Saturday, July 11, 2009

Triathlons Are The New Black (Corvette)

I remember a time when an early mid-life crisis involved the purchase of a cheesy sports car, or men getting an earring or dying the grays that had sprouted through the last decade. When I went home and celebrated my dirty thirty, I didn't feel bad about leaving my twenties behind like I thought I would.

What hit me, however, was that a number of my friends who are either in that decade with me or just about to join are looking better than ever. What happened to being a frump-tastic middle-ager?

Thanks to Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and any number of other people Oprah's made famous, a lot of people are starting to examine their lifestyles and instead of feeling depressed, they're get in the driver's seat. While I didn't feel sad to turn thirty, I did feel a touch suicidal when looking at the photos from that evening. Really? Is that me? When did I develop such a gut?! When did my face stop being heart-shaped when I smiled? Through the years I've deluded myself by becoming a master at what I call artful cropping for the ample-bodied whenever there are parts of my body that I don't want published for all. The digital age has made it possible to delete what's not flattering and make the most of what's left.
But, delusions no more, because the photos taken by my sister's trusty 35mm left no question in mind...something has to change. Selfishly, I want to have albums full of pictures of me with my family. Since I feel compelled to delete every picture with me in it because my third chin's in the way, there will be nothing left by the time I'm done extracting every sliver of embarrassment from each photo. Last I checked, you don't carry a baby in your mouth, so my fat face is definitely Cold Stone more than Baby-weight.

Though I've begun working out again, and participated in a 5K at the beginning of the summer, I'm haven't made any major breakthroughs. The friends that look awesome haven't taken any magic pills or discovered the fountain of youth; it's being conscious of what you put in your mouth and making sure that each day you move your body enough to feel it.

Something more that I've noticed, however, is that the friends that have really stepped it up are all training for sprint-distance triathlons. I just saw my oldest friend from childhood and he looked fantastic; it all started because his dog needed a little exercise, he said, and then he saw an advertisement for a sprint tri scheduled for his thirtieth birthday.

I had already told J that I had set the return from my trip to start seriously reducing the amount of sugar I eat (no more oreos and ice cream in the cupboards), and using my gym membership to its fullest by being there to have an honest workout five days a week. I called my ob to get my pre-pregnancy weight for both kids, and those are my starting goals. I'm only ten pounds off from Charlie's so it's reasonable, but will take work.

The biggest challenge for myself, however? I've signed up for the Women's Only Title 9 Triathlon in the middle of September. I have 3 months and 2 days to be ready for what will be my biggest fitness accomplishment to date, and I have my friends to thank; Alex, Kim, Maggie and Joe you're my tri-tri-again inspiration!


Crafty Mama said...

Oh, I could've written the first part of this blog post. I quite often hate pictures of myself and will go to great lengths to make sure I'm standing behind something in pictures because I hate seeing myself in the final result. My SIL is a photographer and I always have that dreadful pang in my stomach when I check my email and find an album from a family event.

Good luck in training for your triathalon! I'm cheering you on here in town! :)

Maggie Bahnson said...

Good for you, Sara! What I've noticed about triathlon training, at least for my body, is that the combination of all three types of activity have really done wonders for my body. It's been better for me than just running, better on my knees and the cross training has helped me get a bit leaner. And it's amazing how many other moms you'll meet who are also training for triathlons. Around here, it seems like the mom thing to do -- push out some babies and then show the world you can also swim/bike and run! Go, Sara, Go!

Unknown said...

Welcome to the 30's - they really are the best! But I agree wholeheartedly about strategic placing when letting someone take a picture.

Good luck working for that triathalon. Though I'm a few years behind you, my 30's goal is to run my first half marathon and I will be doing it in October (belatedly, I might add). Set goals in small increments and enjoy those endorphins. Your whole life will FEEL better - you'll be a new woman....

LuLu said...

There are plenty of fun sprint triatholons in the Northwest for you to do as well when you get back. ;-) Heck, I'll even do one with you. And I GUARANTEE that you will beat me in the swim portion, by a LOT. :-)