How do you perceive physical activity?

As i write this, I’m literally days away, 2, in fact, from my first marathon – I’m not telling you that so you can send messages of congratulations – I’m telling you that to show you that the way we view physical activity is most definately about perspective.

This is a little about my running story, hope I don’t bore you, but really the morale of the story is about perspective and mindset.

5 years ago , actually, even 12 months ago, I’d say the thought of running marathon could have made me physically sick, or at least twitch a little! Of course, I wasn’t sick, but I viewed it as torturous!  It was SO far out of reach, not to mention, my comfort zone.

Since then, I’ve slowly increased my running, and along the way just decided I needed to do one marathon in my life.  That was pretty much all – I made a conscious decision, rallied my beautiful girlfriends to be support crew, booked flights, accommodation and registered for the event.  To be honest, I’m still feel amazed at what the body is capable of when we set our minds to it!

I’m not implying everyone needs to do a marathon or similar, for you, it might just be starting to committing to using the stairs every time there is an option, instead of the lift!

Today, I’m, yes, a little anxious but strangely excited – excited for lots of reasons.  Here are some random thoughts for race week and a few things I’ve noted and learnt in the last 6 or 8 months:

I’d be a liar, liar pants on fire if I said it’s all been super easy! Did I want to get out of bed and run every time the alarm went off? No! But I did (except for maybe a few times, when I couldn’t logistically sort my children to be safely looked after!)

Training for a marathon is a rollercoaster of emotions – on the days I didn’t run, especially if a few in a row, I’d start to talk myself out of it! Questioning my decision and perspective! In comparison, after I’d run,, I knew I could do it!

A runner I know was telling me how he cried at end of one of his marathons!  At the time, I felt sorry for him and was thinking, he’s soft, who’d do that?!?!? I so get it now, after all the training and commitment, the support (and well meaning questioning) from loved ones, the ups and downs, I might just get a bit terry too!

I’m going to be towards the end of the finishers, and that’s cool, but I absolutely cannot wait to know I am capable of a marathon! I feel like, my view of the world will change even more – I’ll let you know!

My marathon perspective took on a whole new level of meaning when I also decided that the Jake Garrett Foundation would be my beneficiary for my fundraising efforts.  Again about perspective.  The Jake Garrett Foundation provides emotional and financial support for parents whose precious children have passed away.  Thank you to everyone who has generously donated. When you see a friend and her family having to face this, marathon training isn’t even on the radar of degrees of difficulty.  The marathon is half a day and families have to be without their little person forever.

Please, let my gradual shift in perspective be proof that once we change the way we view things, what we’re capable of changes!  For physical activity – just get moving!

I have a gorgeous friend who has been sending memes in the lead up to race week – all supportive, some hilarious – so I have a few quotes to share:

You will never grow if you stay in your comfort zone – cliche but true – how we view a challenge matters!

We always over estimate what we can do in the short term but under estimate what we can do in the long term – just start!  Go for a walk around the block to reward yourself. Make it a priority instead of making excuses why you can’t, just make it happen, and see how it feels!

That’s what I’ll be doing on Sunday!

Technology – good or bad?

Did you know that putting your wet phone in a ziplock bag with uncooked rice actually works to dry it out?  You see, I have used this hack once before and on the weekend had to use it again, thanks to an upside down waterbottle in my bag….gggrrr!!  It’s all good now, as far as I’m aware, every feature on my phone is now functioning again, however, I’m not going to lie, there were a few nervous moments at the thought my phone may not work ever again!

Apps, photos, phone numbers, videos of my children completing random activities – all pieces that I didn’t have backed up anywhere else – could have been gone for good!!  I have backed them up now, you’ll be glad to know!  I can laugh about it now and feel super relieved, but it got me to thinking how reliant I’ve become on this said device – and I’m a digital immigrant!!  It did make me spare a thought for the digital natives, ie. those who have never known a life without technology, esp smartphones!!

For all it’s negatives, technology brings us lots of positives everyday.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to recommend a few apps that I personally use frequently (and would have missed dearly had my phone not recovered!):

SmilingMind – is a modern mediation app – comes from a Not For Profit organisation (of the same name) and helps people integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives.  There are programs for children 7 years and up.  Seeing the picture is the perfect reminder for me to practise meditation – with busy lives, we all need reminders!

