Break Down to Break Through

I am getting into a routine on Sundays that I am liking quite a bit. My morning starts with my cycle workout my coach has given me. Today was for an hour but it was geared to mimic hill climbing. Something I need to spend time doing – the Syracuse 70.3 climbs 1,000 feet over the first 11 miles. I pushed myself and hit higher heart rate levels on the bike that I have not seen in a while. After cycling I changed and headed to the pool to swim. This morning I met up with one of my friends who is very fast. He had already started his workout so we did our own workouts, stopped to chat a bit in between, and finished around the same time. I only swam 1,200 meters. Today I really felt the effects of cycling hard and my lungs and legs did not want to push too much. That said, I did swim my fastest 600 meters – I did it in 12:14 – just a hair over 2:02 per 100 meters. My goal is to go long distance averaging under 2:00 minutes. I am getting close. Also – no pull buoy at all today. So with fatigued legs and lungs I still had a strong swim.

After swimming I changed and headed up to the yoga studio. For the second week in a row two other girlfriends met up with me. While yoga is a very individual practice, sharing the experience with friends makes it much more meaningful and fun. Balance is not my strongest ability, I have a 20 degree C curve in my lower spine. Even mild scoliosis can really mess up balance. As a result, my friends and I bump into each other occasionally. Today I almost punched one friend in the nose and the other went tumbling into the mirror on her own ability. (I had nothing to do with it, honest.) Additionally, the instructor of this class makes sure to add a meaningful theme to the practice. Last week she shared the quote from Mother Teresa. Today she started with a comment that penetrates through so much in life, not just yoga. She said that there are moments when something becomes so stressful (a yoga stretch, a swim sprint, climbing a huge hill on a bike, running a pace faster than ever, a work situation, a relationship…) that you reach a point where you have to break down in order to break through.There comes a time when enough is enough – when the stress breaks you down and you push on and break through.  In my training right now it is in my running, as my friend pointed out to me. I didn’t think about it right away, but she is right. I am struggling and I have to break through. Two months ago I was running 15 to 20 miles for my long run and I can not find it in me to get over 10 miles right now.

Adding yoga to my routine was something I wanted to do to improve my flexibility and strength. I had not planned on gaining insight and perspective too – not every instructor is the same. Fortunately I have found a class that is challenging my body and mind. Mantras are a center part of my training. When it gets tough I turn to them. Believe. Just Keep Swimming. I Am Able. Now I have one more to add, and it will help far beyond a workout – Break Through.


Published by elisariva

I want to encourage everyone to follow your passions, not just what is easy. It is in overcoming hurdles and barriers that we truly test our limits and abilities. There is much more we are capable of if we only believe in ourselves.

6 thoughts on “Break Down to Break Through

  1. Love it and its so true. Having several months of training now behind me, as I look back there have been several ‘break through’s’ that I’ve had in order to continue to improve both my body and my mind. What I find 9 out of 10 times is that the break through for me is more mental than physical. My body has been cooperating the entire time – its my mind that tends to get stuck and needs the push. Winter sure doesn’t help the long distance running either!

    1. Bob, you are so correct! I know it is my mind with the long run for sure. As for the weather, it is starting to break. Freezing rain is expected over night but then it should be in the 40’s and 50’s for a few days. Of course for the weekend when I run long it will be 25…

      Thank you for sharing! I always appreciate your insight!

  2. You can always set your mat up next to the wall that way if you need to slightly touch it during balancing you can. Totally agree that yoga is way more fun with friends. I too like to do my cardio and then follow it up with some yoga.

    1. Thank you for commenting! I am embarrassed to admit – I was next to the wall! I did have to grab it a few times for balance. My friend was in the corner with the mirror and back wall. I had the back wall. Heck, it would have been me careening into the mirror if I were next to it!

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