Leaves of Grass (leaves1) wrote in womenofstrength,
Leaves of Grass

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musing and brief intro

Hi, am finally getting around to this after saigh_allaidh suggested I post this here (initially a comment on her lj).

So, just cut 'n pasting:
I was thinking of 3 women I knew in my college years who were out of shape and overweight who transformed themselves into athletes after college. This also applies somewhat to myself - my "martial arts years" ranged from my late 20s to my middle 30s. But I find it striking that we all went through a similar kind of transformation around the same time of life - after college. Woman A was a smoker, typical American diet, somewhat overweight. She transformed into a runner and has run marathons. Same for woman B, except didn't smoke, became a long distance bicyclist and after that tri-athlete. Woman C was clinically obese, smoker - lost all the extra weight - about half her body weight - took to lifting weights and put on really impressive muscle. She tried running, didn't suit her.

Anyway, I was just wondering about this pattern, it's almost like we had these crappy habits in college, maybe to cope with college or whatever, and then got healthy and strong later. For me, I can't claim to have become as athletic as these women, but I feel in better shape that I was in in my twenties. My martial arts practice basically dropped off when I started fiddle, and I miss it sometime and if I didn't have to work I imagine I would do that again too... (so many hours in the day...) What amazes me is that I can go do a half hour run or more after not running in weeks (I do walk a lot though)... I never would have thought that possible in my 20s, I figure it's due to overall better eating as well as emotional and spiritual habits.

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So, curious if anyone has any similar observations.

As for myself, my main favorite activities these days are hiking (live in the Appalacian Mountains) and running... hoping to get back to a regular schedule. I used to do martial arts from my late 20s to mid 30s but then Irish fiddle took over my extra-curricular free time. :) I also became a fan of Pilates unfortunately after my martial arts days because it could have really helped out with that plus saved me some hip grief.

I have to say that my favorite heroine in the body realm is the incredible Emilie Conrad, who is now 75 years old. Emilie is the founder of Continuum Movement, and Continuum is well, pretty much off any map you've ever heard of - it is not typical physical fitness, it is pretty much downright weird by standard standards, so it's not for everyone. Continuum is involved with primordial body awareness and intelligence, tapping into back to when we were sea critters... literally. If you ever meet Emilie in person you'll freak out that a 70something person can look, talk, and move the way she does (I did one of her workshops a couple years ago). Her site is http://www.continuummovement.com/ and there are some vids there - the interview ones with her are probably only a few years old. Continuum is often described as "moving meditation" but it can also be used for strength training. See the vid called "Cass Phelps on the Flight Plan" - halfway through that they add weights to wrists and ankles - or at youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldc3zDtLU18. (can't find any vids with women doing this, but there's not a ton of Continuum vids overall).

So... Continuum is another activity I'm trying to get into a regular habit with, along with everything else.
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