Category Archives: Exercise

Run Like the Wind

Hadn’t my grandparents always said, “nothing worthwhile comes easy”?

At the track and field events, I earned each of my awards and ribbons. I’d raced along, my eyes on the mark. Momentum building as my arms pumped with energy and my long legs pounded the grassy field. The warmth from the sun’s rays kissed my face, and the breeze caressed my long, flowing hair. My mind, clear and free from worries, centered my concentration one goal: crossing the finish line.

We took our places and lined up in a row, waiting for Coach’s command.

“ON YOUR MARK . . .”

Nerves hit the pit of my stomach.

“GET SET . . .”

I willed my mind to focus, my eyes fixed straight ahead.

“GO!”

We were off. My foot slipped; two of us bumped. I regained momentum, pumping my arms, elbows high. I needed to pace myself or I’d run out of wind. I decided to hold steady at a comfortable third place. I knew that if I stretched myself, I’d pick up speed and pass them one by one. Needed to time it just right.

Image source: thinkstock by Getty Images

Breathe. Keep your eyes on the back of their heads.

Don’t get in too much of a hurry.

Steady . . . Steady . . .

Not yet. Not yet.

Almost . . .

Now!

I passed one girl. Then another. A burst of energy flooded me as I gained a second wind. I closed in on the leader. I heard her breathing. The sound of our feet pounded the ground in unison, inches apart. It was now or never.

We came onto the turn, I moved to the right. Willing my legs to move faster, I passed her up, taking the lead. In record time, I beat her to the finish line!

That was me a hundred years ago. Strong. Perky. Ageless.

If I did it then — perhaps, just maybe — I can do it again, in whatever I set out my mind to do.

(excerpt from Running in Heels – A Memoir of Grit and Grace works in progress)

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Exercise, Memoir, Race

To Quit or Not to Quit

dont-quitMeltdown. Is what I’m having. You know what I hate besides fear? Weakness. And that’s how I feel. Weak. I just completed my third spinning class and I feel like crying. Instead of stronger, I’m feeling weaker. While my mind is screaming the entire time, “quit,” I am hurting in an area where it’s downright embarrassing to divulge to a male instructor. And so, I spin on. Fifty minutes is a long time.

My son sent me a text to give it time. “Just stay consistent,” he says. “Don’t quit. In three – four weeks, you’ll start to challenge yourself. Right now, your body is challenging you.”

I sure wish I had done this twenty years ago. Now at fifty-something, I feel foolish trying to keep up with the more youthful and experience crowd.  While I did not quit, I could not keep up. I felt deflated driving home. But then again, no pain, no gain, right?

Cycling class. I hope that I will start seeing results instead of feeling as if I’m merely spinning my wheels, if you know what I mean.

© M.A. Perez, 2013, All Rights Reserved

5 Comments

Filed under Agility, Exercise, Fatigue, Memoir, Midlife Crisis