Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Hole-y bucket

I had a really nice 13 mile run this morning - felt great from mile 1 to mile 13. Finally!

I was sick in the fall, and took too much time off, and when I got back in the swing of training, I was only getting in (maybe) 1 swim, 1 bike, 1 run, and I had given up my personal trainer. (I used to do 2x swim, 2x bike, 2x run, 2x weight training every week).

So when I did get out and run, I was weak, out of breath, and barely spoke to the people I was running with. I thought it was because I'd gained about 10 pounds. But now I think I can blame it on the Hole-y Bucket.

Training is like pouring water into a bucket that has a small hole in it. Once your bucket is filled, you can keep it filled simply by topping it off regularly. But when you take too much time off, the bucket starts to empty and you have to put in a lot of effort to fill it up again. I finally feel like my bucket is [almost] full again.

I get it now - this is how I have to spend the rest of my life. It's not like reaching any other goal, where, once you reach it, you've reached it, like ringing the bell at a rock-climbing wall, or completing an Ironman. I have achieved those things. No one can ever take that away: it won't slip away through a small hole anywhere. But the health and fitness - the training - can (and does) slip away.

I have to stay on top of my bucket's contents for the rest of my life. Get used to it. My training regimen has to be here to stay. Every week, every month, every year. Like brushing my teeth, conditioning my hair - it's gotta be just something I do.

Thank God I think it's fun.

17 comments:

Jumper 2.0 said...

What a great analogy!

Not only do you enjoy your training regimen, you will also enjoy the fact that you will not age like those that do not train. I just had a guy the other day telling me how much it sucks getting old. He was at least 50 pounds over weight. I'm thinking, "what is it that you don't get?"

In fact your post is flooding a lot of thoughts into my head, I'm going to have to post something about it.

Lana said...

Good thoughts, Jenny!

monica said...

ON.THE.NOSE.

i like that we get to keep our significant accomplishments, but the holes keep us on our toes at all times...

21stCenturyMom said...

Sing is sistah! That is a great analogy. It also means that if we do take a little off season in Nov/Dec/Jan (okay so maybe 3 months is excessive) we can enjoy the ramp up when we come back. Right? That's what I'm doing now - enjoying the ramp up. Uh huh.

Kickstand Pam said...

What a great way to describe it! Love reading your blog. :)

IronMin said...

Wow - great post. The bucket analogy makes total sense. I'm training for my first IM this fall, and it's hard for me to think beyond it. When I read your post, it helped me conceptualize lifelong fitness, and what I need to do in life after IM.

Comm's said...

its a lifestyle, pure and simple. like brushing your teeth.

Jen_runs said...

What a great post! And your comments are so true. I think it's so easy to let health & fitness be the thing that slips through the cracks when other aspects of our lives get busy. But it is just as important!

Nytro said...

this so fits in with benny's philosophy. i'm working on it.... slowly.

Fe-lady said...

Yeah for hole-y buckets! Glad you are feeling "topped off'! Cool!

RunnerGirl said...

Loved this post, its so true. After running my first marathon I felt like I was in the best shape. Then I took some time off and it was just like starting over when I picked up running again. Now I know I have to keep my "bucket" filled!

Nat said...

This post is so true! I finished my first marathon at the end of October and took some time off. I'm now trying to figure out just how big the hole is in my bucket!

KC said...

I have "started over" so many times since college, and I'm sick of it! I want this next time after the baby is born to be the LAST.

Congrats on getting the bucket filled once again.

greyhound said...

You condition your hair? Who knew?

I thought the bucket was my finances--I'm trying to pour money into the top of the bucket at a faster rate than team Greyhound empties it through the holes we poke.

triguyjt said...

great way of putting it.....

nice post jenny

i choose this...pure and simply...its how i live my life...

you too

Supalinds said...

Great analogy. I am still waiting to top my bucket off. But can feel I am getting close!!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Right now I feel like someone is sabotaging my bucket. I just can't get healthy. Uggggh