Death of a Treadmill

To start off this post, I’d just like to say… welcome back, Winter!  Even though it is supposed to be +10 degrees Celsius two days from now, it currently feels like -11 and we’ve been watching snow squalls move through our area all morning.  Heck, they’ve been at it for the past 3 days!  So yes.  Welcome back, Winter.  Um, I missed you… I think…?

So about 3 weeks ago, a sad, sad thing happened.  My treadmill died.  It was my very first one that I ever bought with my own money off of a stranger advertising one on good old Kijiji (I love Kijiji).  I remember that day, 3 weeks ago, like it was… 3 weeks ago.  It was cold and super windy outside.  No snow but not really stellar running weather unless I wanted to try running at a 45 degree angle (I didn’t).  I got dressed in my running gear, laced up my shoes and unfolded my trusty Tempo 610T by its perfect spot under the window. Excitedly – I was really looking forward to this run! – I plugged it in and jumped on… only to see its Scorsese-red display glimmer briefly to life before fading to black, while hearing its hearty little “on beep” bleat sadly before finally shutting down.  Permanently.  Cue death march.

I was devastated.  Actually, legitimately saddened by its demise.  The death of my treadmill meant that I couldn’t go for a run which meant that I would need to find another way to work out the funk I was in that day (running does that for me, remember?).  Seems easy, sure.  Just snap out of it, you say.  Look around at your blessed life and be grateful that you even have a treadmill or the luxury to exercise at all.  Right?  Right???

Well yes.  I get it.  I understand that me feeling devastated about the death of my treadmill may seem a little… dramatic?  Selfish?  Silly?  Yes.  I know all of these things now and also knew them at the time.  So why was I so upset?

Up until very recently (read: like, this week), I have not been good at dealing with/overcoming challenges when it comes to running and/or weight loss.  I will be toodling along with my efforts and everything will be going splendidly.  But then – dum da dum dum! – a challenge appears.  It could be a little one like going out for dinner (challenge: what to order so I can both enjoy myself but avoid feeling guilty about what I ate), or a big one, like my treadmill dying (challenge: having to completely redo/overhaul my training schedule for running because my treadmill died and I use my treadmill A LOT during the colder months).  I also tend to do this thing called self-sabotage – basically, tell myself that I can’t possibly overcome whatever challenge is in front of me because, well, I never have before so why on earth would I start now?  Huh?! Huh?!?!?

But for the last 16 weeks, I’ve been working with an online trainer and participating in a pretty intense transformation program.  This involved working out at home 4 to 5 times a week with heavy weights and HIIT (high intensity interval training) plus eating very clean, 5-6 times a day.  And drinking a ton of water.  I mean, gallons (okay, not gallons.  4 to 6 litres.  Which feels like gallons when you’re heading off to the bathroom every 15 minutes).  At the beginning of this program, way back at the end of July, I was very focused on my end results and what I thought they should look like.  They consisted of a certain number on the scale as well as certain inches (small ones.  The smaller, the better, in fact!).  It didn’t even occur to me to create a mental/emotional goal to strive towards.

Well, I should have thought more about that aspect because it’s been the biggest, most noticeable change in me.  Mentally/emotionally, I have never been or felt stronger or more confident.  In the past 16 weeks, I have gone from a self-loathing, negative, all-or-nothing mindset to an open, honest, give-and-take mindset.  I cannot tell you how much this shift has affected me and how I think of things and, most importantly, how I deal with challenges when it comes to continuing my fitness adventure (sorry, I kinda hate the word journey).

Although the remains of my treadmill have been gathering dust for the past 3 weeks, I was able to actually get past the devastation fairly quickly and move on to other workouts that would keep my cardio strength up and continue to build muscle.  So rather than sulking for 3 weeks, I’ve actually been working out in other ways (my new favourite is CrossFit).  Ha!  What a concept!

So really, the death of my treadmill turned out to be a good thing.  It forced me to take a look at my options and choose to keep moving forward.  Has every day been perfect?  No.  I don’t actually believe in perfection but that’s another story altogether.  But I have been conscious of my daily choices in terms of food and exercise, striving for balance rather than that idea of perfection.  That may not seem like much to anyone else, but it’s a bloody miracle for me.

Now that I’m officially finished my program, I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to continuing on my own and seeing where the next leg takes me.  I’ve got a fitness buddy who will be checking in with me (and I with her!) in the next 3 or 4 weeks so there’s no time to slack off.  Especially since Christmas – and all those Christmas goodies that we’re so lucky to enjoy this time of year – is just over a month away (CRAZY).  I’m just super glad that I have the tools to objectively look at challenges that I may be facing and move past them.  This is not something I’ve ever been able to do before and… It. Feels. AWESOME.

What challenges are you facing at the moment?  I would love to hear about how you’re overcoming them whether they are fitness related or just life related!

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