Hey everyone! It’s my favorite day of the week!
I don’t actually know why it’s my favorite day… I’ve just always really loved Thursdays.
So yesterday morning for my workout I did something that I haven’t done in years…
(I think people judged me while I creepily took a photo of my gym’s pool through the window.)
My workout went like this:
20 lap warm up
5 x 2 lap freestyle sprints with 20 squats and 20 crunches between sets
5 x 2 lap sprints alternating between breast stroke and butterfly
20 lap cool down
My arms are definitely feeling this today…. I need to get back into swimming shape. This whole workout just made me happy.
Fun Fact: I was actually a swimmer for a majority of my life. Growing up, I played pretty much every sport that I possibly could, but swimming was the only one (apart for dance) that I really loved, was dedicated to, and was actually okay-ish at. I was a swimmer way before I was a runner! Actually, I really thought that running was the only sport I actually hated haha… Funny how things changed.
But yeah, I was involved in swimming every winter up until high school and every summer up through my sophomore year of high school.
Then, I just kind of stopped. Yes, a part of the reason I stopped swimming was because I was involved in my cross country and track teams and had also aged out of my summer swim team… But the main reason, I am embarrassed to say, was that I just didn’t want to be in a bathing suit.
The water has always been my happy place. I could be in the ocean for hours at a time, I pretty much lived in the pool in the summer, and swimming laps made me feel like I was flying. I loved it. Then, although I have had awful body image issues for as long as I can remember, the idea of people seeing me in something as skimpy as as swim suit (even the one-piece that I wore for laps/swim team) was too horrifying of a thought that I gave up on something that I loved.
What’s even worse is that I actually convinced myself that there were other reasons that I stopped swimming… And one of them was that it would reduce my weekly mileage.
Yeah. While I was swimming yesterday, I did a lot of thinking (crazy what your brain does without the stimulation that music normally gives it during my workouts).
For the most part, my thoughts were about how great I was feeling, and this lead me to think, “Why did I ever stop doing this in the first place?” And, “I really should do this more.”
So why don’t I?
Body image aside, the fact of the matter is that if I start incorporating more swimming workouts would mean decreasing my overall weekly mileage.. Unless I added swimming on top of my usual speed workouts and runs… Which isn’t happening.
I just don’t want my mileage to drop… And why?
(Wow, I ask a lot of rhetorical questions don’t I..?)
(I also use parenthesis way more than I probably should).
(I’m going to stop now).
I don’t know about any of you, but I doubt that I’m alone here in the fact that I feel pressured by some unknown being (read: the crazy part of my mind) to keep my weekly mileage at a certain number. I feel like if I drop below a certain number I can’t really consider myself a “real runner.” Because of this, I feel pressured to run almost every day of the week and only leave cross-training (which is something that I actually really enjoy) once or twice because God-forbid that I don’t run X amount of miles a week.
I know that I have been writing about exercise guilt and the pressure to be, “a real runner,” a lot lately, and I apologize if it’s super annoying and negative sounding. It’s just something that I have really been struggling with and I know that many other people do as well.
Whether it be the number of miles you feel that you should run, the amount of time that you feel you should workout, or something not even related to fitness, I believe that most of us feel some sort of pressure to be, “enough.” But who are we even trying to be enough for? No one actually cares how many miles your run or whether you worked out for 15 minutes or 150 minutes yesterday. No one is judging you. You are enough.
Just do me a favor and remember that ok?