Ode to Joy

Last night I had the marvelous opportunity to go listen to the BBC Orchestra play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Royal Albert Hall in London.  A very kind colleague had heard me mention that I wanted to go, and when an opportunity arose, he extended the invite.  I was thrilled to spend a great night sitting with he and his partner, listening to gorgeous music and that extravagant sound of a chorus belting out the tune we know as the Ode to Joy.

We walked to the show, and covered a variety of topics in our hour long trek from the office.  As I told my mother last night, I knew I’d officially become a Londoner when my friend asked if I would mind walking (in my suit, from the office) and I not only said “no, I don’t mind” but I meant it!  More than that, I was prepared with my running shoes (though I quickly changed back into my cute girl shoes once we got close).  The other way I knew I’d done okay was that I really did enjoy the walk – and even though we arrived slightly “misted” – it was a perfect way to spend the night.

As I walked back to the Underground after the show, I was whistling the Ode the whole way.  It was the second day in a row, you see, that I’d had a wonderful walk in the park – and I’d be lying if I didn’t say those endorphins weren’t making themselves known.

So it should come as no surprise that tonight, when I turned up for my first “training” consultation at the local gym, I was still in a decent (if slightly nervous) mood.  An hour and change later, with our initial intake done, and the initial workout done, I’m still smiling.

So what is it exactly?  What is it about the prospect of a committed program for the next twelve weeks that has me giddy as a kid?

Well, for me, it’s a few things.  First, not to state the obvious, but I’d forgotten how amazing a workout is for your mental state.  Just this week, the New York Times reminded us of this when they shared the results of a recent study that said that for those suffering from chronic depression, exercise is as effective as drug therapy.  If that isn’t an indicator of what exercise can do for you, what is?   Now, I wouldn’t claim that I’m in anywhere NEAR that kind of funk, but if it’s that good for those who are struggling, imagine what it does for those of us who are just okee doke?  I mean, by all rights we should be singing Odes everywhere we go (don’t worry, no singing, just whistling here.)

Second, I think it’s the prospect of having a plan to follow – as my assistant likes to say, “a proper plan”.  It’s knowing what I have to do when (with some flexibility) to get me to where I want to go.  It’s taking the guesswork out of the equation by knowing that I have someone to report to – and also knowing that this investment is going to eat up a decent chunk of my cash.  I’m putting my wallet where my ass is.  And I’m okay with that.  But, as my friends and business owners of Chicago Endurance Sports always knew, (that’s you Jenny and Mike) getting people to commit by signing up for a set time with a decent investment means people are less likely to blow off the training group.  Trust me – I know that when I’m paying for these sessions that I won’t be willing to let them die.  According to the Evening Standard tonight, I’ll be buying a trip to Ibiza every week to see my new friend Jason, and though he doesn’t sing and dance, I’m going to make the most of that time.

So I guess that’s it.  I’m excited to have a plan.  To invest in my health.  To make some good changes.  I know, I know – we’ve all seen or done this before.  But I’ve never – literally – NEVER – done the training thing with a personal trainer.  The closest I came was the great help and guidance (okay, and ass-kicking) my PT Joel gave me last year at Accelerated when I was rehabbing.  I had great rehab results with Joel, who pushed me farther than I knew I could go.  So maybe that’s it too – maybe I’m hoping with some encouragement and regular accountability, I’ll get back to a level of fitness I’m excited about.

I think that means, kids, that we start today.  So get ready for mind-numbing updates full of good cheer about the newest adventure.  I hope you’ll join me for this ride, and that you’ll be working along at home too.  And when 2012 knocks on our door, let’s all kick it down with our new bad selves, eh?

See you on the path 😉

p.s.  In case you’re curious, the following goals have been set:

1) Lose 25 pounds. (I have a date in mind, but let’s not share that).

2) Be strong enough to be ready to run once the 25 pounds is off (ideally by February)

3) Olympic distance triathlon in early spring of 2012

There’s more, but that’s a start. 🙂

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Ode to Joy

    • Han, I don’t think I’ve earned it but I appreciate the note 🙂 I, for one, am jealous of your adventures on that woodland trail this week….thanks for continuing to inspire me, too 😉

  1. Hey, if Beethoven can compose that masterpiece amidst all his personal and physical struggles, that just shows you how much is possible! In fact, I’m willing to say that the more life throws at you, the more you have to wield into a focused course of expression/action, etc. (at least some of the time…) So, I’ll see your challenge! Goals: to improve my split in general; to complete my first trail half marathon in less than 2:30; to join you for a race next year and finish together, pain free!

  2. Fantastic post! Never worked with a trainer – wow you have done so much on your own. You rock!
    So where’s the olympic distance, hmmmmm? Stateside or across the pond. Perhaps it’s time for a meetup. 😉

    • Shannon! I haven’t found the race yet, but it will likely be in Europe only because it’s much easier than dealing with moving the bike. I have to find it still 🙂 Though I’d consider an early season race somewhere warm 🙂 if nothing else, we should commit to doing Chicago together in 2013!!!!

  3. You are inspiring and I hope that going to this trainer helps you out. I have never worked with a trainer other than a PT either but it seems exciting when I hear others chat about having one. I’m looking forward to your posts and be sure to include what kind of exercises he has you doing. Also, can you post more pictures of your adventures in London? For someone who never goes anywhere, they would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

    • Aw, thanks Rocky! Wait till you see my next post 🙂 Not great news on the trainer front..however, London continues to beckon 🙂

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