The San Francisco Marathon has a special place in my heart. I first ran it in 2000, then did the San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon the next year, the Houston Marathon the year after that, then the San Francisco Marathon again. By the last time, I knew I would never run again. Not seriously. My knees were completely destroyed. They would swell up the size of footballs, and I’d actually feel them shifting around even when I was perfectly still. It was thoroughly disgusting.
I was also an accomplished cyclist. I rode the MS-150 a couple of times and won several metric centuries. My legs were fierce though I did worry that my thighs, though rock hard, were a little too bulky. I was in the best shape of my life but my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do, which is to be lithe, like when I was a teenager and very young adult and I danced ballet all the time.
In January of this year, I started doing the Bar Method. It kicked my butt the first time. I was shocked at the intensity. I actually felt indignant during part of it, like how dare you hurt me like this! But by the end of the class, I was floating. I was sore, exhausted, and totally stretched out and relaxed.
I stuck to it. I’ve gone at least three times a week (usually five or six) since the last week in January. The results have astonished me. The other day I put on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn since 2001. I kept them in my closet for 10 years because I was determined to fit back into them – and now I do. My legs are strong and thin. My arms have definition, my abs are amazing. And my butt is just not to be believed. I feel amazing and flexible (I can do the splits!). So thank you, Bar Method!
Also I’ve been running a little again. My knees seem somehow stronger than they used to – I’m able to tolerate (very) light running again. Here are my stats since November 2010 (according to Nike+):
It feels nice to be in decent shape again; I’d let myself get soft for a while. But I’m pretty much back in action.