5.1.11

Take my breath

I covered just over 2 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill Tuesday.  And, for anyone wondering, that is a HUGE FREAKING BIG DEAL TO ME. Because, well the last time I covered any miles on the treadmill was like never ago.  I did not make a resolution to increase my cardiovascular health, nor did I resolve to work out more or lose weight or anything like that. I resolved to carefully confront my fears. One of my biggest fears is losing control of my breath. This breath thing keeps me from running, biking, climbing mountains, swimming, jumprope, slip and slide, you get it. That is why I LOVE yoga so much! Total control and focus on the breath is a gigantic part of that practice so you can see why I would naturally gravitate to it.

There are only two activities that I allow myself to lose my breath with full abandon : 1. Singing at the top of my lungs while dancing (but I take it song to song, no stamina here really) and 2. er. . .  basket weaving. . . if you catch my drift. Both are joyous activities and worth the huff and puff, and in the end I feel great and drink lots of water and carry on. Any time I try the other activities I listed above, I have a panic attack, start crying, feel like I will throw up, shake, and STOP everything. It's silliness. So this all came up this past weekend while I had some fit friends staying with me from LA. They do P90X and invited me to try the Plyometrics CD with them. I was nervous to do it. I honestly wanted to refuse and stomp my feet for them even suggesting it, but, they were my guests and I will try almost everything once. We get started. I am doing fine. In through my nose, out through my mouth. Control. Calm. Form. Steady. Until 20 minutes in and I start to feel it. Tears welling, Chest heaving. I lose my breath. I sit down and watch the last 40 minutes. My guests huff through it. Like Freaking Champs.

I talked to my yoga instructor Tuesday morning about it. I told her I worry that no matter how long I can stay in chair pose, or how many chuturangas I can do, I fear I am cardiovascularly weak. She suggested that I face my fear and work through it. Choose and activity that allows me to completely focus on my breath and if I start to lose it inhale deep and exhale as if I am blowing up a balloon. OK.  I made a play list of PERFECT songs, headed to the treadmill . . . i n h a l e . . . and began. Beast Of Burden by the Rolling Stones. It always gets me moving. Things went fine for a while, speed 4 incline 5%, not too crazy, good songs, controlled breath, then about minute 12, I started to feel it. Tears welling. Its okay, breath, breath. I got past it and enjoyed 12 more minutes of actual pleasure. ON THE TREADMILL. By minute 25 I realized I could make it to 2 miles by 30 minutes. I decided I could pick it up a little, speed 4.8, jogging. It was fine!  I handled it well!  I felt GOOD! By minute 28 I decided to slow down. Went to 3.5 and changed the song to a cool down tune.

Wilco. One from way back. One of the few I really love. Like a freaking volcano, I burst into tears. Hysterical, laughing, have to hold on the to the handles of the treadmill to keep from falling off, blabbering crying. It felt euphoric. No anxiety, no sick feeling, pure freaking bliss! I was hugging myself with one arm hearing the words "I love you!" in my head. It was freaking surreal. Like after some really great "basket weaving" sessions. Just 2 miles in 30 minutes. Thats all it took. I kid you not. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow. Not that I expect the same result, its just, now, I KNOW I can do it. Its a good first step. And I am not so scared.

These pictures were taken just after (well, after a hot shower).
Coat: Kenneth Cole
Leggings, Scarf, Dress: AA
Boots: gift

34 comments:

Faith said...

I really love this post, because I get the EXACT same way whenever I do anything that is physically exerting. I have really bad anxiety, and while I don't make New Years resolutions I did tell myself that I would not let my anxiety control my life anymore (which it has, a lot in the past). Tonight, I'm going to a water aerobics class. I figure it's a step in the right direction :) Maybe the next step will be the treadmill!

the other emily said...

Wow. Is this, like, secretly super-duper common or something? Because I share the same anxiety, and it has always, always kept me away from any kind of strenuous exercise or cardiovascular fitness. I categorically avoid all of it because I know that as soon as I start feeling short of breath, my brain and body just go into full on panic and I shut down. I can't count how many times I have set out to finally get over my "exercise block" and go for a short run, and have walked home after ten minutes in hot tears - it's like everything in me is screaming, you can't do this, you can't.

