A Note From the "Anti-Athleticable"
Foreword: I am seriously so excited to post this. One of those reasons is because a little over 6 months ago, Andie texted me and told me she had no athletic ability what so ever, she has many times said she was "Un-athleticable", and come to find out, she was very wrong. I am literally smiling as I type this, because I could not be more proud of her. Her journey has been one of my favorites, she went from never running a mile in her entire life (the first time she ever ran a mile straight, I literally almost fell off the treadmill i was so excited and proud), to being a consistent runner and even more than that, a runner who has her eyes set on running a marathon. I think it is important to note that she has not enjoyed every second of this, and we haven't skipped around with butterflies in tow. This has been a grind. She has worked really hard, and been really consistent, and ever since our first workout, she has never told me she couldn't do something. Her fire is growing a little brighter each week. It also doesn't hurt that she is one of the best humans I have had the privilege of knowing. I am so thankful that she texted me this summer, because now I have a kind, happy, and hard working roomie, who occasionally surprises me on a bad day with a great vegan cupcake.
A few weeks ago, we were running at the rec park and she told me this idea for a blog. I looked at her and told her it would mean so much more coming from her. I have always been in sports and loved to exercise, so these tips are genuinely from a girl who has been figuring it out. These are the little things that have come up on conversations between us over the last 6 months. So, here is some really sound advice from a girl who hasn't always been in the gym.
This post is dedicated to all the anti-athleticables, the soon-to-be gym rats, and the former-couch-potato community:
We all had it (or will have it soon): the day when you decide to make your health a priority; the day when you promise yourself that you will no longer eat potato chips and you swear to goodness you’ll be on that treadmill everyday.
And so if you’re anything like me you also know that the ambition and determination often has a short life span. A few days down the road, maybe a week or two if you’re strong-willed, a bag of chips ends up in your possession. The treadmill begins to gather a growing layer of dust…
Well my “day” was back in May of 2015. I was headed home from a glorious and glutinous vacation filled with sedentary sun bathing and vacation calories (because those don’t count ;). Post-trip guilt settled in and paired nicely with my early-summer-motivation to get fit. I called up Blaine, who at the time I only knew as Keller’s older sister and fitness fanatic.
Insisting that I was the world’s worst possible client, Blaine reassured me saying I knew much more than I gave myself credit and that we could begin training sessions immediately.
Fast forward to January 2016 and she has me training for a half-marathon in March. (Best trainer/motivational coach/accountability partner EVER)
We were running one day and I told her she needed to do a blog post about all the things that first time athletes (not former athletes from high school or I-just-stopped-training-for-a-while people, but real first time athletes) might be unaware of. The virgin athletes. The anti-athleticables. The band geeks, chess club presidents, academic team captains, and stay at home moms. My kind of people.
Basically, a post dedicated to people who have little to no prior knowledge about the subject simply because of lack of exposure.
Wanting a more “authentic” post, she asked me to write out some of the lessons I’ve learned on my journey thus far…enjoy.
1. Sign up for a trainer/classes.
With so much information out there, it can be over whelming to just pick something and begin. Additionally, there is plenty of contrasting information and not all is credible. Do your research and find a professional.
2. Shoes matter.
I started off with a relatively new pair of Nike tennis shoes and one of the first comments Blaine made to me was to invest in better shoes. Nothing against Nike, but she knew the shoes I had on were not meant for the training I was doing.
*Also, color of the shoes should not be a major deciding factor when choosing which style or brand to buy.
I’ll never forget the day when we tracked what I ate for a week and reviewed it at my session. Apparently carbs and fats and proteins need to balance. My ratio of 500g carbs to 200g fats to 20g protein wasn’t cutting it. Since all of these things have calories, balancing the caloric intake and macro nutrients, will begin to shape up your diet.
4. You don’t have an in-season and off-season.
That is some term for professional fitness competitors. If you’re reading articles, watching Youtube videos, or doing general research do not be thrown off by these terms.
If you find yourself focusing on running, do not even bother to get pedicures. Clip those nails and keep ‘em short. You’ll pay the price of blisters and missing nails if you don’t.
Buy a reusable water bottle. Buy the 36-pack Kroger brand water bottles. Locate the drinking fountain. Repeat all day, everyday. If you dread water (guilty!) buy the Kool-Aid Brand of squeezable flavoring. Try Grape, Orange, and Fruit Punch for starters.
7. At no time can you show up to work out with a pop.
While you’ll be thrilled with your carbonated sugary beverage, every other gym regular is scoffing and shaking their head in disbelief.
8. Ladies, workout leggings > shorts.
Everyone has their own personal style, but still... invest in a few pairs and your life becomes much easier.
9. Those aren’t levels on the treadmill, that’s Miles Per Hour.
You’re not on level 5.6. There are no levels.
This term gets thrown around a lot. Don’t stress- it only means personal record.
11. “You’ll learn to love it!”
Maybe, but mostly you get to where you are comfortable being miserable. It’s
a mind over matter kind of deal.
If you don’t like sweat now, you’re still not going to like it later. It’s gross. But you learn to let it bother you less and less.
Get a music playlist ready. If Pandora is an option, customize a station that gets you pumped. Here at the house I’ve been using Waka Flocka Flame station and “Tipsy” by J-Kwon.
14. Limitations within the athletic community.
Apparently you can’t be training to run an ultra marathon and be a champion power lifter at the same time. Unfortunately, being athletic does not ultimately guarantee someone superb performances for any art within the community.
15. SET A GOAL. WORK FOR IT. ACHIEVE IT. REPEAT.
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
So, friends, don’t be shy about jumping in. Ask for help and keep asking. Research, experiment, fall down, and stand back up. So many of these “jocks” and “gym rats” were once in your shoes. Keep going, even when it’s hard. One day you’ll look back and it will have been 6 months. Your (training appropriate) shoes will start to look worn down, the receptionist at the gym will know you by name, and there will be an ever-so-slight change in your muscle definition.
With love and a confident kick in the butt!!
-Andie and B