Girl on Fire: Fitness is my summer focus

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, June 19, 2014]

Tuesday morning was breezy, wet and thick. The rain had stopped by 5:45 a.m., when Shawna Creveling and I were trekking the walking trail through McKinley Park toward Greater Regional Medical Center.

Somehow, I let Shawna talk me into walking at 5:30 a.m. three times a week. Hopefully, the walking will transition into jogging. Shawna said she wants to be able to jog three miles, so that is our short-term goal.

I am glad to have a workout buddy. As someone who enjoys working out (once I’m in the routine of it), I find it very difficult to fit workouts in during the busy days, which leads to me finding excuses during the rest of the week. Having plans set in stone with Shawna throughout the week makes us accountable to each other.

Not to mention, everything’s more fun when you have someone with you.

While I’ve let my fitness goals lapse, they’ve still somewhat been there. I used to work out as much as possible around several jobs, with the end goals being whatever race I had signed up for the following month. Now, I don’t have an excuse. I cannot let my fitness lapse because of work. Fitness is my summer focus.

This is just another challenge I’ve made for myself, one I know I won’t be able to dismiss.

So far, I feel like I’ve done well. My focus lately has been caloric intake. I look at, not what I’m eating, but how much of it I’m eating throughout the day and base my meals around a certain number of calories. In the mornings, I have either oatmeal or coffee, and that gets me through till lunch, when I can eat a little more. By dinner time, usually after I’ve worked out, I can eat almost anything I want because I’ve eaten so little throughout the day.

This used to be my problem when I started focusing on my health several years ago. I knew I needed to keep my diet in check, but I never wanted to because I felt working out gave me an out. It doesn’t. Diet is just as important, if not more, than exercise to the average person, and I’m glad I have finally learned that lesson.

Another small goal I have is to become stronger. I’m doing strength training alongside the cardio with Shawna, and I’m loving it. I have several obstacle course runs in the near future, and without upper body strength, I will not complete them.

Having those little goals will also help keep me energized and focused for what I’m doing in the present. I want my future runs to be as enjoyable as possible, not just to be able to finish them, panting and hating my decision.

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