Friday, April 29, 2011

FBFF: Fitness on Friday


This week's FBFF questions are all about fitness! How we keep fit, and how/if fashion comes into that.

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?
Generally, I go to the gym or run outside for 30-45 minutes before work on weekday mornings, with a longer run on the weekend. (though haven't been as regular about this for the past few weeks as still recovering from some knee and foot issues partially related to a race I ran in mid-March, partially from walking miles and miles around Chicago without enough padding in my shoes.) As far as "why" I do this...that's a good question. I think I have more energy when I exercise regularly. I like getting up earlier and feeling like I'm getting something done immediately. I tend to sleep more and eat more healthily when I'm working out, step of caring for my body snowballing into others.

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image?
You know, the workout routine that helped me the most with my body image was my informal parkour training from about two years ago to about a year ago. A few of us from my lab (myself and a couple of my male colleagues) had gotten together and decided that we wanted to do something to make working out more enjoyable and to give us some goals to reach. We decided to try to learn parkour, which basically involves traveling at great speeds through a city from point to point by the most direct route, even if that involves going over objects, jumping gaps, and climbing structures.

So most mornings for a year or so we'd meet at the gym and do things that we thought would help build parkour-related skills and strength and stamina. It was really gratifying to see myself improve along measurable lines, as I became able to do more repetitions of certain exercises, master particular moves, and simply do the same thing but be less sore the next day! I also discovered that I was able to push myself past particular limits that I'd set on my body beforehand and still be fine. I could be physically pushing myself and maintain that for a while and that would be fine. These sorts of results and seeing my body's capabilities were really inspiring. The focus wasn't on working out for weight loss/management or for some vague concept of "fitness," but for expanding what my body could do and preparing it to do some cool things. The day that we were first able to push ourselves to do 100 "Burpees" was a huge feeling of success. And believe me, it's a thrill to do crazy parkour things like running to the edge of a set of steps, leaping to the bottom, and landing into a forward roll in the grass below! Somewhere, there exist videos of me doing this...

3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion?
Normally I'm in a sports bra, t-shirt, workout pants/shorts, and running shoes. It's pretty completely about function, though I've been thrifting some more sports clothing under the idea that the more I dress like a serious gym-goer the more comfortable I'll continue to feel.

4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness?
I don't know that there's a particular cultural perception about what, specifically, I should be doing for fitness -- just that I should be particular levels of fit. And that I should be working out several times per week. Actually, there's a general cultural prevalence toward "going to the gym" or "running," I think. Things that one does "regularly." Does anyone else have this experience?

5. Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal.
My major fitness goal in general is making sure to incorporate it as a part of my regular lifestyle long-term. My goals for this year are to run my first road races - a 5K (ran it in March) and a 10K. Though Katy has got me tempted by a half-marathon she's trying to get a group to run in would be amazing to be capable of doing that! I try not to make weight-related fitness goals (though there's a weight about three-five pounds lower that it'd be nice to reach...), primarily focusing on increasing my capabilities.

Hope everyone has a great weekend planned! I'll mostly be spending it with my college best friend, who has her wedding shower this weekend. It's unreal that this girl is getting married! I remember when we first met moving into our dorm room freshman year...

And on another note, it looks like the performance piece I was working on for next weekend unfortunately won't be able to happen then after all. Another one of my cast members dropped out midweek, leaving only three of us, two of whom had some scheduling issues anyway. So I decided to just call it off, since we didn't have what I needed to make the piece I needed by next Saturday. I'm pretty glum about that, but hoping to continue working on the piece and develop it for another venue/time. We'll see what happens.


Kimberlee VDW said...

Wow that's awesome that you learned parkour (I didn't even know it had a name haha)!

Cafe Fashionista said...

I am huge on physical fitness. I feel incredibly unfabulous when I don't work out at least three times a week. Amazing post, Elly! :)

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