As I bundled up this morning for my daily walk in my typical four winter layers of head to toe fleece & gortex, I realized that today is the March Equinox-7:02 am EDT to be exact. For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, believe it or not, spring has sprung. I've had a longtime interest in astrology and today marks the start of the zodiac calendar and is the most important astronomical event of the year (don't take my word for it, just ask the builders of Stonehenge).
On a personal level I like to celebrate this 24 hours of equal day and night by reconnecting with my personal life goals. I stay away from making the usual January New Year's resolutions (too trendy) so March is the start of my New Year. An ongoing challenge for me is to find balance in my life. I tend to throw myself into activites that I love--fitness, travel, learning, often to the exclusion of other important but mundane areas of life--paying bills, grocery shopping, cleaning the cat box. One of the many things to love about yoga is that it can help with the process of negotiating the struggle of finding balance without judging ourselves too harshly. I tend to get irritable when I feel overwhelmed by my to do list, and I don't like myself when I'm irritable. Rather than only staring daggers at the woman standing behind me in line at the bank yapping on her cell phone, I'm more likely to open my mouth and say something sassily regrettable (which unfortunately also makes me just as rude as her). My wonderfully fulfilling job as an educator and researcher can feel exhausting when I've fallen behind on grading or conference deadlines. The "fun life" strategy of saying YES to everything can lead to too much fun, and you know what they say about too much of a good thing...
The three sides of my exercise triangle are usually completed by Spinning® and Zumba (cardiovascular), Pilates & weight lifting (strength), and yoga (flexibility). Part of balance for me translates to trying new and different exercise forms because in fitness, a comfort zone is not necessarily a good place to be for achieving new levels of performance.
For Spring 2013 I have set 3 new personal fitness goals:
1. Cardiovascular: The launch of the Spinner® Blade ION this week at the IRSHA convention is a personal sign that I need to return to the concept of training with power. I dabbled in this years ago when I was a competitive cyclist with a cycling coach and was intimidated by the sheer awesome potential of it. Watts don't lie! I'm looking forward to training with power again and can't wait to take several new workshops about it at WSSC 2013. My goal is to be well versed and comfortable enough with it to apply it to both my own outdoor and indoor training over the next 6 months. I can't wait for local Spinning® facilities to start to offer power based training programs to the masses. Check it out here: http://spinning.com/nl/spinpower#.UUshBCLv4bE.facebook
2. Strength: For more than 10 years I trained with western New York's top personal trainer (Bob Alessi) and had amazing results. Some years ago, in the midst of a health crisis, I had to discontinue my weekly sessions with him. While Pilates is amazing and I love teaching/practicing it, for me it's time for a return to the basics of strength training & muscle conditioning. Fortunately, I still have Bob's number on speed dial. I enjoy TRX and toyed with getting a home suspension kit, but I'm a classic gym rat when it comes to doing better when working out with others. I also think a personal trainer is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Goals are one thing, but results are another and good PTs tend to be results-oriented and hold their clients accountable for the quality of time spent training.
3. Flexibility: As we often say with Spinning®, yoga is not a workout, it's a philosophy. While I'm excited about continuing & deepening my practice I'd like to explore other ways of incorporating flexibility into my day to day life. A friend of mine recently introduced me to the barre3 workout & we have immediate plans to try an Ultra Barre class at a local dance studio. One doesn't need to be built like a ballet dancer to move with the grace, flow and fluidity of one--and think of how well those principles translate to the Spinner®!
So, there's my 6 month plan. Anyone else care to join me with an equinoxolution? We can take stock of how we're progressing on September 22nd, and celebrate the tangibly productive use made of more and more sunlight welcoming us every day.