Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Some Inspiration for the New Year

We all experienced in one way or another the harsh realities of this past year. With a new year upon us I thought I would share a an inspirational story that will help motivate you for 2009. I have been thinking of what I want to try and accomplish in terms of health and fitness goals for this new year and thought about trying to exercise everyday as some sort of new year resolution. That thought soon turned into exercising during the week and taking the weekend off if needed...you get the picture. I like to challenge myself but also need to be realistic in my goal setting, so I will work something out - more to come on that. Two years ago, while sitting around having dinner with friends at a local restaurant, I said I would like to climb one of the tallest mountains in the world that just happened to be in Africa. In February of 2008 that became a reality. So, now we have another new year upon us and I need a new challenge. When I started to think about trying to put some type of an exercise streak together I contacted a friend who I remembered had done something similar. I thought she had completed something like 350 days of consecutive workouts. I thought I would try to see if I could come even close to that number. Well, after receiving an email from Sarah I will not even think about trying to reach her number but she definitely got me inspired to try...something. Here is part of her email talking about her record (I was only 4 1/2 years off!!!).
"...my streak went from 2/14/95 to late-September 2000. so about 5.5 years. didn't miss a day, with a minimum of 30 minutes/day. crazy, i know. ran 2 marathons during that time, and i'm now certain i could have broken 4 hours in the first one if i'd just trained smarter."
My response was simply WOW!!!!!!!!!!!
I like the fact that it was a minimum of 30 min. a day - because at Koko Fitness we are all about the best workout one can do in 30 min or less (see http://www.kokofitclub.com/). I know that I will now try to do 30 min. a day and I just need to determine what I am going to shoot for in terms of length of time.
I still had a few more questions for Sarah though -and in turn, might help me decide. I knew she did a minimum of 30 min./day but I was also curious to find out her average workout time and also asked for a list of her top 5 activities. Maybe this will help some of you to try something new - in terms of (exercise) activity - for the new year.
Her response was... hmmm, average time. I would say 55 minutes of exercise/day, on average. maybe an hour b/c for a while there, i'd run in a.m. and swim some evenings, both on same day. But some days i'd only do 30 minutes. but then, certainly, marathon training bumped up my numbers. so let's go with just under an hour.
her favorite activities: certainly depended on where I lived. I was in Wellesley for first 1.5 years of The Streak (as it is known!), and then SF and Chicago for rest. so let's go with these, in order:
1. trail running
2. mountain biking
3. rowing
4. swimming
5. Bikram yoga
I met Sarah Bowen Shea years ago and actually trained her a bit in Cambridge, MA. We both worked at Walking Magazine at the time - she now lives in Oregon and is a fantastic writer. She is a true inspiration to all - both men and women alike. She is a contributing editor at Shape and Runner's World, and a frequent contributor to New York Times. mostly gear stuff she tells me, and has a fitness feature coming up in February. Her blog can be viewed at http://marathonmoms.blogspot.com/ and check out this site too http://labs.daylife.com/journalist/sarah_bowen_shea

So now that I'm totally inspired - I have decided to start with January - workout out a minimum of 30 min. a day for the entire month. Following that - I will try something more manageable - five days a week for 52 weeks - which will look something like this: M-Tue-Thur-Fri-Sat will be workout days - using Wed. and Sun. as recovery days. Note: this will change - the take away is 5/7 days a week I need to get my heart rate elevated. As usual, I will work out in my garage that doubles as our gym. Not only do we have a Koko Smartrainer, we also have a Concept II Rowing Machine, Bike, Step up box, TRX system, Dumbbells, Jump rope, Speed ladder, etc. (the Treadmill is in the basement). What will I use you ask - all this and more. Will keep you posted. So, what do you think? Are you up for the challenge too? I know our team at Koko Fitness will be. Contact me if you are interested and check back periodically to see how I'm doing and to get some fitness tips. I'll leave you with one question -Who will you inspire this year?

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