I’m just gonna put it out there. That’s one of the advantages to yogging on the treadmill. You don’t have to think about it. You can just zone out to one of the six televisions that hover above at the gym or stare blankly out the window and the machine under your feet does all the thinking for you.
Rather, it does the counting.
Truth be told, I can’t look at the displays on any of the cardio equipment. I loathe the little red LED lights which indicate my progress. I stare at them and judge how I feel in the moment. I usually throw a towel over the whole display to force myself to ignore it and pick a point on the old-school analog wall clock when I allow myself to check it next. So, that said, I was fully aware that indoor track yogging would stimulate my brain differently, but I didn’t realize just how differently.. I had to count my laps. Like, WHAT?! I have to pay attention to my pace, my steps, my breathing and count at the same time?
Anywhoo – once the shock of having to pay attention wore off and I found my rhythm, I realized a few things:
- I may not throw up the spicy tuna roll that I had eaten after work.
- Daniel Radcliff, a.k.a Harry Potter, is also a member of the Fancy-Pants Gym.
- This whole “yogging” thing was going to be one hell of a workout for me.
I had to stop at Whole Foods after work because we’re out of almond milk and I require it for optimal coffee enjoyment. So, I stop at the store and immediately become distracted by all of the deliciousness and possibility. I was huuuungry. I wandered around the store, almond milk in tow, and found the sushi. And I knew that might not be the smartest move considering the intentions I set for my workout, but I was bitten and that’s what I had to have. It wasn’t until I was in the car, elbow-deep in wasabi and pickled ginger that I remembered.. I should’ve just gotten an apple. I’ve been on an apple kick lately. I eat one in the car between work and the gym and it’s just right. But I was too distracted by what I wanted to think clearly. I spent the rest of the car ride “should-ing” on myself. I shoulda this, I shoulda that.. All that shoulding is messy! So I says myself, “Self, this isn’t that bad, relax. You didn’t get fast food. You didn’t even do that badly for Whole Foods. This is brown rice, tuna and avocado. Chillax, homie!” I looked up the calorie count on my superphone and added it to my day and realized – it really wasn’t that bad. Now, I just hoped it wouldn’t make me sick while I was jarring my body. Vomiting on the track would be embarrassing. Only time will tell, I thought.
So, I’m jogging. Slowly. Shuffling along. I realize the size of the track is about an 1/8th of a mile, so the laps are actually going kind of quickly. I feel the sushi in my stomach, but I shift my focus back to my pace. Somewhere around lap 7 or 9 (remember the counting?) I feel my stride change. It’s a bit longer now, it feels more like how other people look when they do this. And then I see Harry Potter. Half-Blood Prince era, not Sorcerer’s Stone.. He’s doing plyometrics, jumping over a step of some sort over near the weights and mats. I think this must be some sort of off-season quiddich training. He’s clearly working on his agility and explosiveness in order to increase his effectiveness as seeker for team Gryffindor.
I yog past him. I am breathing heavy. My legs are burning and I am shuffling along again. As I turn the next corner, Harry Potter flies past me like a shot! Like he was on the Nimbus 2000 and I was firmly anchored to terra firma. Like he had springs on the bottom of his shoes! Like he was using some sort magic spell though he was clearly away from Hogwarts!
I think you get the drift. This dude was running fast. And then he was gone, just as quickly. After rounding three more corners, there he was again, jump-training. I decided it would be best to not draw attention to his wizarding ways and instead brought my head back to my own workout.
But I couldn’t help thinking about his stride in comparison to my own. Sure, Daniel Radcliff’s legs are longer than mine, but that’s how jogging should look and feel and I tried to imitate this for the remainder of my time on the track. When I was eventually done with lap # 16, I slowed and walked one last lap to cool down and think about what I had just done. My quads were already hurting me – and I kinda liked it. They’re sore as hell today, and I kinda like that too, because I’m crazy. Actually it’s just because it reminds me that I worked. It’s interesting that I’ve been totally whaling on my quads at spin class for the past 7 weeks, and a two-mile jog makes me feel this way.
It’s a clear illustration of why it’s important to ask my muscles to work differently from time to time – it’ll only make me stronger.