... my journey from ballerina to triathlete

Friday, January 4, 2013

Body Bliss

I am privileged to be training in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Each time I run I realize how amazing it is that I am complaining about running in a place where people are taking wedding photos. That's right, I usually see at least one couple in suit and frilly dress taking photos that they will treasure for the rest of their lives in the location I drag myself to each day. Both Ala Moana Beach Park and Kapiolani Park offer ocean views, grass, and a plethora of tropical trees. The ocean remains swimmable all year round, and running and biking paths criss cross and surround the parks providing a perfect training facility for me. No indoor pools, no chlorine, and no treadmills.                                            

This week, however, it has been raining. Much of the inclement weather coincided with my food poisoning, during which training was out of the question, but after three days of being confined to the couch eating nothing but soda crackers, my body was itching to get moving again. Immersing myself in the ocean, even in the rain, sounded like heaven, and so I donned my swim gear and biked through the deluge to the beach.

I was estimating the bike ride at a mile and a half, but according to my exercise log app, it was actually 2.72 miles. Excited to sneak my 5 mile bike ride into my swimming plan, I was ready for the cool water by the time I made it to the beach, already soaked. The water has a different feeling when the weather is bad- rather than a chilly bite as you step in it feels like thick, heavy velvet, and although the sky was dark the water was beautifully clear. Although the rain was hardly a sprinkle, I could see the downpour coming toward me across the water.

After my swim 150 meters out and back, I floated around feeling the raindrops tickling my back, then flipping onto my back to let the ocean rock me back and forth while my muscles relaxed. Upon flipping back over so that my face was once again submerged, I noticed this bad ass little guy on the ocean floor (later identified as a Devil Scorpionfish).

Look close, he's well camouflaged.
The sounds were muted and I couldn't help but enjoy the thought that only myself and the fish were enjoying the beach today. There is something to be said for solitude.

Today, it is still raining. My boyfriend Sean and I went to the gym (where I did my biking workout, 5 miles) and then to Kapiolani Park where I ran for twenty-five minutes. Just as my muscles began to truly protest, we went to the beach and caught 5 minutes of sun before the rain returned. Although it wasn't on the training schedule for today, we jumped in the water and swam at least 250 meters. My scorpionfish friend didn't seem interested in showing himself, so we went home for a shower. 

I have to say- each time I exercise I forget how wonderfully relaxed and warm my body feels afterward, as if each muscle is relieved that it has been used fully. Combine that feeling with the chilly rain followed immediately by a hot shower, and you have a recipe for complete body bliss and as we sit on the couch afterward, I am reminded once again why I am doing this. My body feels warm from the inside out, and my mind is at ease knowing that I have pushed my limits for the day. I am motivated and craving more, all the while melting into the cushions in complete relaxation. Allowing yourself to feel discomfort also allows you to more fully feel its counterpart. Work hard, then let the bliss envelop you.

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