MyFitnessPal – this one helps me be more conscious of what I’m eating and the nutrients that make up different foods.  There is also an exercise component and it keeps me honest (most of the time!)  You can even add friends to this one if you are looking for that added accountability!)

My Asics – as a runner, I like to use this app to guide my running plan – I put in the event that I’d like to train for and some other basic info and it comes up with the plan – the challenge is actually getting all the runs done!

The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet – I used this app religiously when I first started learning about the low FODMAP arrangement.  It contains very detailed information about ingredients and recommendations for anyone following this way of eating.

So anyways, I think technology sometimes gets a bad rap.  I don’t believe it is neither good or bad – it is how we use it that determines its usefulness – it’s up to us!

I’d like to think I use it to my advantage, do you?

Do you rely on YOUR smartphone as much as I clearly do??

What technology would you miss if you had to go without?

Featured Image – Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/photos/apple/”>VisualHunt</a&gt;

Being present

This week the blog is short and its about the value of healthy positive relationships and role models.  The reason it’s short, and I don’t apologise for, is that I have spent the weekend enjoying a mini-break with my three precious boys.

We explored, laughed, ate (and ate some more because that’s what you do on holidays isn’t it?!), kicked the footy, went for a run and had several nerf gun battles….

I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t the winner of any of the nerf battles, however, the boys got one of the things they want and deserve – our time.  I got to spend a little more time with our eldest son when he wanted to come for a run with me for the first time in ages while we were away too.

Whilst we had some great chats while we were running (and walking) it was the unspoken messages that became apparent.

Here are just a couple of my thoughts that I was reminded of on the weekend:

Children need to know what healthy relationships look like as well as what it means to be physically healthy.

Children are sponges – he will remember what we did, not what we said.

The endorphin release after exercising is just as potent for  children as adults – my boy was visibly on a high that was intoxicating to watch!

To top it off and almost as proof that kids are a product of their environment, when we got home I mentioned to my son that I was impressed that he could go as far as we did, I was quickly met with ‘mum, I just believed I could, so I did’ ….well I wonder where he has heard that before?? 😉

One of the most important acts we can carry out for our children is just to be with them – be completely present with them and notice all of the lessons they learn.

 

“Opportunistic”

Opportunistic

  1. exploiting immediate opportunities, especially regardless of planning or principle.

Source: Oxford dictionary

I believe that what I did yesterday fits this definition perfectly.  I exploited, or took advantage of the fact that my children’s Great Uncle wanted to take them to the motorbike shop and I went for a run.  No children were harmed in this opportunistic act, in fact, they had a fabulous time, so everyone had a win – got to love it when that happens!!

Anyhow, back to my run, it was an unexpected run – such a bonus!  For anyone who is time poor (which is probably most of us at some stage), this is comparative to winning on a scratch-it ticket – not anticipated, but you are grateful anyway!

When I was running I was thinking about both time and change.  They are the two things we have no control over and yet both make a huge difference in our lives. Its how we perceive them that makes all the difference.  For example, five years ago, running definitely wouldn’t have been my chosen opportunistic activity when someone offered to take my child (there was only one then) off my hands and honestly I would have cringed at the thought at all!!  But here we are, 5 years on, running is a chosen past time of mine – and on my opportunistic run it felt was so good it almost seemed a little naughty.  I almost felt like someone was going to tap me on the shoulder and tell me my time was up – now that is a massive change of perspective!

There was certainly nothing pretty about my run, it was slow and I sweated, a lot!  But it was my longest for the year this far and man, knowing I had just smashed out 9km, I can tell you, that felt pretty damn fine!  I also discovered a road I didn’t know existed, which links perfectly to my last blog post about new adventures being good for you!

So time has changed me and I’m proud of that.

I’m a runner now because I believe I am, (but just to set the record straight here and now, I will never be a race winner – but I sure feel like one especially when I walked in the gate and our dog was so pleased to see me, I imagine that’s how elite athletes feel when their fans surround them!

My perception of yesterday’s opportunity was as a way to get closer to my goals and I was ever so grateful for the time.

It is rather ironic, because, as a nurse, normally when I think of opportunistic I think of infection!  Since I’m writing about health, infection is obviously antagonistic to the cause!  However, perhaps just like sneaky infections, we all need to be a little opportunistic sometimes, especially if it meets our needs and gets us closer to our goals!

Disclaimer:  I tried to upload the photo I took just after I got back from said run, enter technical difficulties, hence the use of the happy emoji instead!  My apologies!