October’s This Body Can contribution is from Trinity. I met Trinity back in 2014 through a mutual friend (Stephanie). We all met up to work out and she had SO much energy – and fruit and veggie tattoos that I love – that it was contagious. I think our first workout was stair repeats, which I have never been great at, but those two made that morning stair workout fun. I learned Trinity was in roller derby (now retired), which I thought was awesome. Another strong lady friend finding fun ways to stay active and loving it. As you will read in Trinity’s story there are so many things you can do to get off your ass and be active. You don’t have to trick yourself into thinking you’re having fun, you don’t need an app that makes exercising tolerable (something I heard on the radio recently that REALLY bothered me). Look for things, try things and find what you love. Thank you Trinity for sharing your story.
If you would have asked me 2 years ago what I loved to do to be active I would have said “roller derby is my life.” I practiced 3 times a week for at least 2-3 hours each session as well as cross-training 2-3 times a week. My schedule was packed trying to fit this sport in to my full time job and life itself. Retired for 2 years now after 9 seasons, I am still looking for a regular activity to fill this void. I jumped right into cycling and road racing specifically; criterium. It reminded me of roller derby; a pack of women, all fighting for a position and yelling, lots of it. I raced for a full season and really enjoyed it. Now that was over what was next? I was introduced to cyclocross and fell in love.
The way I describe cyclocross is that it’s on a “road like bike” but with tread on the tires and the racing environment consists of riding through lots of different obstacles; sand, mud, dirt, road, barriers, etc. as well as having to jump off your bike and carry it over some of those obstacles. The sport was created long ago for road racers in the off season. This type of bike and sport offers so much. You can take this bike anywhere and ride most everything; it is a sense of freedom that I love so much. The scene is also admirable; lots of friendly people, crazy fashion (kits) and multiple courses within the Sacramento area. The main series I participated in was Sacramento Cyclocross . It consisted of 8 races from September through December. This timeframe warrants all kind of weather; rain, wind, cold and hot…it was different each race along with the course. One season under my belt and I am hooked. I found an awesome shop, Kinetic Cycles that offers weekly rides and a team atmosphere that I was looking for. I had found the same sense of “community” that I had in roller derby. NO ONE will replace my derby family but I have certainly found something that makes me happy, racing my bike.
Now, I can’t talk about what physical activity I love to do without the nutrition side which I believe allows me to continue to be competitive, recover and if I’m not always faithful to workouts; allows me to maintain a body shape I am ok with. I have come to learn that eating plant based/vegan not only made me the feel the best I ever have (and in the best shape); it opened my mind to compassion and awareness of environmental impacts the food system has on us.
Part of this blog series is talking about body image. My whole life I have been an athlete and I guess since I always had something going on/being involved in a team sport and being competitive, what I looked like wasn’t always on the top of my mind. I was concerned with how to beat the competition. I am also that person that doesn’t mind going to the mainstream gym where it is dominated by males fighting for equipment. I usually make a game of it and love seeing people using machines in a way that I would have never guessed! It is certainly based on personal perspective and if that type of gym is your only option I would encourage anyone to still go and create your own space.
One of the most important things I have learned over the years and in multiple sports is to GO FOR IT and be prepared that you may fail, break an ankle, get knocked out, etc…injuries WILL happen but just as they may slow you down for a period of time they can be overcome, just like any of life’s obstacles.