Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update #8 from Mamacat

Back when we started following Mamacat's journey to becoming a Hot (Sweaty) Mama, her goal was to finish the Bloomington Iron Girl Duathlon on September 25, now less than two weeks away. Girlfriend is ready. How do I know? Because she was able to pre-empt this goal with her first triathlon on August 27.

I think someone has the bug and couldn't wait to compete.

I got to hear all about that first triathlon finish the next week when we trained together on a 20-mile ride and 15-minute run (by the way, it was her idea to go farther than we planned). What she knows, and will reminded every time she finishes a hard workout or steps over another finish line, is something we say in Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom about crossing over from "exercise as dreaded task" to fitness as a lifestyle:
The reason exercise becomes habit-forming is because it provides you with a sense of power over your life: You can control what you do with your day and take time to do something that makes you feel good. It literally makes you feel strong and powerful. Exercise is a bridge between mind and body, and it empowers them both. Once you're been exposed to that power (like the endorphins) it's hard to give up. This positive force is self-perpetuating. Now fitness is more than a habit; it's a lifestyle.
You'll see what I mean as Mamacat shares her race experience. She is definitely in a place where her fitness is self-perpetuating. In her words:
I'm am overjoyed to report I finished my first triathlon, something I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed I'd ever say. There was as much mental effort as their was physical effort involved in me getting to this point. But I did it. I had all the tools, all the support and all the drive. Had I never read Hot (Sweaty) Mamas, I never would have dreamed that I'm not the only woman to struggle with finding time or more importantly, find the WILL to make it happen.  
The thing I kept with me the whole race was Kara's encouraging words the night before the race: "you have trained for this, you are ready"...without that mantra, I may have given up before getting across the start line. She was right, though, I did train and I was ready. Was I a super-power-house-record-breaking-newsflash...no, but I had worked for this and was able to apply both endurance and free will to cross that finish line.  
Mamacat in pink, just steps away from her first triathlon finish.
WHAT A FEELING. Better than any job promotion I had ever received, which is noteworthy because so often it was work that stopped me from finding time for fitness. My kids and my husband were so proud, which is noteworthy because it took away the guilt I had put upon myself when I choose to run, bike or swim instead of get an extra time with them. My body did it, which is noteworthy because of all those times I told myself I never could and it never could...and then it did! And I feel so much better these days...why would I ever deny myself this healthful way of life? 
I was so elated to finish this triathlon that I signed up for a second one just one week before the  Iron Girl Duathlon. Who'd a thought? I'm as nervous for the Iron Girl as I am excited. All those women. Athletes. Racing against themselves. Racing against each other. Pushing their bodies to peak levels of fitness and knowing the reward of accomplishment awaits at the end. And no matter what, NO ONE CAN EVER TAKE THAT AWAY from you. How awesome.  
My Moms on the Run comrades were so supportive and all Hot (Sweaty) Mamas for crossing their own finish line at the Silvera Run the same day of my triathlon. I wish I could have run with them but I was there in spirit and now glad to be back with them for the fall program. 
My husband was so inspired by my inspiration that he's hogging my Hot (Sweaty) Mamas book, a book that I pick up often just for a little mental juice to keep me motivated and trying new ways to make time, take time, share time or snare time. He's replacing "mom" with "dad" and starting his own journey of fitness par excellence! (Man, talk about smoking me on the bike trail yesterday!) 
Less than two weeks until the Iron Girl and less than one week until the next tri. I'm committed....100% committed! 

What about you, is your fitness self-perpetuating? Crossing a finish line is powerful for a lot of people (me and Mamacat included) but if you're not one to register for an event, what is it that empowers you?


Beth said...

Way to go Mamacat! You have inspired all of us in Moms on the Run with your dedication and never give up spirit!! Biking to and from workouts while carrying your weights for boot camp in your backpack, I am so amazed at how far you have come!!

mamacat said...

TRI #2 tomorrow am. cold wind and rain forecast. Good think I had my practice TRI!