The pain before the glory

It’s almost March, and I hadn’t had a decent work out until today. It’s almost March, and I am starting to get back into the swing of writing after the epic snowstorm.

Jillian herself

Jillian herself

My fitness trainer (aka my friend Carla) put me through the Jillian Michaels workout, which is supposed to make you look as ripped as her in 30 days. I’m not going for the six pack, but an all-over tightening is in order. My girlfriends and I agreed we weren’t friends at that moment….that our trainer would be ruthless if we complained and would make us do punish-crunches if we half ass. I’ll think twice the next time I put my knee down during a push up.

We spent 2 hours doing push ups, all types of crunches, squats galore, and for me, the hardest exercise that I’ve never been good at: the mile run.

My legs started to give in after that run, simply because I’ve never been able to pace myself. I played sports throughout high school, so it wasn’t like I couldn’t handle any physical activity. I just always had a problem with the impact running had on my knees and sides. In middle school, I was the girl who sprinted ahead of everyone on the 50-yard dash but huffed and puffed in last with the chubby kids during the mile run. It was only ten minutes (I know…sad) of my life, but it would always leave me in pain when I tried to sleep at night. I was up with the mid-range boys until lap 3 of 4…when reality hits, my stomach hurts, and that damned side cramp kicks in.

It’s the side cramp…the part of my body telling me “this is TOO much” that stops me from ever completing the mile run in under 9 minutes. Today I attempted to complete the mile at a running pace without stopping. I got to half a mile and had to take a breather, but I managed to do the rest of the half without pausing. I smiled, knowing I attained a personal goal, but kept my eye out for my trainer sprinting full force on her mile.

I come home tonight feeling tired, sore, defeated but happy. I know tomorrow when I wake up, no matter how tight my legs feel, they’ll take me through the snow, up the escalators, and standing firm on the overcrowded buses. It hurts, but it’s the good kind of pain. I told my trainer that it was just like braces–it’s cruel and ugly for now, but it’ll be beautiful if I tough it out.

For some reason, I couldn’t write during the snowstorm. God, or better yet the entire District, knew I had plenty of time to do so. Instead, I found excuses to get out of the house so cabin fever wouldn’t sit in. From Friday-Tuesday, I was only at my house alone for about four hours. Tuesday-Thursday was a challenge because the snow picked up and I was stuck in the apartment checking my email constantly and doing online homework for class. For Valentines weekend, I was lucky enough to see a movie, shop and spend time with my mom and sister. Too bad I got the stomach flu after the first day of their visit.

My mom always told me the reason I get sick all the time is because I do too much too fast. Instead of saying no to a few outings, deadlines, and responsibilities, I tended to collect everything at once and run with it. Part of my problem now is that I love the projects and outings I partake in and can’t seem to get enough. I want to make a Web site and learn about the subject I fear—computer programming/designing. I want to push myself to talk to people I’m unfamiliar with for my community reporting class. I love my internship at Radio Free Europe (no exaggerations here…really) and want to be there on my mornings off. I also love that I’m meeting new friends, getting close to existing friends, and that we all seem to be struggling through grad school in one unified step.  Oh yeah, and I also have issues working ahead and become consumed with reading news, watching videos of interest and gchatting friends I don’t see on a daily basis (and some that I do see on a daily basis…come on…it’s fun).

In the end, the weight catches up with me and I begin to feel the pain. But this time, I can’t let that happen. I can’t keep getting sick, wasting evenings and making excuses. I have less than three months to get everything I want out of my last semester, and that includes going to new places, intimidating events and spending time with special people, and running that mile without stopping. I haven’t crossed off everything on my list yet, and I can’t blame it all on the record-breaking snow.

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