In November, a few days before the NYC Marathon, I attended the NYRR Five Borough Bash. It’s an inspiring fundraiser to raise money for NYRR’s youth programs. Theodora recapped it better than I could, so you can get the details there.
As soon as I was invited, I decided to wear my favorite dress. The dress I wore on my first day of my new job in August, 2011. I tweeted a photo of myself that morning, actually.
I LOVE this dress. It’s made by Theory and I somehow managed to get it for 10% off at Bloomingdale’s last year in some sort of fluke involving a rude customer. Still very pricey, but it’s something I knew I would have forever and would never go out of style. I was in love with it.
My plans on the night of the Five Borough Bash got thwarted when I attempted putting on the dress. I couldn’t zip it all the way up. It felt way too tight and I looked awful. I was a wreck, and beyond upset. I went with a much stretchier, more forgiving dress. But the issue weighed on me all night, especially when I saw how good my friends looked despite also training for the marathon.
I know that many people gain weight while training for a marathon. I know I stopped taking Refine for the months leading up to the race as my mileage increased. I know I ate a lot more pretzel croissants and croissant French toast (see a theme here?) than I ever did when I wasn’t training.
I get it. I just didn’t like it. And like most people, I worried I wouldn’t be able to get back to my old self. I couldn’t believe that just a few months earlier, when I filmed my Microsoft Bing Friends Matter webisode, I was in the best shape of my life.
After the marathons, I gave myself a couple of weeks to rest and recover. In December, I went back to my Refine Method classes.
When I first tried Refine back in 2010, it was really, really hard. Starting any new fitness class or routine will be tough the first time. All I remember is push-ups and push-ups and more push-ups. And also planks. Going back after this break, however, was so much harder than starting it for the first time. I don’t know why, but I almost walked out of my first class a few minutes in. And my second class. I felt inadequate. I felt weak. Brynn adjusted me during a push-up and I belly flopped. Collapsed right onto the floor. Doing an exercise I’ve done hundreds of times before.
Everything was so hard. I wanted so much to leave and never go back, but as grueling as each class was, I felt good after. I was happy I did it, and I always went back. I experienced some serious anxiety before each class, and felt nervous in a way I never have before. I felt terror and dread going to Refine. To REFINE — my favorite exercise in the world! The one I credit for making me a faster runner and fixing my knee issues that plagued my running, and getting me back on track after my debilitating hip injury (My Hip Injury – Part 1 and My Hip Injury – Part 2). The one I thought about all the time, loved going to, brought my friends to, rearranged my schedule for, talked about to everyone who will listen (and sometimes those who won’t) and just really, truly enjoyed. I was totally addicted.
And I was scared to put on some of my workout pants. I knew they would feel too tight. I stuck to the looser fitting ones.
Brynn told me it was OK not to be an all-star, I could just be a regular student in class for once. I don’t know when or how or why I got into this mindset that I’m this awesome worker-outer, but somewhere along the way I did. And when I become something that I like, I cling to it.
I believe it was about a month later that I felt like myself again at Refine. It really didn’t take long at all; it’s true what they say about muscle memory. I wasn’t struggling nearly as much, my muscle definition was coming back and I felt comfortable there again.
And just like that, I was back in my Refine groove, scheduling my classes out for the week and actually looking forward to them. The exercises no longer felt impossible and I stopped feeling hopeless.
It wasn’t long before my workout pants fit again. I kept taking Refine and in March I started running again. I knew, when I did my assessment for Refine ReGroup, that I was back to being an all-star. I killed it with my push-ups, pull-ups and plank. I felt strong and I could tell the instructors running my assessment were impressed.
But I waited until today, June 22, before attempting the dress again.
I think we all know where this is going.