Dedication or Addiction?

It’s a new year and everybody seem to have entangled themselves into intricate new year’s resolutions; “Work out more,” “Eat healthier,” “”Lose weight,” “Run a 5K” and the list goes on.

I’ve never been a fan of so-called resolutions starting January 1st because I think the 364 other days are just as good for improving yourself. But after an extremely busy year where health and fitness became less of a priority for me, I now find myself tempted to join the wave of mainstream resolutions.

But I know better.

Not because I think I’ll fail at sticking to it, but because I’ve tried it and I know what it does to me.

– On April 1st 2005 I decided to stop drinking soda, and what happened? I just never started again, so I’m now going on my 12th year!

– On May 1st 2010, as a competitive long jumper, I wanted to get some technical advice on my lifting, so I joined a weightlifting club with the intention of doing 2-3 sessions with them before I moved on. Well, the next thing I know, I’m signed up for my first competition, and a year later I won Nationals, became a part of the National team and traveled to England to represent Norway in an international championship. Don’t misunderstand, I feel incredibly privileged to have that experience, but I got so carried away that it was very hard to let go when I realized that juggling two sports was too much.

– In 2012, when I had to quit track because of a stress fracture, I decided it was time to stop chasing athletic performance altogether. I signed up at a gym and was planning on working out twice a week. You know, just taking it slow and doing things the normal way; walking on the treadmill, doing Sumba and lifting those small pink and purple dumbbells covered in rubber. Well… before I knew it, I was on my way to the stage as a fitness athlete. The pink dumbbells and yoga pants had been replaced by callused hands, lifting-straps, protein shakes and muscles so ripped I could see veins on my shoulders. I had gotten completely carried away — again.

Before / After

– So, when I picked up jogging last year, I thought I was cured because I stuck with my three-times-a-week-regimen for longer than a month. Until I — once again — found myself wearing a start-number on my chest. I could, of course, have settled with a 5K or a 10K, but well … I ran a half-marathon and started planning my full marathon debut before I even finished the half one. Unfortunately (or luckily?) I woke up with plantar fasciitis the next morning and was unable to run for the next six months, which sucked, but maybe it was necessary for me to be able to focus on what’s actually important. I probably would have aimed for an ultra-marathon after the regular marathon anyway.

Brookings Half Marathon 2016. My dear friend Matthew is apparently just as weird as me. (Especially after I forced him to join me. Poor fella. He’s great btw)

It may sound like I used this post as an excuse to brag about my athletic merits, but my propensity towards the extreme in terms of training has caused me so much pain, frustration and expensive medical bills that I really should learn to moderate myself. I’ve had several stress fractures, and about a dozen other injuries caused by my ridiculous enthusiasm for sports. In my family, we sometimes joke about it, and whenever I tell my parents about my athletic plans, dad always says: “She’s back at the bottle” as if it’s an actual addiction.

Therefore, my resolution for this year is to not have one.

I’m not an athlete anymore, and I’ll keep telling myself there’s no point in putting in the effort of an Olympian when my dreams don’t include those five colorful rings anymore.

I’ll instead transfer the discipline of my inner athlete to the projects that matter, and limit my workouts to 30 minutes a day — regardless of how tempting those Ironman competitions, martial arts courses and cross-fit classes seem.

Filmmaking is, after all, more important to me.

Bless you,
Maria

Photo: Naras Prameswari

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