Thursday, December 4, 2008

Variety is the Spice of Life!

When Janine showed up for our scheduled training appointment, she announced that we would be doing hills and a tempo run today! My old self would have said, 'but I just did hill training on Tuesday and we ran that race on Sunday' but instead I felt the thrill of going out running with my dear friend and trainer Janine. You see, when I was growing up, I could never go out and play with my friends because of the residual effects of polio. I was v-e-r-y slow at running, had difficulty with coordination and did not have a sense of freedom within my body. I never knew the joy of playing tag, or being chosen first for a team. These wounds took a l-o-n-g time to heal but thanks be to God they are healing. It is December 4th and the temperature at training run time was a balmy 46 degrees. There was a stiff wind at first but within no time, we were both workin' up a sweat! We went to the Reservoir and Janine took me to this h-u-g-e hill - very steep and long. The first time running up the hill was a slow and steady pace. She has this wonderful way of helping me to move forward when my body has its doubts. We reached the top and she said, 'okay use this time to recover'. Once we got back to the Reservoir traversing the back side of the hill, it was time for a brisk tempo run - and she set the pace! Now usually I would be tuned into thoughts of my body's limitations and that I need to transcend that but today, I BELIEVED with all my heart that I could keep pace and do whatever workout challenge Janine had lined up for me. We also talked (not easy when this 54 year old body is having a heart rate of over 164) about our lives, my miraculous recovery (and how a year ago Janine never dreamed that I would be a runner), conquering fear which limits us in what we can create in our lives and celebrated starting our day by being out in the glorious weather. After completing our tempo run, she let me set the pace until we got back to the hill - the 2nd time I ate that hill up and went a lot faster and easier - back to the Reservoir for another tempo run feeling my legs were lighter and stronger than ever. She challenged me to run up the hill heading toward home at her pace and at the end I passed her to make it to the top. We both felt exhilarated at run's end and embraced our relationship with the Earth, the Sun, and nature and felt incredibly blessed and grateful.

After the workout and stretch, Janine asked me what I learned today about training - variety is the spice of life! I used to be a wicked control freak and felt everything had to be exact and measured - with Marathon training, it's important to vary the workouts during the week - sometimes the weather helps with this process (like when it was torrential downpours and my daughter and I used the bike) and sometimes you gotta mix it up so different muscles are getting a workout. And in January, I'm gonna have an amazing opportunity to mix it up - my 55th Birthday/Christmas present is a trip to Puerto Rico - running in the sand, swimming laps in the pool will be a wonderful way to cross train and then we'll return in time for a long distance run on the Sunday. I had to work really hard to give myself permission to take this trip but you know what, I and you and everyone deserves every happiness and joy in this life! God is blessing us all with Her Love and Light and what a blessing that I can shine my light through my triumph over post polio syndrome and through my gift of poetry.

And speaking of the gift of poetry - and variety is the spice of life - why not start a different holiday tradition this year with the gift of a customized card or poem for that special someone. Check out my website at for one stop holiday shopping.

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