“Buzz, your girlfriend…WOOF.” –Kevin, Home Alone
If you don’t know that quote, you should. Internalize it. Remember little Kevin’s face when he stumbled upon his older brother’s girlfriend—framed, honored, memorialized.
Keep the movie alive, folks. Keep the ‘woof’ alive.
I know I am.
My first week of Tread was a real woof. Maybe even a WOOF. Emphases. Exclamations. Kevin-snarl-face woof.
And, that makes sense. Because, I had never taken three SOS classes AND run in the same week.
I would take a weekly dose of High & Tight, yoga, a dash of running here, a little wogging there.
Nothing too hairy, nothing too messy…nothing too Woof-y. Control. Complete control.
But man, last week? It was a Who-let-the-dogs-out? woof.
At the same time, it was a wonderful, awful messy.
On Monday, I woke up and was like “TODAY, IS THE DAY, COLUMBUS!”
Cape flying, standing on the top of my house. “TODAY! CONQUERING THE WORLD.”
I closely monitored what I ate during the day. Made sure to not be too stuffed (after all, I’M WORKING OUT AFTER WORK. Did everyone in the office hear me? Got a bag packed and EVERYTHING.)
Ohhhhh yeahhh. KILLING IT! I’m doing SO good at this working out thing. Gym bag. Healthy lunch. Scheduled the class. Told someone I scheduled a class. SO good.
And then, I realized I didn’t pack enough food. (Can I get an amen?)
I only had yogurt for breakfast, so my lunch salad became my mid-morning snack. And then, by 1:30 p.m., I was starving.
And….we all need fuel…..and
I work above The Walrus…..a restaurant that has the best cheeseburgers.
And I ate a cheeseburger. I know.
I know, this is like 101 what NOT to do.
And no, it’s not because I’m anti-cheeseburger. I believe in balance. Moderation.
BUT. A cheeseburger before The Course?
Some people get angry when they’re hungry---apparently, I just get stupid.
But, my beautiful justifying mind said, “you’re not working out until 4:30!” It’ll be fine, my mind said. Just fine.
Narrator’s voice: But it wasn’t fine. And that burger (that didn’t need a bun, or fries, or need to happen at all…) plagued Emily through ALL of The Course.
Are you worried about getting back into exercising? A little nervous?
Pro tip: don’t eat 850 calories of fried, greasy goodness three hours before.
IF YOU DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW THAT.
I knew that. But, sometimes, things get messy. And you fall into convenience for the moment. And pay for the woof moment later.
Now, to that moment later:
I was one minute late to The Course. Not bad.
I wondered: How many people know this is my first class since ‘Nam?
A few familiar faces said hello. Relax a bit.
One said they’re enjoying the blog. Tense.
Orange cones. High knees. Burpees. RUNNING.
I pull my yoga pants up over my “abs” as my throat dries. And I wonder if my shoelaces are loose enough to justify taking a knee and tightening them.
We’re gonna warm that body up.
Ummmm, Mr. Instructor—yes, ummm I just wanted to let you know that I am, indeed, already warm. I know, we’re only two minutes in, but I’m ready. Let’s get to work.
Oh. Fifteen more minutes like this? Interesting. That should be woof-ingly interesting. Uhhh thanks. Yeah, thanks.
It’s like I got smacked on the side of the face with a high intensity 2 x 4.
But, despite how uncomfortable it was, downright painful, and just ugly…I finished. I got through it.
I apologized to people behind me in line, asked them to go ahead of me because “I’d slow you down” and they said “you’re just fine…we’re doing this together.”
And, I thought, yeah, she’s right.
There’s no way I would have continued riding that pain train if there weren’t people surrounding me, pushing me, encouraging me. CHOOOO—mother freakin’—CHOO!
I became thankful and, for the moment, forgot about the pain.
Or, maybe I started to embrace it. And realize, it is only pain.
Or, it was the burger…don’t forget about that mistake. But, either way, it was temporary pain.
I wasn’t always jumping three feet off the ground. I modified the majority of poses in The Course. Sometimes without weights or burpees. Sometimes doing a different move entirely, just to keep moving.
My partner was the ticket. Truly. Wonderful. We made eye contact from time to time, encouraging one another with half, exhausted breaths.
And then, I’d get to a station, where the movement felt natural.
My muscles remembered those moves—and were celebrating that movement again.
I felt strong. Smiled. It still hurt. But it was that familiar, I’m-back-where-I-belong hurt.
You’re not as much of a stranger as you think you are type hurt.
And that got me through.
The new friend I made. The old friends I knew. The instructor who encouraged me through some of the most basic, modified moves—because I couldn’t do much else. The stations where I felt strong.
It reminded me of a time when I looked at working out and running as an adventure, a journey—could I actually do this? Finish this class? Run that many miles?
And I never beat myself up about it then. Because, no matter how far I went, how much I finished, I was damn proud of whatever I accomplished. That I even made the attempt.
Physically, a few steps ahead. But mentally? Light years.
And that is how I approached the rest of the week.
I didn’t approach the mile time trial on Tuesday worried or anxious.
That I wouldn’t match up to previous times.
What other people on the track did or didn’t do.
I was just really excited to be back in it.
To wear a running shirt I hadn’t worn since I received it at the Boston Marathon…figuring it wouldn’t fit or that I didn’t deserve to wear it right now (I mean, what does that even mean?! I don’t deserve to wear my own shirt?! Something I earned? That I’ll forever judge where I am based off of one day in the past? Sounds Suuuuppper healthy, Emily. Keep doing that).
SO. I said that narrative was dumb. And let it die. And I put on the damn shirt.
And you know what? It fit great. And felt wonderful.
The shirt. The track. Everything.
To be comfortable in my skin, where I’m at, in this moment.
And I was cold. With rosy cheeks, with others who love running, and loved complaining about their cold hands and cheeks. Because, what we’re really saying is that we’d brave anything for running, the camaraderie of running. To test ourselves again.
To be excited by the possibility of what this training season will bring us.
And it started with this week, with that night, with one class. And then another.
Messy, indeed. And that’s OK.
Week #1 Recap:
Monday: The Course (GV) with Gabe
Tuesday: Tread with the People’s Champ and Abby, 1 mile warmup, 1 mile trial, a few 100s, 200s, 1 mile cooldown.
Wednesday: Canceled Clocked. Legs were DEAD. Ran 4 easy miles instead.
Thursday: Clocked on Digital Studio, dogs watched.
Friday: 3 miles at race pace, outside to 90s hip hop.
Saturday: 4 mile run, long and slow, outside to 80s love ballads.
Sunday: Slo Flo on digital studio (out of town visiting the future in laws), dogs attempted to restore with me.