Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Consistently Inconsistent

In the “real world,” I work as a fitness trainer at a health club, which I’ve come to conclude is remarkably similar to my former job as a preschool teacher.  I spend a good portion of my work day educating members on what I think of as pretty basic facts about nutrition and exercise, and sometimes it still surprises me how out of tune people can be with their own bodies (especially when those people are at a health club exercising for their health and weight loss.  Okay, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – there’s a reason they got to their present state of unhealth and heaviness, right?)  My club has this really cool technology that quantifies a member’s workout and shows them charts and graphs of how hard they worked compared to their last few workouts, how many calories they burned, etc.  On an almost daily basis I will hear a member exclaim that the machines must not be working, because their numbers are so low today.  Really??  It couldn’t possibly be that you didn’t push yourself very hard??

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while doing this “athlete” thing for the last few years, it’s that I am consistently inconsistent.  There are good days and bad days.  There are days when I think I’m giving it everything I’ve got and I still suck.  There are days when I’m not even breathing hard and speed just seems to fall into my lap.  Sometimes I know why things didn’t go my way (chili isn’t an especially good dinner before a long run) and sometimes I just make excuses (sure is windy today!), but I try to see every workout as a work in progress – good, bad or ugly.

Today’s swim definitely falls in the “ugly” category.  Oh, my. 

I bought myself some neoprene gloves yesterday to go with the neoprene booties (thanks again, Alma!!) that are helping me stave off frostbite during my backyard swims.  Now, while swimming in the 50 degree pool, I am covered in neoprene from head to toe.  Literally.  My face and a little bit of my neck are the only parts of me actually exposed to the frigid water.  Of course it’s a good thing that I’m not risking hypothermia, but I discovered today that there’s a downside, too:  when the booties, gloves and wetsuit are all doing their job properly, I weigh a good ten pounds more than I do on dry land!  While I was struggling to lift my giant Mickey Mouse hands out of the water, I thought to myself, “Well, this isn’t going to be a fast one today.”  Truer words were never thunk.  It was my slowest 500 meters yet, but I’m not complaining or blaming the neoprene for my poor performance.  <Insert “It is what it is”-type cliché here>

I hope your day has been consistently awesome!

18 comments:

Aimee said...

I still cannot believe that you are swimming in your pool!! You are totally hard core...neoprene and all!!

Rose said...

I'm with Aimee. You're nuts to be in the pool at that temp. It's awesome.

Christi said...

Ditto with Aimee and Rose!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Great post ... Hahaha, "machines must not be working".

DRog said...

there is something about this sentence that is so completely wrong....or right...im not sure

"helping me stave off frostbite during my backyard swims."

RockStarTri said...

Don't worry about the good days vs. the bad days. All you can do is all you can do.

Besides, do you count breaking the ice off the top of the pool before you swim as a workout? You should.

ajh said...

I cannot believe your dedication! You are also really getting your money's worth out of your pool!

Laurie said...

Again, I think you are the coolest for swimming outdoors, in the winter, in a non-heated pool.

Just think of your extra neoprene weight as drag and how fast you'll be once you're swimming without it!

ratherthecouch said...

I laughed out loud at your opening line! How did you go from preschool teacher to fitness trainer?

Small Town Runner said...

You rock! I have been looking at my pool wondering if I should buy a wetsuit. It's probably 40F in the water, but -Brrrrrrr- the traithletes do this gig outsie in lakes- so why not?!

I just still don't have the guts yet. Are you running your filter much? My pool looks clear, but i haven't done a thing since November. I thought it would be green by now- this is the second year I didn't winterize it.

Chris K said...

Your gym sounds GREAT! I think if I was really consistent it would be boring.

Tortuga_Runner said...

You have a dreamy job. I think how fun that would be, but I also think how hard it would be to stay personal fit to set the right example. You obviously set the right example 50 degree pool swimmer. Rattlesnake bar is going feel like bath water in May.

Jogging with Fiction said...

I have the same consistent inconsistencies, I know exactly what you mean!

Caratunk Girl said...

You are crazy to be in that pool. Holy cow.

gmontalvo13 said...

i have to agree that i am consistently inconsistent--it's not a bad thing, right?

you have such an awesome job!

The Green Girl said...

I love it - same to you, girl.

I have so much admiration for people who can work insane hours day after day and still get in significant workouts.

Rose said...

RE: Biggest Loser

I feel like the only way someone can gain 6 pounds on the ranch is to do it on purpose, or to have some medical condition where they have to be pumped full of fluids (I remember that happening a few seasons back). I really hate seeing people get injured, so, I guess I'm hoping someone water loaded. And based on remaining twin's attitude, I don't want him on the ranch anymore. But, I want them all to succeed. They are my reality tv children. I want the best for all of them (until the villain of the season emerges, of course). So, it's hard to see that kind of hint at next week's episode.

tri like mary said...

I think the important thing is that good, bad, or ugly, you keep going out there. I've known alot of people that quit after a week because they're "not seeing results". I'm always tempted to ask them how long it took them to get to the state they are at their starting point and why they think it will magically reverse in like, a week.