For months, my life consisted of just two times: before November 6 and after November 6. In case you don’t know, November 6 was the ING NYC Marathon. If something was planned for after, like a work conference I had on the 9th, my only thought would be “That is after November 6. By then I’ll be done with the marathon.”
Thinking of December was not even something I could fathom. It was all about November 6. I couldn’t imagine anything else. Then November 6 came and went and I still wasn’t a marathoner and then November 12 came and went and I was one.
It was all strange and surreal. It’s odd to base your life around this one event, this one day. Because what happens after?
In my case, lots of getting back to normal along with learning a new balance. Andy and I started dating in March and up until about September we spent more time apart than together. Things were new and we were getting to know each other, so I would see him once or twice during the week and one weekend day. The other days, I stuck to my usual workout schedule and my life was never disrupted.
The real disruption came with my new job — longer hours meant less time to take my favorite classes. But I still had enough time to make it all work.
When we eventually started spending a lot more time together, I was so deep into my marathon training that I needed to cut out strength anyway because my legs felt too sore. The extra free time (which likely would have been used for yoga or spinning or other classes I could still have done) became extra time with him. I liked it. I liked being completely and totally lazy for the first time since I started the Core Fusion Challenge in January 2010. I didn’t even feel compelled to pick up a set of dumb bells. I liked doing nothing. Perhaps I lost my mojo. Or maybe I was just burned out. Or maybe I just felt like giving myself a break.
I liked doing nothing so much that I worried about what would happen after the marathon. I feared that my new life of leisure would mean that I never could get myself back to my beloved workout classes, and I would get weak and soft, lose my edge and overall become unhappy with myself. I worried I would never get back into a routine.
I’m getting there though. The marathon is over and after about a week I slowly started taking my classes again. I took Core Fusion Cardio, Refine Method and Music Yoga Flow (wow I needed that one). Getting back into a routine means I need to do something I didn’t have to do before — I need to balance time for working out with time for my boyfriend. Of course, time with my friends too, but that has never been an issue. My issue is that I like going over to Andy’s after work at 7 pm, plopping down on the couch, eating dinner and watching episode after episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.
Last night was my first attempt at achieving this balance. I had a Refine class scheduled for 7:35. I already don’t like working out that late, but it’s the only time I could make it after work. But I also wanted to see Andy because we spent Thanksgiving weekend apart. That meant I hurried home from the office, changed to workout clothes, packed a bag of work clothes and went to class. From there, sweaty and smelly, I went directly to Andy’s.
It worked out fine. I could do this more (although I threw down money for a cab because waiting for the bus at 9 pm did not appeal to me . . . so it might get expensive) and it felt natural and normal. Instead of choosing what to do tonight (take my favorite Core Fusion Yoga or go to Andy’s?) I finally feel comfortable doing both.
It will continue to be an experiment, and it will continue to not be ideal. But it is a relief that this one day is behind me because now I feel like I can finally move forward with everything else. And even though that one day did not turn out as I planned, I’m extremely thrilled with how it did turn out.
I’m glad to be back in class even though right now it really, really sucks. Exercises that used to be relatively easy for me are now impossible. I can barely even do a pushup anymore. I used to love pushups! It hurts and it’s hard and I often either don’t want to or can’t push myself. Last night at Refine I switched my jumpbacks to step-backs. My quads were just on fire and I couldn’t do the jumps. Or could I? Was I just taking the easy way out? Am I frustrated that things that used to be easy now feel so hard? Or did I really do my best and my legs were truly too spent to do the jumps?
If I got out of work just an hour earlier, or worked closer to Manhattan, it would be easier. I could take earlier classes and have more time. But I don’t. So now that I am over three months into my new job, now that I am over eight months into my relationship with Andy, now that the previously unthinkable “after November 6” is over — now I can figure out how to organize my life in a way that includes everything I love and settle into a new routine. At least until I start training for my next half marathon.