When I was 8 or 9, I was a member of the Heritage Hills swimming team. Now, when I say member, I DO NOT mean member in the sense that I contributed to the team in a productive manner. By member I mean I practically drowned at each practice and was always in the last heats (?) for my age group at meets.
Here's how a typical practice went: We'd get to practice, the warm-up was yelled, and everyone in my lane would be off like a shot to compete against one another for the 250 or even 500m we had to do. I would start fast with them but by the second or third lap, I was flopping around unable to finish. I had "exercise induced asthma" back then (read: Jillyp wasn't that good at swimming) and of course this was used as my reason to get out of the pool, run to my mother complaining that I couldn't breathe ( I couldn't) and feel like a total loser. Swim team lasted two miserable years until I finally flopped my way to the spectator side of the sport.
The funny and annoying thing was that I was always ultra active and good at sports. As I've gotten older i've always been confused as to why I never succeeded at swimming and specifically why I couldn't breathe well.
This past January something happened that made all of this make sense- one of my most fantastic friends found out that she had won the lottery to run the NYC half marathon and asked me to run with her. Since I'm obsessed with all things fitness, I agreed, even though running 13 miles seemed like a moderate form of torture. The first 3 weeks of training started out exactly like when I used to swim; I started off like a shot, not giving my body- my specific body- time to warm up, and then I'd pewter out a mile or so in and the rest of my run would be fracking redonkulously miserable.
Realizing that my current way of doing things was not going to work, after about three or so weeks of training I started bringing some of my IntenSati principles into the mix; I started listening. So what if everyone I know can start up ultra fast and keep that pace going? Maybe that wont work for me. So I changed it up one day on the treadmill; I warmed up for 10 solid minutes. I didn't run, I s l o w e d into the work out. I ended up running for a solid hour that day, with no asthma, no shortness of breath... I found my pace.
By race day, even at the starting line with 5000 other runners zooming past me-reminiscent of my swim team years- I listened to my body for my pace. I ended up running 11 minute miles- even with stopping to use the bathroom twice and walking through each water station- without really feeling taxed and even though I finished with muscles more sore than they've ever been in my entire life- I felt amazing.
This is one of the prinicples that I think IntenSati has given me- while I push myself further than I think I can go- I constantly listen to my body and what it needs from me- I always find my pace.
I would love for you to come to IntenSati with me tomorrow night and find your pace as well:)