Thursday, June 7, 2007

My Transformation Realization

Have you ever noticed how you can tell the difference between those "in training" for something and those who are just working out?

Pounding my way through yet another Elliptical workout (whoo-fing-hoo, but its better than sitting around crying about how my underwear doesn't fit and I was pretty tired from spending yesterday doing that) I saw this guy get on the treadmill and start running. Another gym dude, but something was different.

This guy had the clothes. You know, the technical ones you buy to "train," like the ball cap with the sweatband inside (Larry wears them, anyone who does Ironman wears them, you know which ones I'm talking of), the actual wicking running shirt, track shorts, running shoes. He's got a good pace, better form, and a focus that is more on the heartrate than on the televisions ahead. Okay, so not the best description, but you get the picture.

Then there are those who are casual fitness people, the ones who might sneak a workout in after work but more often than not talk themselves out of it, the ones in the cotton shirts and sweatpants walking on the treadmills or aimlessly pedaling away on the stationary bike READING MAGAZINES (geesh), with no real perspiration to be seen but a gallon jug of Gatorade.

But mostly you can tell by the clothes.

Now, I am FAR from a snob when it comes to working out or even clothes (most of my actual daily wardrobe is actual making its second appearance after spending its first go-round in my sister Ellen's closet, but that's another post) but you can tell. Right?

When I was IM training, I used to go to the gym, smirking in silent satisfaction that, although I may not look like much, I was IN TRAINING, and for a BIGGER event than most of the other gym regulars would ever dream of doing (okay, that's a bit more snobby than it sounded in my head when I originally thought it). I thought, Yeah, I got focus, I got a goal, I got dreams.

And today, I realized I crossed the line. The line that separated the "trainers" from the (gasp!) "regulars." I understood today that I have become a gym regular.

(Cue single tear)

The final straw? I even went out to buy new workout clothes different than my triathlon training clothes, so as to be more appropriately outfitted for the Elliptical, rather than the treadmill. They pretty much consist of Lycra pants that go down to the knees (my thighs have taken a bit of a beating in the downtime) and a tank top. Like an actual tank top. Not a running tank, but one you might wear out. With friends. For brunch.


Evey time I go to the gym, I want to scream, "Just wait! Just wait! I'll be an Ironman again! This is just recovery for me! This isn't the real Megan! I'll comeback!!!!" Then it hits me that I know no one there, and they likely wouldn't give a sh** about what I need to come back from anyway. So I tell my pride to shut the f-up, climb on the elliptical, adjust the tank top, and pound away. Again.

Alas, this is my current plot in life. And some days I am better with it than others. I had this HORRIBLE meltdown yesterday about the aforementioned underwear issue, and Larry said to me, "Just consider this time base building for training...This is the time when you begin to build yourself back up slowly, mentally and physically, and start to re-learn how it feels to just build, go steady and eventually go long for long periods of what if is the elliptical or the stationary's all new foundation."

Good perspective, I give him that. And I did stop whining (read: sobbing) after it, so that helped. So I guess I need to (at least momentarily) embrace my Gym Rat status. Maybe I'm a regular now, but give me a few months - My super human powers will be back!


Duane said...

Meg, you WILL be back and we will be right here with you as you come back! You will be an IM!

Brent Buckner said...

"Trainer" versus "regular" is just a matter of approach or state of mind.

I discovered miracle (wicking) fabrics for rollerblading. Never looked back - started wearing them to the gym before I took up endurance events. While at the gym I was doing things like driving for 1,000cal expended in 1hr. on the elliptical.

Whatever keeps you active and healthy!

Donald said...

I think as long as the goal stays inside you, and you are actively moving towards it, you are always in training - even if it doesn't appear that way from the outside.

momo said...

i agre with larry, you are building your fitness right now and before you know it, you'll be out of those tanktops and into your running and cycling gear - without one look back.

keeping moving forward, meg!