Also, this is a post entirely about me. I support anybody's right to live in their body as they choose without judgment; this is how I choose to live in mine.
The thing about physical fitness is that it never actually gets easier. You just suck at a higher level.
So I just got back from a nice little three mile run in the snow. (Okay, 2.8 miles.) It was beautiful and cold and if it weren't for my damned glasses fogging, I would have called it a perfect outing. (I only made about 11 minute miles, but I was being pretty careful of my footing.)
Two years ago, that would have been beyond the limit of my capability. I was struggling to break 12 minute miles at that point, and didn't really start running father than 5K until last winter. Now I can run ten miles in a little less than two hours, over a hilly route. It's fucking exhausting, and I only do it once a week... but the result is that shorter runs now feel like kind of a treat. (I can run eight miles twice a week. Funny how much of a difference that last two miles makes.)
So the edge has gotten further away--but the days when I run ten miles are just as hard as it used to be to run four.
Still, it's really nice to look at livejournal posts from May 2011 and see myself saying "Someday I will run 5K at more than a shuffling jog." Because today is that someday. And the hills I'm crushing (or that are crushing me!) now are bigger and steeper than the hills I was struggling with then.
Progress. It's important to track it.
You have to push the edge, in other words, for stuff like what I did today to start getting easier.
Still, I'm pretty damned content with my fitness level at this point. I haven't been climbing much (or at all, for a month, alas) but I've been working hard at yoga and running, and my biceps are actually starting to develop that little notch at the bottom. I have tripod balance more or less down, and I'm working on turning it into a free standing headstand. I fall over a lot!
Also, new more muscular and tighter thighs mean I can do tree pose, bound side angle, and proper not-cheating crow like a boss. I am very, very fond of my massive running-on-hills quadriceps and hamstrings.
Rar! I'm back on a more restrictive Discipline, because my blood pressure had crept back up at my last checkup, and my goal now is to maintain myself at the current level of fitness (I toy with the idea of training for a half-marathon, but conveniently the Hartford Marathon is the same weekend as Viable Paradise and honestly I don't REALLY want to run more than I already do, so I'm off the hook) and get a little leaner. (I suspect a lot of my recent improvements in running have to do with being lighter--it's a hell of a lot easier to shove 190 pounds up a hill or drag it up a wall than it is to do the same to 230 pounds.)
I would really like to stay off the hypertension meds. I do not like the side effects. Family history may be against me, though...
And now it's time to do some yoga, and then eat all the things.