Ok, I’m going to admit it… right here, right now. I’m an addict.
I will sneak off and do it when nobody is watching. I will leave a party early or decline the invitation altogether so that I can do it. I will get up at 5am and do it. Sometimes I lie and say that I didn’t do it… but I did. My family and friends tell me that I have to stop, that it’s a bad thing for me to do daily, and if I continue, I will be in terrible pain and unable to function. But I’m an addict and I…just…love…to…do…it.
I’m not talking about smoking or drinking or drugs. I’m talking about… wait for it… running.
I run almost every day. Outside. Although I revel in that famed ‘runner’s high’, running is also a form of meditation; a sense of calm and contentment is achieved. In addition, I do a lot of thinking outside of that proverbial box and an element of welcomed creativity emerges. But the best part about running is getting out early in the morning, especially when I’m in the country; the forest is still waking up, the sun has barely started to rise, and nobody else is around. It’s just me and the open (pot-holed) dirt road.
I feel strong, confident, determined, focused, healthy… and alive.
There are probably two days out of the entire year when I am unable to run, and on those days I am lethargic, lacking in confidence, unmotivated, uninspired and, not only do I over-eat, but it’s the bad foods.
So, one can envision the challenges I had when I was recently advised that I should stop running every day. Sure, there were some signs leading up to this: a little bit of pain in the hips and knees, a lack of utilization of other muscle groups, and okay, I’ll admit to a glaring red flag… my right foot had been in such a significant amount of pain this past year, due to bursitis, that I required an injection of cortisone. Twice.
As much as I love running, I’d like to be able to walk by the time I’m 50. There comes a time when one has to restructure. Funny, how things happen in life.
Just a couple of weeks into thinking about the fact that I should stop running, I was invited to a Nike Training Club (NTC) session at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
As an avid runner who enjoys working out by myself and being surrounded by nature, the thought of a cross-training class, indoors and with other people, wasn’t on my immediate ‘to-do’ list. But I was curious and I accepted the invitation.
The NTC has existed in the US for some time now, and has just recently launched in Canada. I, along with a number of other women, participated in a 45-minute workout led by Marie Purvis and Eva Redpath, both NTC Master Trainers. Accompanying Marie and Eva was Tessa Bonhomme, a member of Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team, which won the Olympic gold medal at Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Games.
What an amazing experience! I was thoroughly impressed, and somewhat sore the following day – but aching in that good and inspiring way. I knew that certain muscles, which I don’t normally use, were tested and strengthened that afternoon, as well as my cardiovascular system. It was a challenge to keep up, and by the end of the workout I was already looking forward to another class.
“Not every day is going to be easy, but that’s what makes it so great.”
– Tessa Bonhomme
Nike Canada is offering this rewarding training experience to people in Toronto with a number of free NTC classes held at Academy of Lions. Led by different NTC Trainers, weekly sessions will focus on targeted workouts and drills, and ultimately push those to take their workout to the next level. These classes offer benefits to all involved, and it doesn’t matter if one is new to CrossFit or an experienced athlete; clearly, as I was working out beside an Olympian.
When & Where
Mondays: 6:00 p.m.
Wednesdays: 9:00 a.m.
Saturdays: 11:00 a.m.
The club is located at 64 Ossington Avenue, Toronto. Visit www.Academyoflions.com for full contact material and additional information on the NTC Trainers. Each class can accommodate approximately 80 participants.
Nike has also introduced the NTC app, which was created to assist those in “finding their inner athlete through personalized, targeted, and motivated training experiences delivered by expert trainers anytime, anywhere.” With this app, one is able to choose from a selection of 15-, 30-, or 45-minute workouts, which are tailored to one’s own ambitions and purposes. There are more than 115 workouts and 120 drills from expert trainers and professional athletes. The NTC app is free to download on smartphones via iTunes or Google Play.
The only constant in life is change.
I still run…but not every day now. I’ve changed my workouts, and I am finding that my running has improved by incorporating cross training elements into my athletic pursuits.
I usually write about the arts, but in order to pursue a career in the arts, or in any other field for that matter, one must be healthy. And when I think about health, it’s not just about surviving. Health for me is living optimally, which requires balance in all aspects of our lives; family, friends, faith, personal and professional passions, food and fitness.
Special thanks to Nike for introducing their classes to a Canadian audience and allowing everyone a chance to – you know it’s coming – just do it.
Nike AGO photos by Steve Carty