A personal website about all things fitness; dig deep and find out who you are. A freelance wellness writer for The Washington Post and a Huffington Postcolumnist, Carolee Belkin Walker also blogs here about training, nutrition, self awareness, sexual health, music, athletic fashion, and running. Sample her other writings.
I always found it ridiculous that high schoolers who never played sports thought the football team was made up of dumb jocks especially when many players ended up at our best colleges and universities.
Where did the stereotype of the dumb jock come from?
Just watch a professional soccer game or Major League Baseball or any Olympic event and think about how much stuff the players are pouring into their brains before, during, and after the games. Ok some of these athletes might make stupid decisions off the field in their personal lives, but these have nothing to do with smarts.
So I'm not surprised to read about another study showing that exercise is good for your brain.
It was true, I did need to be up by 4:30 am Sunday morning, but it's not like I'm a professional or even competitive athlete. I've been running and doing these races for 3 years, and this idea always crosses my mind.
Among the many political signs at last Saturday's half marathon was this one, my favorite, because whenever anybody asks me about my experience as a runner, I always say that I'm a 50-something who wanted to go to lunch but went for a run instead.
We were lined up at the start when a group of three women around my age asked me if I would take their picture. Through the lens of the iPhone camera I could see one of them wanted to be at brunch instead of shivering on 14th Street and about to run 13.1 miles in 26 degree weather.
By last Thursday afternoon I was feeling the effects of the upper body workout I did with Zach Schumaker, my trainer, on Wednesday night. My pecs were so inflamed and sore I wasn't 100 percent convinced I wasn't having a heart attack. In general I welcome delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) because it means I'm placing stress on my muscles, allowing them to adapt.
But then of course I'm forced to change up my training. So on Friday, instead of cross training on the elliptical or swimming, I did walking intervals on the treadmill at a 12 percent incline; no stress on the upper body but I got my heart rate up high enough to feel great getting ready for work and throughout the day.
I was planning to do a long swim Saturday morning but still felt sore. A year ago I would have pushed through but if I've learned anything through all of this it's the value of deloading. So instead, with my head still on my pillow, I smiled.
I'll do an easy run.
It wasn't the run that made me smile, although I enjoy these shakeout runs.
I reconnected over the summer with a woman I first met when I was living outside San Francisco and our daughters had become friends. We were having coffee in Palo Alto late one afternoon when she told me she had lupus.
The subject came up because she was apologizing for meeting me in her workout clothes as she was just coming from the gym.
Really? Everyone in Palo Alto looks like they're in exercise clothes.
She told me that one of the ways she copes with bouts of extreme pain in her joints is by exercising regularly.
This memory popped into my head a few weeks ago as I woke up after sleeping nearly 12 hours. The last of my Thanksgiving guests had left late on that Saturday, and I practically passed out within minutes.
My plan had been to do a longish run that Sunday morning, but when I stepped out of bed, my sides and lower back were so sore and stiff that I nearly crept down the stairs to make myself a cup of coffee.
I assumed I had suffered a sleeping injury by being in bed so long.
Election Day is here and these last few weeks have been like trudging in the mud. Everywhere you go, everyone you talk to, people are uncomfortable with how this election is making them feel. About their country, about the world, about their communities, about themselves.
This popped into my head after I instinctively extended my arm to help a woman, probably in her late 50s, as she walked from her car into a theater in Warsaw, Indiana, a few weeks ago.
We were standing on a slight incline steps from the entrance. A bus pulled up and began to unload. I was seeing the 2 pm matinee of "Grease" at Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts with my close friend Carmelita Watkinson, and it was a gorgeous day. We were there to see her awesome and talented son Sean play the role of Danny Zuko.