Week 1 Back to Fitness

Trying to decide how to document my journey back to fitness in a way that is helpful to me and supportive of others who are engaging in a similar journey, and I think I want to try just posting a weekly update – what I did, how it felt, any struggles, etc.

Here goes.

Sunday – started my day (as in, before breakfast) with a 20 minute Yoga with Adriene “Yoga for Runners: Physical and Mental Stamina” because that stamina piece was a major component of my intro post. This is a short, movement based video that gently stretches all the running muscles. I’m remembering another stamina video of hers that I’ll find for later in the week and share, because this one definitely seemed… soft. (Which honestly was fine for me, I’m super sore from running yesterday and then spending the rest of the day in the kitchen cooking yummy stuff for the week.)

Monday – Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge. Took a short (hour or so) walk with a friend and explored a little corner of this 15,000 acre wildlife preserve tucked in the middle of industrial Commerce City. It was a strange, post-apocalyptic feeling experience. Because it’s January, everything is brown and dry and dead. But there are a TON of geese and deer, and they all know that you’re not there to hunt them, so they are super chill. They have 100% lost their fear of predators. (At least the human shaped ones.)

Tuesday – It’s the first day back to “Hybrid Learning” for high schoolers in my district. And in case sometime in the future we all reach a point where we forget what that means, it means some of my students will be in the classroom, and others will be at home, and I have to teach to both groups simultaneously. In the beginning we thought we could set things up so that there was a weekly “At home” assignment and a weekly “in person” lesson, alas, some students are always learning from home because of Covid-19 risks, and others are always learning at school because of IEPs, 504s or other educational risks. While I love my students and am excited to see them – this is not that… Hybrid literally feels like the worst of both worlds. As a result, I woke up this morning with a serious case of the “I don’t wannas.” I googled “Yoga with Adriene Motivation” and re-discovered one of my favorite short videos – “Yoga to Feel Your Best.” While I may not feel my best, I do at least feel good enough to start my day.

Wednesday – Inauguration Day 2021! I definitely didn’t want to do yoga this morning. Even Adriene’s strongest videos felt too mellow. I didn’t want to go rounds with my punching bag, that felt too aggressive. (Besides my day ends with a staff meeting, so I’ll probably need that when I get home…) Then I remembered that my parents gave me their balance/stability ball a while back and I barely use the thing, so I decided to check it out. I put on one of my favorite Pandora stations and promised I would do “more than nothing.” I did a quick Google and found this list of “10 of the best stability ball exercises.” I told myself I would do 10 reps of each thing. 10 always seems like a good starting number to me, but let’s be real – depending on where you are, you might just tell yourself you’re going to do one (as perfect in form as you can) rep of each. Or you might be like, yeah, ten reps but I’m going five rounds. Respect where you are and start there. It’s going to be better than nothing. When I finished the list, one of my favorite songs came on, so I kept moving until it ended and an ad came on. All in all, I gave myself about 20-30 minutes of fun movement, learned some new things I enjoy and definitely stretched a few muscles that were feeling tight, and at least one that I’d forgotten I had!

Thursday – Does crying uncontrollably count as a workout? I woke up sad, and frustrated, and angry, and exhausted today. I attempted a “Healthy Energy Flow” Yoga with Adriene and couldn’t make it past the “sit” part. I put on my Dropkick Murphys Pandora Station, wrapped my hands, put on my boxing gloves and tried beating my frustration out of my punching bag. That only lasted a couple of minutes before I realized I was just standing and crying. I guess that still counts as better than nothing…?

Friday – On Fridays I usually do a short morning run with some colleagues, followed by “Wellness Friday Yoga” led by another colleague at work. However, now that it’s FREEZING in the morning, my running buddies have switched to an indoor morning workout. This morning when I arrived they had just started this “Yoga for Strength” video. I rolled out my mat and joined in. (Masks on, in separate corners of the room. We’re not here to spread Covid-19.) Since we started with yoga, it felt silly to go do more yoga, plus my friend and I had some frustration to burn off, so she found this “30 minute at-home cardio boxing” video from Pop Sugar. Admittedly, we flailed our way through this. But, it did raise our heart rates and got us laughing, which is always a good way to start the day. Then, because I desperately needed some fresh air, we made a promise to take a 30 minute walk at lunch, which we did with 2 big loops around our building. All in all, it felt like a good end to the week. And while if you’re just getting back into fitness, this probably all seems like A LOT (I know it seems like a lot looking at it) we took all of these very easy. The boxing video especially we seriously just laughed, flailed and goofed our way through.

Saturday – My spouse got me a 5 day pass to A-Basin, a nice used snowboard, boots and bindings so that I could ride with him a few times this winter. With the promise of a dusting of new snow and temperatures reaching a balmy 28 degrees, we decided today was the day for my first ride of the year. We hit the I-70 traffic snarl, so we didn’t get to the mountain until 10:30 and had to park in the “Last Chance Lot.” but we managed to get several good runs in – enough for my legs to remember that they used to know how to do this! And enough for me to realize that my appointment to get contacts can’t come soon enough. My glasses refused to stay unfogged, creating a massive hazard every time I slowed down and they fogged over erasing all visibility.

Thinking back on my week – I love the variety of activities and locations – those are key for my restless soul. But, I realize that I did not love the indoor Friday workout, so after checking sunrise and sunset times, I have decided that unless it is BITTER cold and snowing, I’m going to try riding my bike to work on Fridays. It’s a mellow, mostly flat 10 miles there, and 10 miles home. And right now, I don’t have to arrive until 7:45 on Fridays, which gives me a crucial extra 15 minutes of leeway! It seems like a lovely way to end my week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Now for a hot shower, some Aleve and a snuggle while I continue my Outlander marathon.

See you next week,
Ms. Ervin

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