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Strength of Spirit and a Better ...

Posted Jun 10 2009 6:43pm
Strength of Spirit and a Better Butt...All at the Same Time..

I've been trying to run at least three times a week through our protracted winter blast. Two feet of snow sits on my little apartment balcony...I don't dare go out there for fear of collapse. The sidewalks of Akron have all but disappeared except in front of homes lucky to have snowblowers; the snow is heavy and thick--dastardly--could fill Akron's ER with a new wing on the cardiac unit for the those possessed to shovel it. Road running is especially dangerous, the roads narrowed by mountain ranges of piled snow made by the snow plows. I've committed to keeping up my weekend long run, but run during the week on the ex-treadmill--I sneak over before Mike comes home and give him a whirl. Mike's kind that he doesn't mind. I'm amazed the treadmill mill beast keeps running. I've half expected it to give up the ghost for the last couple years.

I've been focusing more on cross-training to get through the rest of winter. I'd more than anything like to get back to The Lab and submit to more masochistic torture. Muscle tone is the secret to defying the ravages of age--it is the secret to maintaining a firm set of apples, foundation to good running and yummy too. I keep staring at my Quicken, wondering how to get bigger numbers out of the small ones dominating my account of late, so I can't justify going back yet. It's a goal, however--to get back there. I work out on my own--I do a good job of maintaining the apples, but they are slightly lumpy crab apples and not the big red delicious apples they could be if I went to the lab. Sean will always work me harder than I work myself, but my home workouts have been maintenance. The one good thing about working out at home is I can take advantage of the early morning hours. I routinely get up at 4 am and have for years now. I love morning. Even during my lowest soul shaken years when I struggled to fight slow suicide, I've always had hope in the morning. No matter how low I felt the previous day, I've always been able to get out of bed the next day and start anew. Strength of spirit will not burn out even though I throw sensitivity, fear, and irrationality on it during the day, making it burn less bright, it never completely snuffs out. Now that I've become a runner and committed to keeping my body healthy, I daily fortify the strength of my spirit. I believe that running is a wonderful gift, shown to me by God, to help strengthen the strong spirit that resides within. Cross-training will keep me running. All is necessary to keep my spirit burning.

Currently I do a mixture of traditional exercises with dumbbells and resistance bands--not the mega 4 inch across rubber bands Master Sean has dangling all over the Lab, but smaller ones--still effective. I have a 45 minute Pilates routine consisting of an abdominal series, a back series, and a side series. I prefer Pilates to Yoga because it appeals to my inherent impatience. In yoga, you hold poses, which drives me nuts and bores me to death. Pilates uses many of the same maneuvers, but its all fluid motion--continuous action for the impatient. Pilates and running is a good marriage. Pilates works the core...abs, lower back, and butt. The side series is the secret to waxing up the apples for best presentation. I've had women ask me how I get such a tight little butt. I must say that it starts with a good genetic strain--my mom has a great butt--even at 70 years of age--I marvel at her butt, but apple firmness is guaranteed by a Pilates side series which works effectively, the gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius. Step-ups on a chair, lunges, and squats are other great shapers of a good butt.

I just got Denise Austin's "Pilates for Everybody" book at the library. I needed to shake up my routine so my body doesn't get too used to it. I added some hard stuff I've been too chicken to handle. I hate teasers, but have committed to developing the strength and discipline to do them. Teasers are this thing where you sit on your butt with your legs up in the air, then you do this whole body folding maneuver--very tiring and difficult. I'm starting with a one leg teaser for beginners. I'll work up.
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