This post is primarily about me but, if you stick with me, I promise it will be about dogs too 🙂
2016 is my year! This is the year I will get back in shape!
Maybe it’s that this year marks the 20th anniversary since my Mom died and I am the same age that she was when her life ended. Maybe it’s that I’ve been battling chronic back and knee pain for years and it’s finally getting a bit better. Maybe it’s that I found some amazing shoes that allow me to jog again. Maybe it’s that I’m tired of being fat or of letting life get in the way of me being healthy. Maybe it’s all of those things.
I always say I am not much for New Years Resolutions yet I seem to make them every year. I think New Years Resolutions are a bit silly because they feel contrived and so many people fall short of completing them (including myself – why even commit in the first place?). Gym’s are overflowing in January and February but by May the halls are practically empty again. People tell themselves they are “going big” with fitness goals but it becomes too much. Life gets in the way and they end up “going home”. I am more for “setting yearly goals” than a New-Years-Resolution kind of person. It just happens that some of my to-do-this-year goals start in January.
My whole life has been an up and down fitness roller coaster. I’ve always dreamed of making a permanent, healthy lifestyle change but it doesn’t happen. I realized last year that it’s really about setting obtainable goals and celebrating the small wins… just doing it over and over and gradually letting those add up to something bigger.
I have a couple of health goals this year but I’m starting with improving my fitness in January. Sure, I can go out and hike 5 miles on a steep trail tomorrow but I assure you I will feel like I’m dying more than once. Joking (not joking) aside, I find myself getting way more winded than I should just going up a flight of stairs! It’s embarrassing.
I’ve finally come to terms wit the fact that I can’t do all of the things the way I could before but, surprisingly, I learned last year that I CAN do some of them at almost the same level. The ones that I can’t? I needed to stop doing them or really scale them down in length and intensity. I need to appreciate everything that my body CAN still do and not be hard on myself for the things that it can’t. I know that if I don’t move it I am going to lose it.
Twelve years ago I was a runner. Chester used to run with me all of the time and helped me train for my first, and probably last, marathon. Then I pulled muscles in my lower back. They siezed up and I ended up in the hospital. I kept trying to run after that but was always quickly sidelined by the pain. I swore off running when I felt like I wanted to collapse from back and knee pain just jogging through the crosswalk.
I discovered these amazing shoes this past summer – HOKA ONE ONE – that have allowed me to run a little again. I bought a pair of these flat-foot-technology, “maximalist” (extra, extra cushy) shoes on sale and found I could jog slowly for a minute or so pain-free. Hallelujah! I shared my it’s-a miracle story with the company when I attended the Outdoor Retailer show earlier this year. They generously sent me a pair that I can use for off-road running so now I have two pair for different circumstances. They have allowed me to get a taste of that runners high again.
It’s been a long time since I’ve ran regularly so I’ll have to start really small and work my way up. I want to run a 5k, or a 3.1 mile, race this year. Remember that “celebrating every tiny win” thing I was talking about? I know I might not ever be able to run for more than a couple minutes at a time but I am ready to try and see if I can. Even if I find my “running” only amounts to regularly walking with a few one-minute running sessions thrown in, that’s a win!
Chester wants to run with me still but I limit him because he’s a senior pup. I may bring him along in the beginning when the running is really easy, and we are running on dirt, but Gretel will be my new training partner. That girl can run! And her fitness is important too. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t walk Chester and Gretel regularly every week.
Gretel and I will be training using the Pooch to 5k running program. The program was created by a veterinarian and dog trainer and is designed to take you and your dog from sedentary to running a 5k in 12 weeks. Gretel and I are shooting for running one of the dog-friendly races near Seattle at the end of April or beginning of May.
This will be our first step toward getting fit enough for a 10-12 day backpacking trip this summer (the one we didn’t end up doing last year but did hike a part of).
I’ll be sharing our progress with you here and on social media using the hashtag #GettingFitWithFido. It would REALLY help us stay motivated if we knew we weren’t in this alone. So if you are out being active with your dog, please tag your photos withe #GettingFitWithFido too so we can find each other and help each other along.
Don’t forget our #WoofingAdventure Instagram photo contest too! It runs for a week and there are some great prizes lined up for your dog AND YOU.
Do you have any 2016 goals or New Years resolutions that include your dog?