Thank you so much for sharing this success though - it is incredibly encouraging to hear that others have the same breath anxiety, and that you were actually able to push past it and it felt good. That is so, so amazing.

Anonymous said...

I love love love ... your feathers in your hair!!

Did you get them done professionally? or are they some kind of clip in?

Kayla said...

Congratulations! I am so proud of you. I also applaud you for how honest this post is. I am also trying to become a healthier person. For me it isn't how many pounds i can lift, but how many stairs I can climb without being completely out of breath. Maybe I'll try working a bit more ' basket weaving'into my work-out routine. There is really no better exercise :) Keep up the good work!!

Pat and Shawna Katz said...

Okay, P90X is intense, and the plyometrics video is the KING of the workouts! That you did 20 minutes is awesome, especially considering it is so not as much fun as basket weaving! Yeah You!

Rebecca said...

That sounds amazing! An I know there's no way I could run 2 miles straight in any amount of time, so you must be doing well. I know I don't know you, but that doesn't stop me from being totally proud of you! Makes me want to face one of my fears!!

amanda said...

yay!!!!!!! as an avid runner and someone who craves that out of breath feeling, i am so proud of you!! i know it wasn't easy. but isn't it so amazing that our bodies can do so many wonderful things? our minds play tricks on us and convince us we can't do something only to let our body prove it wrong. it's fantastic! oh and you look fantastic too :)

Elizabeth Benfield said...

i really love this outfit!

congrats on getting thru your 2 miles of cardio! its really a scary thing not being able to breath well. i hope you are able to get a handle on it and not let this fear limit you!

upatreecupatea said...

Love that coat!

I totally understand your breathing worry. I was an avid runner when I was younger and always worry these days that I may push myself too hard and hurt myself. No one wants to pass out!

Em said...

Good for you! You CAN do it again :) Keep working lady, and it is nice to see you back. I always enjoy reading what you have to say and seeing what outfits you create!

Brittany said...

I am SO in love with your leggings.. I just might have to head over to AA right now & check them out! & congrats on your two miles! I can barely do one, you go girl!

Jenni Wells said...

you won't see me on a treadmill anytime soon. they wear me out. swimming is more my thing.

i love love love the bold stripes with the camel jacket. a perfect combo.

elnajay said...

Congratulations on your two miles! And thank you for sharing... while I haven't suffered this degree of anxiety about my breath, I've experienced something similar with heartrate...fear of working out to the point where my heart is racing, lest I feel sick or hurt myself. However, I definitely had a breakthrough last year when I was working out regularly with friends, doing a lot of strength and endurance exercises. Eventually, I found that I could get to the point where my heart was pounding, racing, but then I didn't have to stop... I could still keep going in that state and nothing bad would happen to me. It's amazing to see how strong our bodies can be.

(This is also interesting to me in light of the fact that I used to dance and in that context didn't care about keeping going far past my comfort levels.)

The Sound of Lace said...

luv those leggings. glad your trying something out of your element!

♥ thesoundoflace.blogspot.com ♥

Mandy Paige said...

What a great post, thank you so much for sharing!

Ugh! Anxiety, I hear you!! I used to have the same problem about 6 years ago, it was rough! I was able to push past it and now have a half marathon under my belt, WOOHOO! I know that incredible euphoric feeling, it just pulses through your veins and you feel like superwoman, it's awesome! I'm so addicted to it now! :)

Congratulations on the huge accomplishment!

merl said...

I've missed you mama. I almost text you a couple days, but then I'd have a mini meltdown of my own, and caring for friends went out the window. Selfish but honest. However, 2011 is a new year, new slate, new merl. And new Christina! I'm so proud of you overcoming that huge anxiety! Though I agree basket weaving can be quite an exhausting extracurricular activity, when it's done right, you don't have brain cells to spare for thinking about a panic attack. It's a very brave thing to attack your fear head on.. hopefully I can do the same this year. You give me the courage too mama :)

I cannot wait to see you in a few weeks. I'm so excited to be spending time with positive people who make me want to be a better person! xxxxxo

Swalvs said...

I'm so much proud of you! I hope I can find that power inside... But then again, you always inspire me in a better ways... Love you.

