Tuesday, March 12, 2013

9:15 PM
Weeks of Workouts
I cannot function without a list. Close to nothing gives me more satisfaction than crossing things off of my To Do List. I have even been known to add an unanticipated task to my list after having completed it, solely for the satisfaction of immediately crossing it out. There, DONE.

Four lists guide my life - the work list, the life list, the packing list (we take a lot of trips), and the subject of this post - my work out list. 

Usually on a Sunday night I will settle into bed with a cup of tea, whatever I am reading, and my little Black & White Composition Notebook. I have tried other more hi-tech options and various apps to help me track my workouts, but somehow they never give me the same satisfaction of seeing a workout scheduled on paper and then eviscerated with a thick, black line. The completeness of being able to view multiple weeks worth of effort all at once also adds a lot of value for me. In a glance, I can see my mileage increase, or decrease, over time, depending if I am on a building or maintenance phase. I can correlate a niggling tightness in a hamstring to having missed several yoga sessions, or can reemphasize core or strength work for an upcoming week if those workouts didn't make the cut for a few weeks in a row.

In those few quiet moments I will use my old school means and method to plan out my workouts for the week. The list is usually much longer and more ambitious than I can usually achieve, but without the challenge laid out in black and white, there would be no chance of me making the time to fit in half of the workouts I would ideally like to. The list is not scientific, nor does it follow a specific training plan. It simply reflects my all-encompassing love of doing coupled with a long-time athlete's pragmatism (i.e., if I don't do leg strengthening work then my knees will immediately start to hurt). The list is more eclectic when I am not training for a specific event, and generally presents a balanced meal of cardio, strength and flexibility. I usually don't plan a specific rest day because, in my experience, life does a really good job of that for you.

They say that if you want to make a workout happen, you should schedule it into your day, in the same way you of course make time for all your meetings, conference calls, and the kid's activities. This is my way of doing this - of scheduling it in and holding myself accountable to make time for me. Sometimes it is really hard to get going, and often the workouts are not ideal (e.g., a run at 9 PM that happens after you have had to work all day, commute, deal with dinner and the kid's bedtime routine, and then finish some work from home). But you usually finish even the crappiest workout feeling stronger, healthier and more in control of your own life than you would have felt vegging on the couch with that second glass of wine and a box of chocolates (although I am a serious fan of both). You will wake up feeling better for it as well and maybe that day's run can get shoehorned in at lunchtime so an evening of wine and chocolate will be well-deserved.

Make it so.

Summer's Coming!

P.S. I will be sharing updates on the workouts that I manage to squeeze in every week on my new page called (aptly) My Workouts.

Please contact me at mommytasker@gmail.com, MommyTasker.com, or connect with me on Facebook. 


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