Why I Do It

The planner in me wants to put up my weekly training log, as I usually do on Monday or Tuesday.

The writer in me wants to share some random training musings with you.

Since I’m a writer trapped in a NYC professional’s body, I’m going to indulge the writer side and throw the editorial calendar in my head out the window.

This morning, I overslept and totally woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I headed to the pool for a swim workout. By the time I got there, I only had about 30-45 minutes for my workout. It still would have been cutting it close, but I would have been able to get something in. At some point, I seriously became a morning exerciser, and I so desperately wanted that workout this morning to turn my foul mood around.

I showed up to the pool, walked out to the pool deck…and was told there was a 30 minute wait.


It was about an hour before I had to be at work, so there was no way I could do it, and I walked out, incredibly deflated. I went to Dunkin’ Donuts to get coffee and go about restarting my day, determined to channel my frustration into my work. I was supposed to go to a Well + Good Pilates event tonight, but Pilates isn’t in my triathlon, so I planned on skipping it to get my swim workout in. 

I left work, determined as hell. I was going to get my workout in. I was happy I had nowhere to be to prevent me from getting it in. Sure enough, I showed up and the pool deck was swarming with others waiting for chance to get in, too. Thankfully, there’s also a hot tub, so I hopped in and took it as an opportunity to chill the eff out. I’ve been way too all up in my own head lately, so I took a few minutes to meditate and give my brain a little time off. 

A few minutes before the lifeguard called my name, I started getting nervous about the workout:


Swim Test Workout

And then I told myself to shut up and do the damn workout.

As I swam, I got into a routine of counting my strokes and focusing on that and nothing else.

I LOVE when I have specific workouts to do, because it makes the time go so much faster. And they bring to mind one of my favorite exercise-related quotes:

I don't stop when I'm tired, I stop when I'm done

As it turned out, I couldn’t actually finish my workout because I got kicked out of the pool. I got as far as halfway through the set of intervals, but I did the best I possibly could today, and I still got a solid 70 laps in and felt really really strong.

And strong makes me happy. And that’s why I do this. Endurance sports show me what I CAN do, and makes exercise about so much more than just what I look like. Working at a fitness company with lots of people with amazing bodies, it’s easy for me to get insecure sometimes. While I’ll never have the best body there (or…anywhere), that body can do a whole hell of a lot.

And pushing it to do that, coincidentally, helps it look better. The number on the scale’s come down a bit since I started tri training, but I can also feel myself getting more toned and lean. I tend to wear dresses because I feel more comfortable in them, but also because it’s easier to be more modest. Today, I wore these sassy little shorts, and the waist both felt looser than it did when I bought it a few weeks ago, AND I loved how strong my legs looked. 

Why do you do whatever kind of exercise it is you do?

17 comments on “Why I Do It

  1. Susan - Nurse on the Run

    Where do you swim?? I’ve never had to wait for a lane (minus the one time I showed up during a triathlon club swim practice…I also walked out since it was after a 12 hour shift and I’m not waiting 45 minutes for that!). But otherwise, hooray swimming! I started to love Pilates before I started tri training, and now all my workouts are so swim/bike/run focused…it makes me miss Pilates! But it’ll be better for us come race day! Let me know if you need a swim/bike buddy!

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      I go to NYHRC. The pool is small and there’s sometimes a wait…but it’s super close and easy to get to during the week. I’ve heard Riverbank is a good, long pool I might look into it for long swims. I know – I’ve been meaning to email you re:swimming/biking 🙂

  2. Laura@SneakersandSpatulas

    I can’t believe you have to wait for pool time! That would suck to get there and not be able to swim. Is it like that at most pools in the city and how does that work? When I show up to the city pool there is normally enough room to have your own lane. I’ve only had to share a lane a few times before.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      I belonged to Equinox a few years ago, and I’d have to wait there sometimes, too…not sure about other pools. I swim at the one I do because it’s close. It’s definitely a pain in the ass to have to wait – especially in the morning – but it’s worth it for the convenience factor.

  3. Annie

    This is great. Are you swimming in a full-size (25 yards or meters) pool? I ask because I’m considering ripping off your swim workout tonight, perhaps. 🙂

    Although I’m not training for anything or doing anything in particular, I exercise because it makes me feel GREAT. And physically, I’m really liking weights these days for how quickly I notice changes. (And changes need to be made.)

  4. joelle @ on a pink typewriter

    I used to get SO frustrated when I get to the gym and find the class I wanted to attend full, or all the treadmills unavailable and I have a short time frame to get my workout in. A few weeks ago, I actually missed multiple classes at multiple locations of the gym I belong to because of various universe/Murphy’s Law problems, and I was sooooooooooo annoyed…. til I got in a quick stairmill workout and remembered life is still great and things happen. Not nearly close to the end of the world if I can’t make it to Body Pump on my usual strength training day. 😉

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      so true 🙂 It’s a giant pisser when it happens, especially when you’re already having a crappy day, but so so so first world problem. As in, not really a problem at all. Definitely a luxury that I have the time to train for an endurance race and can afford a pool membership.

        1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

          @steph: Swimming was on my plan for the day, and I just had swimming stuff with me. Although…looks like I should maybe start carrying other stuff just in case. I was lucky I had plans that night I could bail on and get the am workout in then instead.

  5. Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate

    I just finished my first half ironman over the weekend and I remember several swimming moments like yours! It was especially frustrating when I would get up super early and head to the pool to find out it was full, but you always find a way!

  6. bll

    I’ve actually been meaning to comment that your legs look great! other than the trainings you post here, do you (or did you) follow any specific exercises that focused on legs?

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      Well, thanks! 🙂 No, I don’t do nearly enough weight training, and any that I do do is usually part of a group fitness class, so nothing in particular–just lots of activities, such as running and biking, that use my legs!

  7. Kate

    Sounds like you fit in a sweet workout! Good luck with your training. I’ve loved following your tri journey!

    And I’m with you, I run and do yoga to feel and be strong. There’s nothing more empowering!


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