40 is the new 30, right?

My 40th birthday is around the corner, and I have already started to notice some physical changes. First, it takes longer to work off the ½ bag of kettle corn consumed the night before. Also, I recently went thru what I can only describe as a hormone storm that left me feeling pregnant AND peri-menopausal at the same time. Finally, from time to time I have been told that I am just a tad grumpy (I dare you to say that to my face!). Seriously, did gravity get stronger in the last 6 months?

Of all people, I should understand how exercise can help regulate hormones, and alleviate stress and grumpiness, but fickle seasonal weather, kids out of school, and a summer full of travel have made it hard to stay in my exercise habit. Kicking that exercise regimen back into gear was tough! I needed a goal to strive for. My hormones, grumpiness, and untreated kettle corn-addiction demanded I find an exercise purpose.

I found it standing on the beach in La Jolla watching my amazing 6-year-old get up on a surfboard and catch a wave. And then another and another until she finally proclaimed, “Mom, it feels like I am walking on air.”

I was sold.

We rented a board, so my husband and I could give it a try. It was hard work. Zoe made it look so easy. The Physiotherapist in me recognized it was an awesome Core challenge, but loads of other muscles needed to work with the Core in order to catch a wave. I needed strong arms and lats to paddle hard and fast to get my speed up to stay ahead of the wave crest. My arms and chest needed to push out of a cobra position to lift me off the board to make room for my feet to plant on the board. My gluts, quads, hips and superficial abdominals needed ballistic power to pop up off my belly to standing. Finally, some incredible balance was needed to stay steady on a wobbling platform moving over an unstable, unpredictable surface. Wow, no wonder surfers look ripped.

I did manage to get up and ride a few to the shore, but needed help to steady the board so I could catch the wave. A true exercise challenge had presented itself and a new goal: Catch a wave without help and ride it as 40th birthday gift to myself. And if I can rock a surfers body then perhaps a return of my belly ring.

Need some motivation? Find your exercise purpose. What mountain do you want to climb, charity race finish line do you want to cross, or new dress do you want to fit into? Let’s all fight gravity together.

(Follow my AM Walk/Park Workouts on twitter, @interiorfitness, as I work towards my goal!)

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