Today after work I went to the gym and ran sprints until I was about one stride away from ralphing all over the treadmill (and maybe the poor soul to my left.) Luckily, I was able to overcome the seemingly inevitable need to upchuck and continued on with my strictly planned (and even more strictly enforced) exercise in masochism, pun intended.
Tonight, I was in it to win it (or you know, lose control over my most simple bodily functions.)
Full disclosure: THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
So anyways, after running, I went and threw myself into the toughest elements of strength training I could think of (and therefore purposely avoid during my regular nights at the gym.)
These are the parts of the routine I dread with the fiercest fires of Hades - the ones I never feel like doing because they are the worst things invented in the history of invented things: lunges, squats, burpees, push-ups, pull-ups and the piece de resistance, the hardest possible ab workout I could muster without giving myself a hernia (I’m looking at you plank, you evil, torturous pose.)
So why dear readers, did I do this?
Two words: CONCACAF Soccer.
On Sunday night Mister M and I went to the finals of the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Soccer Tournament down at BC Place. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric – over twenty-five thousand jazzed-up Canucks (and a very healthy American contingent) dressed in their best red and white (or blue as may be for the Yanks). Everyone showed up ready to watch an hour of awesome sportsmanship and athleticism.
It was a bit of a throw-back to the Olympics really. A nice reminder of how much support there is for our athletes when we have the chance to take part in their achievements and actually watch them compete.
Do you hear this Mr. The Honourable Bal Gosal? TAKE NOTE!
It was a great night, filled with drama, suspense, and remarkable athletic feats – everything a sporting event should be.
Unfortunately, our ladies ended up losing 4-0. The gameplay was heavily dominated by the American squad, notwithstanding two brilliant efforts by the Canadians, that on any other day most likely would have been goals.
But alas, such is the way the cookie crumbles.
I really however must give credit where credit is due: what else is there to say about an American team that were truly breath-taking to behold. There was no question at all as to why the team is ranked number one in the world.
To put it simply – the ladies are hands down fricken amazing.
Now, I am in no way knocking our Canadian squad, in so far as they played a solid game, however in the end they just we no match for a team that could out-run, out-manoeuvre, and out-skill them.
As a giant aside however, I must give a healthy shout out to our Ace in the Hole, Ms. Christine Sinclair – seriously, she is a force to be reckoned with, and an all around world-class athlete.
In short, she is a complete BOSS.
So it was watching this incredible display of talent, skill, endurance, and passion that really pumped me the heck up to go out tonight and push myself to my physical limits.
Because when you boil it down to its most basic properties, I truly love sport.
I love what sport does for not only others, but what it does for me.
And going to the gym day after day in the winter, after the sun has set (at 4:30 in the afternoon), makes this a little hard to remember.
But it’s true: playing, watching, talking about, arguing over, crying after (or during), running so hard until you feel as though your lungs have caught fire and the only way to put them out is to throw the up – jumping up and down, pulling out my hair, sweating, grunting, exhilarating, liberating, stupefying, beautiful –
I love it.
And watching those women last night was just the reminder I needed.
Last year I completed two half-marathons. I ran my first in 1:46 and my second in 1:38. I will begin training for my first marathon this coming May and I am completely dedicated to running it in 3:30:00.
The objective: to qualify for the Boston marathon and I know that I can do it.
I just need more nights like this to remind me – of the beauty of the game, the run, the goal, the win, the loss, the triumph – of it all.
So I will continue to run, and sweat and strain. I will grow stronger. And I will write of that which inspires.
And I welcome you all to share the things that drive, motivate, invigorate and exhilarate you.