218 in 2018 · fitness

218 in 2018– today’s the day

We’ve all been reading about (and we’ve been posting) year-end reports about various fitness challenges for this year. After trudging through my messy relationships with challenges, I’m pleased to say that I’m now going to finish one.

Today is the day I hit magic number 218 in the 218 workouts in 2018 challenge. Let there be much rejoicing!

A silhouette of a woman jumping for joy on a beach. It's not me, but it would be if I were there.
A silhouette of a woman jumping for joy on a beach. It’s not me, but it would be if I were there.

How on earth did this happen, I wondered. I’ve quit fitness challenges with wild abandon in the past. They’ve always felt confining, judgy, and way too hard– I felt like if I missed the mark one day, it was O-V-E-R. Of course this all-or-nothing thinking is exactly what we try to push hard against in the blog. So, when I saw Sam and Cate and other sporty friendly feminist Canadian friends on the 218 in 2018 challenge, I decided to sign on.

So, how did it happen this time for me?

First, I just committed to documenting what I did, not looking too far down the road, but just doing what I was doing. I got a late start because I had pneumonia in January; that meant I didn’t really get moving (literally) until late February. But I did get moving. And kept moving.

Second, I successfully incorporated at-home yoga into my life. I’m all set up with mat, blocks, strap, and an attractive bright orange bolster in my living room. I have some favorite yoga youtube channels (check out bad yogi, yoga with Kassandra, and yoga with Adriene if you’re interested), and enjoyed mixing it up. I also discovered yin yoga while on a vacation work trip in Tucson, Arizona in July. It’s transformed my life– I love love love it.

Third, I internalized the view that the perfect is the enemy of the good. Or, for those of you who prefer graphic explanations, this:

A graph showing a curve where good enough is close to the x-axis, and perfect is never-gonna-get-there...
A graph showing a curve where good enough is close to the x-axis, and perfect is never-gonna-get-there…

Just doing some purposeful movement that I scheduled and carried out that day was the plan. It didn’t have to be epic (and rarely was). But it happened, and it happened because I-DID-IT. Yay again!

Finally (and this is the best one, so read on!): I decided to let what I counted as a workout be relativized to my physical/mental state, my schedule, and what was within my grasp for that day.

What does this mean? For instance, after I sprained my ankle, I did yoga on my bed, as I wasn’t able to get up from my yoga mat without help. I also did stretching and upper-body work during this period. Last week during a Christmas trip to see family, I offered to do dog walking to get a mellow workout in for the day. I walked two dogs multiple times– thanks Baxter and Kiwi! When I had a busy work day, I parked far away across campus so I could get an a 40-minute walk (to and from my car).

Yes, I also had some long bike rides, some hard bike rides, some hiking, swimming, etc. Those were fun, and I want to do more of them. But this challenge provided me with daily motivation to find some (even a little) time for exercise, movement, physical effort, no matter what state I was in.

Today I’m walking to and from my yoga studio to do a 90-minute restorative class. It’s not vigorous. That’s okay. It makes me feel great in my body and keeps me moving. That’s the point. And how does this make me feel? I’ll let this unlikely result of my image search for “218” get the last words:

A homemade green poster/it (I can't tell) saying "218 rocks for woman". Yes, that about sums it up.
A homemade green poster/it (I can’t tell) saying “218 rocks for woman”. Yes, that about sums it up.

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