I’m Hot and I’m Cold; I’m Yes and I’m No

workout-add-585I’ve never been known as what you would call a “monogamous exerciser.” Instead of picking one form of activity and sticking to it, as many of my friends and family have done quite successfully —there’s my father-in-law with yoga, my mom with walking and my BFF with Pilates—I hop around from one fad to the next, easily changing my heavy weights for 5-pounders and trading in my dancing shoes for running kicks. That’s right, when it comes to working out, I kinda get around. In fact, Katy Perry may have been singing about me in “Hot N Cold” because I just cannot settle down.

Now before you go and start judging me, let’s rehash how much I’ve improved over the years. Before I started training for this half marathon (which is going awesome by the way, as I’m running way more than 7 miles once a week and my “short” 5-mile runs actually feel, on the whole, pretty good!), my typical workout week would be: RANDOM, weights, RANDOM, walking, rest, RANDOM, run. That’s an average of about three RANDOM one-night-stands a week. Sorry, Mom.
Nowadays, my training has become much more consistent. It would be hard to randomly go out and run 13.1 miles, after all. I run three days a week plus regimented cross-training, lifting, yoga and rest. And this consistency has shown good results. My fit bottom is a little fitter, and my cardiovascular system is a force to be reckoned with. Not Lance Armstrong reckoned with, but much better than the Jenn of 2008.
However, even the most reformed of us have the occasional backlash, and mine came in the form of a mat, a ballet bar, an inflatable ball and an impossibly small group exericse instructor. I believe her name was Brooke, but I’ve blocked much of the class as most of it is too shameful to recall. I really only remember getting in the Bar Method-like class for free (those four words are always dangerous for me), a hot studio and countless pliés and squats en pointe while squeezing that small ball between my thighs. It was a long, torturous relapse to say the least.
And how did I feel that next day—the day of my long training run? Oh, I was hungover. Hungover with EXTREME MUSCLE SORENESS. I couldn’t laugh, sneeze or go down stairs without wincing. Yet, somehow, I got through my run. Mostly because I had only myself (well, and Brooke) to blame for my sore state. I had learned my lesson. At this point in my life, I need to commit. Sure, always mixing it up keeps things interesting and definitely challenging (my random exercise bouts almost always leave me sore), but my goal of running a half marathon depends on repeat running. Random one-session workouts? Sorry, but I just don’t have time for you anymore.
Now what happens after the half marathon? Good question. I may very well spiral back into exercise sin, perhaps even go on a random bender, but, I do know one thing that will always remain constant despite my exercise ups and downs and highs and lows: This love affair with exercise—as dysfunctional as it may be—isn’t going anywhere.


For more “experiences” with the FBGs, read Erin’s take on kettlebells and my time on the Wii Fit.

Photo grabbed from davi sommerfeld on Flickr.

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  1. Erica says:

    I think your exercise ADD is fabulous! Your muscles are always being challenged in new and different ways. Good for you ;)Awesome work with the running too!

  2. JavaChick says:

    I am the same way – I bounce around. Sometimes I do feel like I should have a specific routine and stick to it, but then I wonder if it’s really a bad thing. They do say that if you want to keep your metabolism revving, you should surprise it with different activities. So maybe Random is a good thing.

  3. Size Me says:

    Bouncing around is a good thing once in a while. For me, keeping motivated is 99% psychological, and I get bored with the same routine after a while. Plus my body gets used to it and I feel less tired and sore after a while, and then THAT gets in my head too that I didn’t work hard enough at the gym that day. So yes, switching around has its benefits!

  4. David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts says:

    I don’t think the fact that you’re so random with your workouts is a problem at all. In my book, as long as you’re doing something, you’re fine. Keep up the good work (as well as the excellent blog).

    – Dave

  5. Amelia (AC/DC: Highways to Health) says:

    I think changing up your exercises is usually a good thing (and keeps away boredom). However, as someone who is also training for a half marathon, I totally understand where you’re coming from with this post. The regimentation necessary in this training does not lend itself well to changing things up randomly.

  6. Lori says:

    I have to admit I’m a random person too. I do some of the same things like mind/body classes because I feel that I need to get stronger in that area. However, if my workout is spinning or the elliptical only time will tell. I get so bored if I don’t constantly change.

    I do have a goal this year of increasing running and it is going well so far. I’m running more regularly and enjoy it more. If I train for something specific I’ll need to focus more, but right now I’m just rotating running into my random. 🙂

  7. tfh says:

    Ha, you sound like me decided on a whim to do a near-2 hour power yoga session the day before my long run. I think it’s esp. hard once we’re in good running shape to remember that it won’t translate to every other activity.

  8. Dawn says:

    I’m the exact same way! I get too bored doing the same things day in and day out. I’d classify myself as a “runner” but even runners need to get their full-body workouts in to be more efficient when pounding the pavement! Glad to know I’m not alone in the exercise ADD category!

  9. Tish says:

    tfh has it right…translation is the key!!! i hate it that i can run 7 miles in one go but put me on some stairs and i’m huffin and puffin like i’m an 80 year old asthmatic!

    it’s just not fair…

    i feel your pain fbg!

  10. Sagan says:

    I love your views on this- I can be a bit random too but its good that once we have ourselves set on something, we can focus on it… once its completed, anything is up for grabs 😀