That time I couldn’t.

Can’t is a dirty word among athletes (and bloggers…and teachers don’t seem to particularly care for it either), but earlier today I remembered a time I couldn’t.

During either my freshman or sophomore year of college, I came home for Spring Break and took a day trip to Sedona. The idea was to rent mountain bikes and ride around the red rock mountains, but after just 20 minutes, I couldn’t. The gears might have been wrong on the bike, but my body just felt like it was working way too hard and I wanted to throw up. And also curl up and die.

Getting my skinny 18-year-old butt kicked on a mountain bike wasn’t an aha moment that made me focus on wellness (that came still a few years later), but remembering it today was one of those…yay, look how far I’ve come! moments.

A few years later I started running, then I worked up the courage to step into my first spin class and I started to see throwing up as a good thing! I used to judge how good of a class it was based on how many times I felt like I was going to throw up (don’t worry, I never actually did).

I guess I thought of that Sedona bike ride today because I’ve just been feeling unfocused lately. I’ve been pretty good at keeping up with workouts, so we’ll call it training for life.

I work out for a lot of reasons – to train for races, to feel sane, to indulge my sweet tooth every now and then and looking hot in a bikini doesn’t hurt – and now I’ll add to the list…I train for life. If the opportunity came up, my strong body could take me mountain biking, out for an all-morning hike or keep up in a random fitness class and let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just nice to not get winded on the stairs!

Do you feel unfocused if you’re not training for something specific? Have you gotten in shape after getting your butt kicked doing something that should be pretty easy?

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And now I never have to leave the house again.

You know how people are always like, “OMG, I’d workout ALL the time and be SO skinny if I had a treadmill/elliptical/spin bike/insert medieval torture device here in my living room”?

Well, time to test that theory! Santa brought me a Bell Motivator bike trainer for Christmas because I was so good all year…or more like, my upcoming training plans scared me because I hate am not a huge fan of the bike and need Julia Roberts with me to help me forget I’m on it, so I told my mom about the wonders of the trainer.  Yeah, that was more like what happened.

I avoided the set up – super easy for people who know anything about bikes and relatively easy but intimidating for people who don’t – for the last few weeks, but now I’m ready to go.

No more bottom-glued-to-couch TV watching, bring on the sweat. I’m really excited about it and definitely think it will be  more of a welcomed addition to my house instead of taunting me as I walk by it and eventually turn it into a storage rack as seems to be the fate of many in-home fitness pieces.

Let’s see how long the “no trashy reality TV unless you’re on the trainer” rule lasts!

I took my first spin on it the other night and it was a little louder than I expected and I was kind of concerned I set it up wrong, but I read some reviews and found that’s just how it goes unless I want to get a specific bald trainer tire.  The little boy was very intrigued by it, so he came to investigate, but eventually got bored of his game of hitting my foot everytime it came around and took up post to watch from the office (which has clearly been taken over by puppy toys).

Another great fitness gift I got? Legit hiking shoes, so now I can run all over the beautiful trails in Phoenix and Scottsdale without slipping around!  This is another two-fer because hiking can be being social AND getting exercise!

If you could combine a fitness activity with something else what would you pick? If someone could invent a way for me to swim and read and the same time, I’d be overly thrilled.  I suppose I could do waterproof MP3 player + audiobook, but talk about losing count of my laps!

An Important Reward

Just when I thought I had run out of ideas for race rewards, I found the perfect reward for completing my first triathlon.  It’s something I’ve wanted for a while, but thank goodness have never needed. 

Reading healthy ashley’s story last month was a wake up call that you don’t need it until you do but that it’s one of the most important things an outdoor enthusiast can have with them.

Yep, I finally got a RoadID

Getting hit by a car while running (or now biking) is one of my biggest fears. Being an unseen athlete on the road usually just results in me glaring and/or making rude hand gestures at the car that didn’t give me the right-of-way, but I know the consequences could be much worse.  

I’ve been reading blogs for maybe two to three years now and I’ve read of two athletes being hit by cars (and of course, there’s poor, little Reese), one elite athlete dying after colliding with a car and now Ashley’s story.  More messages from the universe that this was an important addition to my training gear, successful tri or no.