I've never been known as what you would call a "monogamous exerciser." Instead of picking one form of activity and sticking to it, as many of my friends and family have done quite successfully —there's my father-in-law with yoga, my mom with walking and my BFF with Pilates—I hop around from one fad to the next, easily changing my heavy weights for 5-pounders and trading in my dancing shoes for running kicks. That's right, when it comes to working out, I kinda get around. In fact, Katy Perry may have been singing about me in "Hot N Cold" because I just cannot settle down.
Now before you go and start judging me, let's rehash how much I've improved over the years. Before I started training for this half marathon (which is going awesome by the way, as I'm running way more than 7 miles once a week and my "short" 5-mile runs actually feel, on the whole, pretty good!), my typical workout week would be: RANDOM, weights, RANDOM, walking, rest, RANDOM, run. That's an average of about three RANDOM one-night-stands a week. Sorry, Mom.
Nowadays, my training has become much more consistent. It would be hard to randomly go out and run 13.1 miles, after all. I run three days a week plus regimented cross-training, lifting, yoga and rest. And this consistency has shown good results. My fit bottom is a little fitter, and my cardiovascular system is a force to be reckoned with. Not Lance Armstrong reckoned with, but much better than the Jenn of 2008.
However, even the most reformed of us have the occasional backlash, and mine came in the form of a mat, a ballet bar, an inflatable ball and an impossibly small group exericse instructor. I believe her name was Brooke, but I've blocked much of the class as most of it is too shameful to recall. I really only remember getting in the Bar Method -like class for free (those four words are always dangerous for me), a hot studio and countless pliés and squats en pointe while squeezing that small ball between my thighs. It was a long, torturous relapse to say the least.
And how did I feel that next day— the day of my long training run? Oh, I was hungover. Hungover with EXTREME MUSCLE SORENESS. I couldn't laugh, sneeze or go down stairs without wincing. Yet, somehow, I got through my run. Mostly because I had only myself (well, and Brooke) to blame for my sore state. I had learned my lesson. At this point in my life, I need to commit. Sure, always mixing it up keeps things interesting and definitely challenging (my random exercise bouts almost always leave me sore), but my goal of running a half marathon depends on repeat running. Random one-session workouts? Sorry, but I just don't have time for you anymore.
Now what happens after the half marathon? Good question. I may very well spiral back into exercise sin, perhaps even go on a random bender, but, I do know one thing that will always remain constant despite my exercise ups and downs and highs and lows: This love affair with exercise—as dysfunctional as it may be—isn't going anywhere.