Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Are We Having Fun Yet?

I have a coworker for which this is their standard water cooler greeting, similar to "How's it going" or "Sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays!"  Of course being at the office the standard reply is usually some version of no thanks and when can we go home?

Yet it is a very relevant question.  Are we having fun?  Am I having fun in everything that I am doing?  Is training for a half marathon, while learning a whole new way of swimming, and also trying not completely lose to ability to identify my bike, all at the same time, actually fun?
My daughter thinks the
treadmill is seriously fun.

As adults we spend tend to describe facets of our lives as rewarding, meaningful, fulfilling... but not often fun.  In my experience, most problems can be fixed not by excessive over-analysis, but with more fun.

On the trail
Yesterday Gypsy took our kids for the entire day, giving the Jedi and I several blissful hours of uninterrupted time to just enjoy each other's company and talk.  As our kids + her kids = 6 kids solo for the day, this earns her Best Friend of the Year and Mother of the Year simultaneously.  Seriously.  We went for a nice long cross-country ski on the rail trail, and followed it up with some chores around the house (remarking the whole time how quiet it was) and lunch out at our favorite local sushi place.  I cannot describe to anyone who is not a parent what a tremendous gift it was to have that much time together, and how much ground we covered as a couple. Career.  The kids.  Training.  The correct method of snow removal from our driveway.  The future.  The past.  All these things that you never get a chance to really connect about when the day-to-day reality of work and parenting turns you into Mrs. "Why can't she stop leaving dirty clothes all over the house" and Mr. "You always load the dishwasher wrong".  So that was excellent.  Just a few hours of fun together smoothed over months worth of bumps in the road.  Not that we have major bumps in the first place.  But nothing is perfect, not even us.

Wine and Sushi.  Big fun.

After Sunday's race, I was seriously questioning my sanity and the fun-ness of training this time of year.  I mean really - THIS is the correct way to cover a long distance on semi-packed snow:  Not running.

They make these things called skis that slide over the snow....

Similarly, getting out of bed early, trainer rides, and cold pools were starting to top my list of non-fun things. Ditto for lonely long runs in the cold that left me Cranky Tired Mom afterwards.  Ironically one of the reasons I wanted to run longer distances was to be able to go out with some of my runner friends.  Who now are running much less or not at all because of the weather, leaving me to soldier on alone.  Not fun.  So friends - as it warms, expect me to come for you.  I'm a lot faster than I was last fall and I want buddies again!!!

I talked to Sheriff about all of this in a few back and forth emails, and we decided that truly, what is needed is less pressure and more fun.  He even gave me license to "goof off". (I'll be testing the limits of what that means!).  We agreed that for the next few weeks, it's ok if I can't get up super early.  The cycle of packing for a workout, hitting the snooze and then feeling guilty about it all day is killing me.  I will religiously complete my three key runs a week to get ready for the New Bedford half, but other than that I can swim, bike, ski, yoga, or lay around with the kitty as much as I like.  This sounds like fun.

For clarity, here are some examples:

Not fun: commuting home in a huge snowstorm - the third in four days.
Fun: stopping at the gym to wait out the storm, and doing a 2000m swim set that felt like much less, in a completely empty pool.  Oh yes, this happened today.  After running a pretty fast 5K on the treadmill this morning.  Funny how I celebrate freedom to punk off by working out twice in one day.... hmm......

Not fun:  Watching every. single. thing. I. eat.
Fun: Weirdly slug-like and suggestive flambeed banana.

Not fun: Endless trainer rides in the cold basement.
Fun: Trainer rides in the warm living room, while watching Game of Thrones Season 3 which we got on DVD yesterday.  I'd adapted this drinking game for use on the trainer.  Shift up a gear every time someone dies.  Spin up whenever a White Walker appears (bike away!).  Stand up and push for 3 minutes whenever a main character dies.  The Red Wedding episode is gonna be tough....

How do you make exercise fun when you really aren't feeling it?

Any other GOT and SciFi geeks shout out!  (come now don't be shy....)  I'll send you the complete rules to Trainer GOT.....

For your meditations - watch the pretty snow fall......


Anthony said...

It looks like you are actually training more/better when you are "having fun" I must be a genius.

Miranda Greenhalgh said...

Reverse psychology. I will always want to do the opposite of whatever I'm told.....

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