From HIIT to STILL: life might be less sweaty, but it is still sweet at a slow pace

Besides running, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is my favorite way to exercise. Training this way raises the heart rate, then brings it down using exercise combinations like burpees to squats or jacks to planks. When it is sustained for 45 minutes or so, you can push yourself into fat burning mode. My life has paralleled this pattern lately. I have been coming and going in a mad hurry. Much like HIIT, it has left me exhausted.

As 2018 began, immediately it was clear that the room in my schedule and the capacity in my brain would not allow a hefty workout schedule. For the past 4 weeks we have spent 1-3 sessions a week training with the pup, she’s the adorable creature gracing my instagram feed. Carving out an extra amount of time in any schedule usually means something on it currently has to go. My regularly scheduled workout sessions provided that time. Instead of completely cutting them out. I negotiated time. I reworked my early morning sweat sessions and turned to yoga at home. It was a challenge. Often I was unable to make group team runs and studio yoga classes. This left me missing my fitness tribe. But even though my plan was not ideal, it did allow me to keep fitness on the schedule. It might have been further down the list with less time available dedicated to it, but it was still there.

As I sat in church on Ash Wednesday, I listened to the Pastor talk about living life at a slower pace. This message was accompanied with the song Still. This word has been floating around in my head the past few days. A faint, yet powerful reminder on how to live a quality life. As Sunday played out as the first first day of having the pup home, I knew we all needed a slow day. A long run had seemed like an amazing idea just days before as I checked the weekend forecast. But as the morning unfolded, I crafted up homemade pancakes, a steaming pot of brew, and a boldly colored fruit plate. We paired that with sunshine filled sidewalk time and morning naps for everyone.

As any runner knows, a change in pace of any kind takes persistence. Speed takes effort and slow takes patience. I have a new appreciation and can understand the need for both.

Sunday brought slow, intentional stillness for us. Up next for this crew is Shamrock. As I shared my blog with Jason, he served up a great epiphany (as he often does). Maybe Shamrock is the beginning of our training season instead of the end. All I know is that this year I’m going in with less mileage and more love than any season before. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the season!

My Sunday wish for you is that you find stillness and slow down a little in your upcoming week. The beauty of changing your pace is that only you can decide what you need and when.

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