Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympics as inspiration

We don't have The Biggest Loser for a couple of weeks because of the Olympics, so I thought I'd talk about the Olympics today. I am a HUGE fan of the Olympics, always have been. I'll watch any Olympic event, summer or winter, but I'm a bigger fan of the Winter Games. I love figure skating, ice dancing, snowboarding, skiing, speed skating, you name it. And as much as the competition itself, I really love to hear the stories behind the athletes -- the stories of struggle and overcoming adversity, the details of how much time, effort, and sacrifice they put into their sports in the pursuit of an Olympic medal. I've heard at least three stories of torn ACLs during the Games so far this year -- ones overcome in the past and even one current. I don't remember who it was, but one of the downhill skiers was competing with a torn ACL. That's dedication, folks.

I find these athletes inspiring when it comes to health and fitness too. They are fit because they work at it every day, without fail, often without complaint. It makes me wonder why I grouse about having to put in an hour or two of exercise to stay fit when these people spend hours and hours a day in gyms, on the ski slopes, on the rinks, in the half-pipe. When I see their stories of dedication, it actually fires me up and makes me want to become a workout maniac. Several years ago, I think after the Nagano Olympics, I actually took a figure skating class. I'm not good by any stretch of the imagination, but I at least learned how to stand up and move away from the wall of the rink. And skating is really good exercise. You can feel it in your legs when you come off the ice.

I wonder what I could accomplish if I could even spend half of each day dedicated solely to exercise. I'm already thinking of trying an experiment in April, after all my current deadlines and planned travels are over. I think I want to try exercising half a day every day in April just to see what kind of difference it will make. I'm excited about it, and I'll keep all the readers here at Healthy Writer updated on how it goes with regular check-ins.

Until then...go Johnny Weir, Evan Lysacek, Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White, Tanith Belbin, Ben Agosto and the rest of Team USA!

Are you all watching the Olympics? Who are your favorite Olympic athletes and sports? Do the Olympics inspire you to spend more time getting fit?

Trish Milburn writes for Harlequin American under her own name and young adult fiction under the name Tricia Mills. Find our more about her books at www.trishmilburn.com.

8 comments:

Michelle Butler on February 17, 2010 at 9:08 AM said...

I think one thing to remember about (and perhaps learn from) the Olympic athletes is that they LIKE working out. It's not a sacrifice for them to work out half a day. It's fun. I try to think of exercise as fun to make it easier to do it.

While I like the winter olympics more than the summer, I've not watched more than about 2 seconds of it so far. I'm really, really trying to make writing a priority, and I've spent my evenings working on my stuff or other writing related stuff (e.g. reading 160 brilliant pages from my critique partner.)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on February 17, 2010 at 9:17 AM said...

I think you're right, Michelle. And I think a key to liking the exercise is to realize all the benefits it brings. For the Olympic athletes, it helps make them some of the fittest people in the world and brings them closer to their goals of Olympic medals. For us, it's a means to a healthier, hopefully longer life.

Sally Kilpatrick on February 17, 2010 at 9:19 AM said...

Well, their dedication is admirable, but their event is their life. Others look at writers and wonder how they can dedicate so much of their lives sitting behind a computer and continually writing and revising.

I think time is the big factor for all of us. If my life's ambition was to compete in the Olympics in, say, ice skating, finding the time to exercise would not be a problem. As a writer who's going to school while playing house frau, finding the time to go to the gym--and sometimes just to write--is daunting.

Good luck with your April exercise project. I do find out that working out is more fun as I get into better shape. The bad part is trying to get back in shape after falling off the wagon.

Michelle Butler on February 17, 2010 at 12:47 PM said...

This is such a self-absorbed comment, but the Olympics have nothing on clothes for inspiration, baby!!! I went to Union Station for lunch, and Ann Taylor called my name - as it always does. I needed a shot of inspiration since I gained yesterday.

There was a black trench dress I liked, so I decided to try it on - in a 12 (my size), 10 and - on a lark - an 8. I tried the 12 first, and it seemed - to my shock - too big. I tried on the 10, and it totally fit. I could walk out in public in it, and nobody would think it was too tight. Wow.

I then tried on the 8. I could get it on and button it - though I'm lucky none of the buttons burst. :) That said, I was still thrilled. A pair of good panty hose would have done wonders for making me able to go out in public in it - and in a month or two, I know no help would be necessary!!

Sizes are funny. I know I have pairs of size 12 pants that I don't want to wear in public yet (still a little too tight/uncomfortable), but I can't tell you how trilling it is for me to try on a 10 and know I could wear it in public. Sure, it's a wrap-around, aline cut - but still, it's amazing. I can NOT tell you the last time I wore a ten. When I was 19? 20? And, an 8? Perhaps at 19 - for a month or two after I came back from a term in Mexico, where I had "ignored" that I had picked up a parasite bc I was losing weight with no effort. (Not healthy, I know.) But, I wore an 8 today and could button all the buttons. Wow, again.

And to prove I have some self-discipline - I did not buy the dress since it was not on sale. But, I'm sure to buy a size 10 or 8 spring dress from Ann Taylor in March or April, I know it. Oh how thrilling!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not sure I ever believed that was possible. :) :) :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on February 17, 2010 at 4:40 PM said...

How exciting, Michelle! I cannot remember when I wore an 8. I was a 10 in college, the early years that is.

Michelle Butler on February 17, 2010 at 7:29 PM said...

Thanks, Trish. Now, I still weigh 50 pounds more than I did the last time I wore a 8 (my smallest "adult" weight at 19), so sizes are funny - and maybe they've gotten bigger - but I don't care. This makes me feel awesome. It also made it SO easy to drag out my step tonight and exercise for 50 minutes while watching the newshour. I can't wait to see what size dress I wear to our Healthy Writer workshop at RWA national.

Tawny on February 18, 2010 at 12:17 AM said...

YAY Michelle!!!! That had to feel so incredible.

Michelle Butler on February 18, 2010 at 10:02 AM said...

Thanks, Tawny. It did. :)

A little less than a year ago, I fit into a 14, little black dress at Ann Taylor for the first time in more than a decade, felt like Audrey Hepburn, and almost started to cry in the Ann Taylor dressing room. These moments are so great, and they keep coming bc I haven't quit. :)

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