Renée said...

Hey! Good for you! Overcoming silly fears is awesome! I'm not saying running on a treadmill is anywhere near basket weaving, but I know for me it does give me that elated feeling when I finish a good run that I pushed hard for.

Katie said...

Sweet jacket. And I love the black with the burgundy scarf. Pure Loveliness.

crispytuna said...

That was truly a brave thing you did today. First, the DVD with your friends and then running the two miles.

I am the same way, I dance, take yoga, but the thought of any cardiovascular activity terrifies me. So I signed up for spinning as one of my classes for the upcoming semester and hope to feel less terrified about it.

Ashley J said...

Yay, I love this post and your outfit!!! I hate running but vowed to at least try for one of my resolutions this year.

the hollister abolisher said...

I am mesmerized by your tights and boots!

Congratulations on facing that fear!
I suggest "I'll make a man out of you" from Mulan as a good work out song:)

MerciBlahBlah said...

I love this post - not because I have panic attacks - I don't, but because you FACED YOUR FEAR. That rocks. How many people talk themselves out of doing something every day that they don't want to do, whether from discomfort or laziness or fear or whatever - I know I do it waaaay too much. Anyhoo - I love that you shared this, that you made it to the other side and are looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.

Merci!
Shannan

Terri said...

It's been a few years since I've done any yoga, but I can remember how that renewed emphasis on something as simple as breathing literally made me high...

minkandcappuccino said...

beautiful style

first contest (be one of my 7 new year inspiration models!)
go to http://pinklemonincrystal.blogspot.com
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casual ambiguity said...

I hate running. I can do it, if I have to, and not have anything major go wrong. But I tried for years to become 'a runner' because I thought that was what I needed to be if I was to define myself as fit and healthy, and eventually realised that I was never at my fittest nor healthiest when I was forcing my body to do something that felt pointless to me.

Instead I've realised I like to go for long walks and then sprint my little heart out for a few minutes here and there and be perfectly refreshed and in-breath and not bright red when I make it home heehee.

I hope you find YOUR proper balance between being in and out of control of your breath :)

(I've always liked to fancy that one day I will be a yoga person. I used to do it at my gym but it never stuck.)

WHY am I blabbering about me here?! Oops. You go girl!!

km. said...

very cute leggings!

Kate xo
collectionsandcreations.blogspot.com

Open Door Studio said...

Hey, sorry we missed meeting up with you.. ahhhhhhhhh! I never ever ever get sick, havent been sick in over a year or so but had to get sick over Christmas. Sucks! We were really excited of having the idea of coming over and siping tea and chatting.....promise next time we are down. I still want to do a style session if your feeling up to it. Just email me and Im ready to go!

Angela said...

Running is something I am going to face this year. It has been a source of fear for me for a long time, and I think you articulated the biggest reason why - losing my breath. The desperation of lacking oxygen, or feeling limited and weak. It both frightens and frustrates me. It is really encouraging to hear you had this experience of breaking past that barrier, and I hope I will, too.

a cat of impossible colour said...

Wow, I had no idea this was so common! I have the same fear - and reading the comments above, it seems like a lot of others do too. I wonder if this is a less well-known aspect of panic attacks and anxiety disorders? Good for you for overcoming it - I know how frightening it is. I'm going to try to do the same! I also get really obsessive and weird when my heart is racing, too - have you ever felt that?

A x

Lisa said...

I love the leggings and coat. Congratulations on making it through the treadmill. The things and situations we try to avoid often turn out being very good for us, making us stronger:)Happy New Year!

Cait said...

I have panic attacks about certain things all the time to, I guess us fashion bloggers even have our pitfalls. Great job working through it and super cute outfit!

http://fashioncuriouscait.blogspot.com

Kyla said...

That is so awesome Christina! Running is a great exercise to help you work through your fears. There's something so rhythmic and therapeutic about running that makes it feel kind of like yoga, but with more heart-pumping. Why else would we all get so addicted to it?

AMW said...

per usual I am totally behind on my blog reading

hip hip hooray for conquering work out fears (I have them too, in a major way)

and hip hip hooray for striped leggings! anything striped makes me happy, but especially pants :)

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