A Rant and a Bet

Yesterday I indicated I'd write about resolutions for the new year.  But I need to rant first for just a second. Sometimes I just don't know which expert to listen to when it comes to keeping me healthy and strong.  Does that ever happen to you?  I've got workouts from Coach Gerardo.  I've got a carefully crafted strength-building regimen from the Shan Clan.  I've got a set of exercises to do from my ART therapist, Dr. Ben.  I've been going to a deep stretch yoga class where the instructor showed me one set of exercises for hip openers and today I went to another yoga class where the instructor told me essentially the opposite of what the Shan Clan and Dr. Ben were advising.

Who the heck am I supposed to listen to!?!?!

Today's conflicting advice came courtesy of a well-intentioned instructor teaching an Anasura-based mixed-level flow class.  I came into class fresh off my first run in two weeks, a stride-counting exercise where I was tasked with 30+ strides in 20 seconds on a slight hill.  The good news is that my left leg and hip held up fine.  The bad news is that towards the end of my run, I felt a twinge in my right psoas area (where the hip seems to meet the groin) and on the outside of my right knee.  I hadn't even been running 30 minutes.

I told the yoga instructor of my troubles and she paid special attention to me in class, adjusting me regularly in poses I thought I knew well.  It was a humbling but informative experience. But the surprising part came towards the end of class when she told me I needed to stop "clenching my butt" so much in yoga poses and relax more in the glutes.

I've been called a tight ass before, but never quite like that.

What I couldn't understand was why I was being told to do exercises like bridge pose or glute exercises where that's precisely the goal.  So I asked the instructor, and her eyes widened.

"That's the WORST exercise you could be doing for yourself!" she whisper-exclaimed, trying not to disturb the peacefulness of the flow.  "That's exactly why your psoas muscles are as tight as they are!"

Now I'm totally confused.  Has this ever happened to you?  Whose advice should be considered more "expert" than the other experts???  Normally I'd say my coach, but he's not a yoga instructor, nor an ART therapist.

Some days, I can't help but just let out a big sigh at the end of my training day.


OK, rant over.

On to the annual empty-promise exercise known as The New Year's Resolution.

I was thinking of generic resolutions (e.g., "spend more time volunteering,") when I read this blog post from "In Over Your Head" (Julien Smith) that my father forwarded to me.  I highly recommend you take a minute to read it too.  The short version: Treat your resolutions like bets.  "This past New Year, you probably had an opportunity to make a bet with yourself. You may see it as a resolution, but that’s not actually what it is. It is a bet, and if you lose, you will actually be worse off than you were before. The opportunity will be gone, and you will have less hope about being able to change. You will have lost the bet, and you should treat it that way."

This really changes how I look at resolutions.  I will take them more seriously moving forward.  If I'm going to say it, there needs to be real skin in the game, so to speak.

After reading that post, I promptly found a Post-It note and wrote the following: "Break 12:00:00 at Coeur d'Alene."  It now sits smack in the center of my bathroom.  Soon there's not going to be any room to see myself on that mirror!

I know how risky this bet is.  I know I'm behind in my training.  I know I'm listening to several masters right now telling me how to restore my health.  But I'm still going to bet myself I can break 12 hours at IM CDA.  And I'm making my bet public.  Let's see what happens.

I'm also going to bet myself that I can volunteer at least nine times this year.  It may seem low, but considering how little I've done in the past it's a huge jump.  My bet  allows me to pick something almost monthly while leaving big "milestone" months alone if need-be (e.g., June (IM CDA), August (wedding), and September (honeymoon)).

What are you going to bet this year?

169 days and counting.