became a must!

The trick, as for most adults in crazy jobs, or really anyone, is to figure out some sort of balance between it all. My balance has been lacking, to the point that I haven’t even attempted balance since early April!

Balance is a tricky word. Balance is something different for everyone; for some it’s more vacations time, for others it’s more time with family. For me it’s just less time working. I am hoping restarting this blog will help focus some parts of my brain so I can ward off the burnout effects.

How many have seen recently that the World Health Organization has listed workplace burnout as an official medical diagnosis? On the one hand – welcome to the 20-teens WHO. On the other hand – I do not think this designation will change how employers treat employees anytime soon.

This was just a taste of the ramblings you can probably expect to see for a while! 🙃

Back to Life, Back to Writing

Hello blog friends! I am aware that I have been absent from this space for quite some time; I am slowly going to make a comeback. I am not entirely sure what theme or presence this blog will hold as I dive back in, but it will give me a place to focus on my writing again while engaging with the world outside of Twitter or Instagram!

This go around I will probably be focusing more on the run and live words in the blog name. Given current financial situation (I just finished a rather bank draining renovation on my apartment), the travel portion will be way more limited for a while.

Work is crazy right now. Ok, not just right now; often work is crazy, honestly! That is a large part of the reason why I basically abandoned the blog – there simply was not enough hours in my day anymore.

Stay tuned for a new me, a new blog, new posts, fitness progressions, books I’ve read, and general musings of live.

2016 – I’m Coming For You

Welcome to the end of another fantastic year.

2015 was filled with ups and downs of a personal and fitness nature.
2015 was filled with happiness and sadness of a personal and fitness nature.dribbble-newyearnewyou_1x2016 will most likely also be filled with ups, downs, happiness and sadness of both a personal and fitness nature.

Ultimately it’s how you view the outcomes of each and handle the present matter of them that determines success of failure.

2015 had family members dealing with health crisis after health crisis and myself dealing with injury from being read ended on a snowy Sunday afternoon. It also had me dealing with a horrible job at the start of the year but by summer feeling like I had come home when I started a new job.

But I overcame them. I was there for my family when they needed me.  I got out of a bad career situation and into a much more positive one.

I also ran. I used it as an outlet, as therapy, as a way to champion for myself.

I dealt with bad race day conditions, mental breakdowns and injuries but over came them to finish all the races I started and hitting goals I set for myself.

2016 will only get better.  Still loving my job, although I could deal with less stress – but, I mean, who couldn’t, right?

I am registered for the 2016 United NYC Half Marathon having completed the New York Road Runners 5 Borough Series. I have a goal in my head that I will keep between and my personal trainer because if I don’t put it out there, I won’t be disappointed if I fall short…..though I am sure at some point I will announce it!

I am also gearing up for my first full marathon in 2016 – through the NYRR 9+1 program I qualified for entry in to the 2016 NYC Marathon!  In my head, training has already begun.

I am setting my fitness goals, which to me really are the only 2016 New Years ‘Resolutions’ that matter. I am lining up ways to achieve what I have set in my mind. I am scheduling workout session and runs and classes so I don’t skip or flak out on myself.

Sweet Workout AmbassadorI am also THRILLED to announce that I am a part of the #sweetworkout Ambassador program moving forward.  What excites me the most is the sharing, bonding, community that will help me stay on track to meet my goals while working with others to stay on track and meet their goals. Together we will conquer the fit world in 2016!

Winter Treadmill Miles

When I first started running, nearly 3 years ago, I loved running on the treadmill.  So much so that I dreaded the thought of running outside. treadmillI didn’t care how gorgeous it was outside, I would head to the gym, hop on the treadmill and get my miles in.

Then I started running races and realized outside running is quite nice.

Now I find myself facing a dilemma – I now dread the treadmill.

How do I motivate myself to get to the gym, get those miles in when its cold, dark and I don’t want to leave the house. (I should qualify with the fact that I work from home so after spending 8 hours sitting in the warmth of my house…….).

I am signed up for the 2016 NYC Half Marathon, so I have a training goal in place already, but that hasn’t made it any easier to get myself out the door.

lapping the couchI get up each morning, most days I put on the gym clothes, figuring thats half the battle – but it doesn’t always solve the pull of moving directly from my desk to the couch without a second though.

How do you find the motivation / inspiration to get on the treadmill and run those winter miles?