This weekend, for the first time ever, I participated in the Vulcan Run, a 10K race held annually in Birmingham that attracts about 1,000 runners each year.
I have never been more nervous for a race. I couldn’t really figure out why. I’ve run a half-marathon — twice — which is more than twice the number of miles of a 10K. I also trained for this race for a month. Yet, the morning of the Vulcan Run I was so nervous my stomach started to hurt.
I was convinced I’d be too slow to finish the race in the two-hour time limit or that my legs would just stop working around mile five.
Nevertheless, I laced up my Nikes and set off to pound the pavement. This race, like so many others, would not only teach me plenty about running but impart lessons about writing, too.
It all started with a hashtag.
Birmingham-based blogger and yoga instructor Melissa Scott posted a photograph of herself practicing yoga wearing only yoga pants and a sports bra and included the hashtag #noshirtnoshoesnoshame and I had to know more about this body positive movement she was striving to forge.
I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.
My pants were easier to button, my dresses easier to zip. But since I usually only step on a scale when a medical professional forces me to do so, I had no idea I’d lost 20 pounds.
Then I went to a wellness screening mandated by my health insurance provider, stepped on the scale, looked down and saw a number 20 pounds less than the number I saw the last time I’d weighed myself.
“Your scale is broken,” I declared to the nice nurse practitioner filling out my paperwork. She just laughed and assured me it was not. I didn’t believe her. When I got home I weighed myself again and those 20 pounds were still nowhere to be found. “Maybe my scale is broken, too,” I thought.
Last week my fellow teachers and I returned to work after a two and a half month summer break and that’s when I realized those scales must have been right.
“Oh my gosh! Javacia, you look great!” one co-worker exclaimed. “Wow! You got so skinny!” said another. “Girl, what did you do?” a colleague asked.
Good question. What did I do? And how can I use the same principles I used to lose weight to help me with my writing and blogging goals?
I’ve realized that there are four things that helped me lose weight: mindset, movement, motivation, and momentum.
Every year in addition to my blogging, business, and writing goals, I set lofty fitness goals for myself, too. You can’t write the next great American novel if you’re dead, right? And I also believe that when you’re a solopreneur your business can only be as healthy as you are.
Some of my fitness goals I’ve conquered; others — not so much. In 2014 I set out to exercise for at least 30 minutes every single day for 365 days. And I did it! I was even invited to appear on Talk of Alabama to discuss this fantastic fitness feat. Last year, however, I tried to run 1200 miles and failed miserably. Because of my insanely busy schedule, I gave up about half-way through the year.
Regardless of the goal, however, I am quick to say things like “I don’t want to be skinny; I want to be strong” and “It’s not about how my body looks, it’s about how my body feels.” And all that is true — sort of.
I don’t want to be skinny. I do want to be strong. I do want to feel great and healthy. But I also want to be hot. This probably makes me a bad feminist, but I’d rather be a bad feminist than a dishonest one.
So today I’m sharing with you my bad feminist fitness goals for 2016, but will attempt to balance out each one with a goal that focuses on what my body can do and not just how it looks.
I exercised for at least 30 minutes every single day in 2014. That’s right; I worked out every day for 365 days.
This year has been a different story.
See Jane Write has grown exponentially this year. I’ve launched a coaching program, hosted more events, worked with more brands, and won prestigious awards. But with all this success came a much busier schedule — a schedule that left little to no time for exercise.
But this has to change. As author, blogger and See Jane Write member of the month Stephanie Naman said, “I never completely abandon my workouts when I’m busy. Stress builds up if you don’t sweat it out.”
Representing B-Metro magazine and See Jane Write, I had the opportunity last week to check out a new gym in downtown Birmingham — The Executive Health Club by 24e. While testing out the equipment and learning about the group fitness classes the gym offers, I kept thinking about all the many reasons writers and bloggers should exercise.