Be Proud Of Your Current Fitness Strengths


This post has been in my drafts folder for a couple of months already and I don’t even know why! I started writing it after watching a weight loss show which involved a teenaged boy. He needed to lose a lot of weight and the doctors had him on a plan to do so through diet and exercise.

He despised running so his parents would threaten him with being forced to run if he didn’t eat the “right” foods.

Now, there is so much I can say about this episode and this punishment of running but what I am focusing on for today is the realization I had while watching this boy hate running because he couldn’t do it.

I realized that I can no longer relate to that feeling of being unable to run. Do you know what I mean? I no longer can understand what that feels like, how running two minutes at a time used to feel completely exhausting and impossible.

I then realized that we runners and fitness freaky people do not give ourselves enough credit on a regular basis. We completely overlook our strengths and abilities and instead keep setting goals for new PRs.

But what about where we are right now? What about the daily fitness strengths and capabilities we have achieved just from keeping up with our fitness routines?

I may have set a new PR for myself in the Spring and I may sometimes feel hopeful for an under 1:45 at the NYCRUNS Falling Leaves Half Marathon, yet there are other fitness strengths and improvements that I do notice on a regular basis.

These fitness strengths and improvements may not count as PR’s and they may not be super cool to some but to me, they make me proud.

For example….

My abs are strong.

This coming from the girl who hates planks and never really cared that much about six-pack abs.

I have noticed over the last little while just how strong my abs have become whenever I am in the middle of the ab section of Pure Barre.

I still recall when I first started Pure Barre, the ab section was brutal. I was shaking like crazy and couldn’t complete the sequence without stopping. Now I can. Now I can feel my strength and I smile each time as I go back an inch, up an inch.

pure barre online workout

From Pure Barre Pure Results Workout -> review here.

I also notice how Pure Barre has strengthened my upper body as well. All of those body weight exercises, small arm movements with light weights and push ups have definitely made an impact on my arm strength.

Often we overlook strengthening the upper body but trust me, you need a strong core, strong shoulders, upper back and arms to power you through your runs. Even my posture feels better and stronger when I am running!

My leg muscles are fierce.

Not only do I notice these muscles when I touch or look at my legs, I can feel just how strong my leg muscles have become when I am able to complete exercises in Pure Barre that used to try to kill me!

Just the other day, I made it through a Pure Barre thigh sequence and realized how I used to stop almost immediately, unable to do this exercise position but over time I strengthened my muscles and can now do it!

It’s this thigh exercise below. It looks like no big deal but O.M.G. just try getting into this position, where your thighs hover over your heels and you tuck your hips from there. Just that hovering can kill you in two seconds.

pure barre pure results focus on thighs

I can run fast (for me).

Maybe not as fast as someone else but for me, I am fast. I am so proud of myself on a daily basis especially when I think about how my easy paces used to be my fast paces.

I think I speak for a lot of runners when I say that we often lose sight of just how fast we can run. We get so used to seeing certain paces that they become common but for most of society, they are crazy fast. Let’s be proud of our current speed.

I can run long.

Although I have yet to run a marathon (will I ever? will I run NYCM next year? I really don’t know), I do find myself fairly capable of just running and running and running.

So long as I pace myself, most of the time I feel as though I can run forever. This is a far cry from the teenaged girl I used to be who fainted and then threw up on her gym teacher (yes, that really happened) when forced to run a mile in gym class. They even brought out the wheel chair for me which is my favorite part of the story.

My son called me Saturday morning during my long run. We chatted for a few minutes before I said please let me hang up, I am almost at the 14 mile mark. He could not believe I had already run 13 miles by the time we were chatting and I was still running and talking to him with ease.

I can’t even fully understand his point of view anymore because to me, it’s just no big deal to run so long every Saturday morning and if I am running easy enough, I can certainly talk on the phone at the same time < – But that’s a big deal.

I received an email from Runner’s World yesterday with a last chance offer for this weekend’s Runner’s World Half & Festival. Obviously I cannot make it this weekend (hello, Bar Mitzvah!) but it did remind me that wow, I ran 3 races in one weekend two years ago.


