fitnessnoun fit·ness \ˈfit-nəs\
: the quality or state of being fit; being sound physically and mentally; healthy
: a journey made in search of something
: a long and difficult effort to find or do something
Many moons ago, my father began running for exercise. Looking back, I see the correlation with his approaching 40th birthday, but at the time I simply saw Daddy tying on different-looking white Adidas sneakers and taking off for a run around the city block we lived on. A few weeks into his quest, he recruited me to hold the end of a tape measure while he physically measured the length of the block. Using chalk and a small note book and pencil, I dutifully helped him mark off every 12 feet on the curb. Before he'd move us the next twelve feet, he'd make a simple tally mark in his notebook (and thus taught me about tally marks in the process.) He was delighted when the results came in: .52 miles. He had to know the exact measurement (driving around the block in his car lead him to believe it was close to a half mile, but he needed to confirm it). His goal? Running a 10K the following year, and before that, to run 7 miles on his 40th birthday.
My Dad hit both those goals; running through a banner that read "Happy 40th Birthday: 7 miles" held by his wife and daughters, and completing the Toledo Blade 10K two months later. He continued running well into his sixties, and still takes a daily walk in his mid seventies.
The company I worked for 12 years recently shut its doors. I found myself reevaluating "what I wanted to do when I grew up." While professionally I made progress towards new goals, physically my body exhibited the strain. After I suffered a severe concussion, a host of neurological issues cropped up. I told my neurologist I didn't want medication, and just wanted to return to work. Then he sat me down and explained how the mental stress was wreaking havoc on my physical body. After digging into my history, he prescribed hiking, three times a week, as my "medicine."
Thus begins my quest; in evaluating my goals and my weaknesses, I recognize that many share stresses in life that hurt. My personal weakness is lack of accountability - I need someone to hold my feet to the fire. After faltering in January and early February with inconsistencies (and increased neurological issues), I found myself a hiking partner. Then I found three more. With 15 miles under my belt in the last week, I've had no neurological issues. But my jeans fit better, I feel better and look better.
How can this help others?
My twelve-year career was as a sales coach in the jewelry industry. What did I love about it most? Helping others find solutions. Hence the Fitness Quest. I know hiking just isn't for everyone! For some it's a physical inability, for others it's just not their thing. Since we live in beautiful Prescott, I've decided to look to our community to help in my quest. Each week I will throw myself at the mercy of a local gym, trainer or wellness coach in an effort to find what fitness options are available to the local community. I will literally spend a week working with the business I highlight, reporting just "what it's like" to seek fitness with them. I will share their fitness philosophy, and what they believe to be the most effective way to strengthen oneself both physically and mentally. It is my hope that my quest will bring answers to those seeking to find fitness themselves - let me connect you to the business that can help you achieve your goals.
Next week I start at 5:30am (yes, you read that right!) with Kickstart BootCamp for Women and Sgt. Steve. Yikes, 5:30 AM! I'll review my progress every Wednesday and Saturday.
As of today, I am a slightly less winded person than I was 15 miles ago, but I am far from healthy. I tire easily, and stopped 42 times going up the steep side of Thumb Butte. My legs hurt, and I have a chronic low back pain (that was horribly tweaked by my last hike.) While I look thin, I am far from fit. Weight loss is not a goal, but rather a lifestyle change to achieve fitness. Come join me in this journey - I promise you I'll hold nothing back.