Friday, February 19, 2010

I Run So I Can Eat

I once saw a fit, athletic, healthy, middle-aged man wearing a shirt proclaiming these words: I Run So I Can Eat. I wanted to run to him, give him a high-five, a hug, a shoulder rub and tell him "Dude, I totally feel your pain". And it's kinda nice to know that you, Mr. Athletic Man, suffer from food issues too!

You can get your (The t-shirt, not the issues.)

Warning!! I would not wear this shirt if you do not run or workout, if you've never owned a pair of tennis shoes, or genuinely have no idea what I'm talking about. Cuz it would be wrong. And weird. And people would make fun of you. So really, I'm here for you. You can thank me later.

I have done some sort of physical fitness since 1st grade. (I'm not bragging just providing some captivating back story.) I started off in gymnastics. Then, after I was discovered by a classmate's father during a lunch with his daughter, I started playing softball. Seems in first grade I was a head taller than the other girls in my class. My classmate's father had recently lost his third baseman to a broken arm and was out scouting for her replacement. (Not really. At least I don't think so. Rec sports can be hard core though, so who knows.) So one fateful lunch in first grade turned into a phone call to my mom then into a 14 year relationship with softball. We were together a long time, through good times and bad. But I was also seeing another sport during that time. I played basketball for eight years. A shorter love affair.

During my high school softball days I used to go to the week of tryouts with a huge knot in my stomach. It had nothing to do with my softball skills or abilities that would soon be tested. It had everything to do with that 1 mile jog out to "the tree" and back. That was it, a mile. A silly mile. But I dreaded it like a child and an impending shot. I HATED that run. We seriously considered digging up that tree one year, thinking that we wouldn't have to run if there was no tree!

I thought a silly mile was bad, but I didn't even KNOW running until I got to college. College athletics are serious when it comes to conditioning. I mean, what? Just because you're paying for my tuition you think I need to be in top physical condition? Geesh, picky much? In the off-season it was common to have an awesome (highly sarcastic) day of conditioning consisting of an hour swim, a 3 mile run, and weights. (Yeah, all in a row. We were tough. I cried a lot.) I figured out something that I pretty much thought I already knew...I HATE to run. Still.

One thing I also remember is never really worrying about what I ate. My pregame meal in high school was a personal pepperoni pizza with ranch (of course) and probably as much Dr. Pepper as my tummy could hold. College wasn't much better with either a pre or post game meal out and constant snacks. I wish I would've worn a heart rate monitor back then to see the exuberant amount of calories I used to burn. I was a lean, mean, calorie consuming and burning machine. Those days as a college athlete were hard. They were mentally and physically challenging like nothing I'd ever experienced before.

That is, before last week.

I had heard of Crossfit before. There was a group of young land dudes at Samson who were going super early before work to do Crossfit in Jenks throughout the week. These guys were all former athletes and current triathletes and distance runners. They weren't couch potatoes. I knew Crossfit was hardcore when I heard that the very first day one of the guys threw up. Gulp. Wow, sounds like fun. Where do I sign up? Not.

Well, after leaving college, starting a career and a family it was time to find my way back to the gym. Man, hormones are a beast! Now food was finding a way to stick to me. I was having to think about what I was putting into my mouth. I was still eating athlete/pregnant quantities but I wasn't doing anything to burn it off! So the extra calories clung to my body like a warm tongue to a frozen light pole. So I got a gym membership.

Six months ago I started taking classes at my local gym. Classes are good for Macey. Classes mean Macey can't quit when it hurts. (It's SUPPOSED to hurt!) Classes mean people know Macey's coming and expect Macey to be there. Classes are filled with women (and the occasional brave man) who are all in the same boat. In fact, one instructor has a saying that I particularly like, "Keep going, don't stop, we're all hurting together." And Macey's pain likes the company.

These classes were hard. It had been a while since I'd really sweated like that. I wore my heart rate monitor and after a cardio class followed by a pump class (weights) I would typically burn 1,200+ calories and man, did I feel good. It was a huge challenge, I was committed to it, and I loved it. Then I was introduced to Crossfit. Visions of puking athletes came to my mind as I heard "if you think your classes are hard, you should try the intensity of Crossfit". Yeah (eye roll), so I've heard.

But not being one to back down from a challenge and feeling a bit more fit after 6 months of classes, Sean and I signed up to try a few Crossfit sessions. Our sessions have consisted of total training times varying from 7-20 minutes. Short, huh? To me, at first, I thought there's no way you can get a good workout in in that short of time. I need hours, man. And pools of sweat pouring off of me.

First session: 21 thrusters, 21 pullups, 15 thrusters, 15 pullups, 9 thrusters, 9 pullups. Easy, right? Riiiiiiiighht. No, it wasn't! Since I can't do the recommended and helpful "kip" pullup, I got to do jumping pullups. Cheating, sorta. If cheating means feeling like you're gonna die. And afterwards, (Oh. Em. Gee.) I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest or just give up and stop. My mouth was filled with cotton balls. Who puh teez cogen baaz in my mof? My muscles were screaming. 5-7 minutes of pain.

Our next session: A killer circuit of the following back to back: 1 minute of pushpress, 1 minute of box jumps, 1 minute of rows, 1 minute of sumo dead lift high pulls, 1 minute of wall balls, followed by a one minute rest. 5 total minutes of going as hard and as fast as you can. 1 minute of rest, then repeat...3 times. That workout is affectionately called "Fight Gone Bad". It was bad. It was very bad. Macey wanted to puke. Macey didn't. Sean did. Haha...just kidding. We both (barely) survived.

For more information on Crossfit, go here (at your own risk)!

Although I am still a firm believer that to lose weight and get a sculpted body (if that's what you're into) then it takes about 70% of an almost-perfect diet and 30% of a great sweat-inducing workout. It's all about the food, baby. Putting the bad stuff in will only work against you. Think about dumping sand into your gas tank. Gas+sand=...well...I'm really not sure, but it can't be good. Your body needs the right "gas" for it to function. Clean gas. (Ok, I gotta say it cuz you're probably already thinking it...Clean gas IN=Clean gas OUT. There. I said it for you. Have your little chuckle.) You gotta limit the "sand" you dump into the tank. However...and I share this like it's the big spoiler to the end of can have a little more "sand" in your tank without the disastrous side effects if you are working your butt off, literally. You gotta have some give and take. I'm all about equal opportunity.

So the man...with the shirt...who I wanted to kind of a genius in my world. Thus why I wanted to hug him. If you want to eat that gotta work for it, baby! Work for it, or it's gonna giggly implant itself right there on your thighs. I know, it's an ugly reality. I'm here to proclaim the truth.

I run (or lift, or spin, or walk, or step, or Zumba, or sweat) so I can eat!

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I'm not surprised Sean puked! :-) Oh, and I still love pizza with ranch dressing...of course, I have to run a marathon to kill it off the next day!