Photo taken at finish line of Runner’s World Half Marathon. I ran the 5k and 10k the day before!

When I first starting running more seriously and reading blogs, I used to look at people who ran multiple races in one weekend as if they were insane…because I thought it was something I would never be capable of doing.

be proud of your current fitness level! #running #strength #ability #fitness #halfmarathon @pure_barre Click To Tweet

What are you currently proud of yourself for in relation to your running and workouts?

What are you able to do now that you never thought you would be strong enough to do?





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  1. says

    Lately I find myself thinking about my fitness from past years and feeling frustrated at where I am. But then I look at the big picture…Im still in much better shape than I was before I started running, Im healthier overall than I was 5 or 10 years ago, I have learned to listen to my body and take time off when I need it (something I used to really struggle with) and I have maintained my strength even when I couldnt run. When we always talk with other runners about running, our perspective can get really skewed. My 5 mile run on Saturday was nothing compared to what I was doing last year at this time, but its more than most people do and still an accomplishment for where I am right now. Is all about our perspective! Great post.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…I Take It All BackMy Profile

    • says

      so true- talking to other runners and reading blogs will totally skew our viewpoints! I thought of you with the pure barre thigh sequence – I know you don’t do the tone in 10 workouts often but I know we talked about it last year – so hard, right?! I can’t believe I can do it now!

  2. says

    This is such a good reminder! I feel like I’m always trying so hard to improve, get faster, go longer that I forget just how fast these legs can go! It’s so important for us to just feel proud of ourselves in the moment. I think we get scared that if we ever take a moment to feel proud that we will stop improving and become complacent but it’s the opposite–self confidence fuels the fire!
    Suzy recently posted…Week in ReviewMy Profile

  3. says

    This is wonderful, because it reminds me to be grateful and content where I’m at now; and it sounds like you are doing so well with your fitness routine Meredith. Pure Barre sounds like a killer workout, and I agree that that thigh exercise doesn’t look that hard, but I’m guessing that it would be REALLY hard for me, because I’m not in shape to run 14 miles like you. 🙂 I would love to try it.
    Emily recently posted…Apple White Chocolate Caramel Bars + A Giveaway Announcement!My Profile

  4. says

    Being unable to run first because of morning sickness and now because of a foot injury, I’ve been feeling down lately since I thought I would be able to be a runner who keeps running right up until giving birth and runs a half marathon at 6 months. It’s tough to confront sometimes, and I do hope the injury heals enough for me to jog a little again before I get too big, but if I think about how much more in shape I am than before I started running, and about how much my body is doing right now just when I’m lying on the couch, that’s what I have to focus on!
    Alyssa @ renaissancerunnergirl recently posted…My Other 25th Birthday GiftMy Profile

    • says

      so I didn’t know you were pregnant! that’s wonderful news! if it makes you feel any better at all, I totally gave up my usual fitness routine when I was pregnant. I mostly just walked when I could and swam over the summer months. keeping up with baby when he/she is born will get you right back into tip top running shape – trust me! enjoy every second!

  5. says

    I kind of adore this post mainly because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had these thoughts when reading health living blogs and someone is lamenting a rest day or a poor marathon time (poor to them, because I think any marathon time is amazing). We don’t give ourselves enough credit, and we need to change that up. Preach.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Ooey Gooey Good Magic Layer BarsMy Profile

  6. AmandaM says

    Wow – just some fan-love over here. This is SUCH a great post. The sentiment is wonderful. I’m proud that while I took a step back from running for a few months, I maintained my fitness at the gym and knocked out 7 miles with some hills thrown in this morning. I was SCARED to run for fear that I had completely lost it. Turns out those thigh-crushing spin sessions are doing something! Yay 🙂

  7. says

    I really, really liked this post. It’s so true, we tend to not give ourselves enough credit. I was thinking about that as I did a long run of 11 miles this weekend. I remember when that used to feel so long and like such a big deal and now it doesn’t feel like a big deal. All the hard work over the years really does pay off and sometimes taking a step back to notice it is what we really should do!
    Caroline recently posted…Thoughts on ConfidenceMy Profile