This past Monday, I swam my first mile! I had a little stiffness and soreness across the fronts of my shoulders and side deltoids, but that quickly went away with some extra stretching...
That afternoon, JC and I went to Chapters, a Canadian bookstore that kicks Barnes & Noble's collective arse. Admittedly, Chapters has declined a bit since my previous visit two years ago (fewer unique and interesting fashion and dance magazines, and style books) - but overall, they have a better curation of books across a wide variety of topics, than B&N. I don't fault either chain, because the internet and Amazon have really put the hurt on brick & mortar stores.
I have increasingly noticed a huge gap out there in the world of publishing - both in print, and online.
There is a dearth of accurate, specific, motivating, serious information for the 30+ woman who wants to pursue a sport, dance or fitness discipline, as a dedicated amateur or aspiring professional. With one exception: running. There seems to be a good bit of information about running out there - but I don't run, so I don't know how relevant assorted publications are.
Make no mistake, there is a lot of semi-fluff floating out in InternetzLand, and in the occasional last holdout of Print Magazines (Self and Shape Magazine, I'm looking at YOU). Or there is some legit information, enrobed in a thick creamy frosting of supplement marketing bs. (Ahem, Oxygen Magazine). Again, I get it. Advertisers keep breathing life into a slowly dying print industry. But it it can be hard sometimes to tell what is strictly an advertisement, and what is an informative article.
And if you're a 30+ woman who wants any of the following, you're going to be searching for awhile...
1. More specific nutritional advice that "eat more fruits and vegetables and protein"
2. Nutritional information tailored to someone making the leap from occasional or light exercise activity to becoming an athlete (my definition: someone who seriously trains in a sport, dance, or fitness activity for 60+ minutes four or more days a week)
3. Tips on improving specific techniques, workouts to improve a specific skillset, or, in the case of dance, what, specifically, can help make the jump from beginner dancer to an intermediate, and, eventually, advanced dancer.
In my specific case, I had to follow a lot of internet searches to be able to begin to pin down how Natalie Portman trained, and ate, in order to be able to perform her role in Black Swan.
Walking around Chapters, I went to the dance & fine arts sections, combed through the periodicals, visited the exercise, fitness, and sports sections. And this is my observation:
Unless you are a runner, there doesn't seem to be a lot of athlete-specific nutritional and training literature out there for the 30+year old woman, who wants to achieve a proficiency in a sport or dance discipline.
This is so frustrating.
Damn it, we deserve to be taken seriously.
So. F*ck it. I am going to develop my own list of goals I want to achieve, as an athlete, and as a dancer. I'm going to reverse-engineer that list, and work out what kind of training and nutrition, I need to do to get from where I am, to reaching those goals.
As I encounter useful information - books, videos, classes, or have breakthrough experiences... I will share my findings with you.
I realize that different things work for different people. For example, I can swim on an empty stomach, no problem. I cannot take a dance class on an empty stomach and be able to mentally process combinations. My brain just stalls. I don't expect everything I share here, will work for everyone. This is going to be more about an exchange of ideas, information, and giving women out there the tools they need to develop their own programs.
In the days, weeks, months, and years to come... I am going to outline everything I do - what worked for me, what did not- and why I think something does or does not work. I invite anyone reading this to do the same, regardless of age - and gender. You can comment on a particular post, or if you would like to be a guest writer, please let me know!
Aspiring amateur (or future professional!) female athletes and dancers, let's do this!
Edited to add: I want to note that, any recommendations I make for books, publications, fitness or dance classes, or products - are done purely because of my belief in the effectiveness of the product or technique. As of this writing, I am not compensated in any way for the recommendations that I make. If that ever changes, I will note it! But my promise to myself, and to all of you, is that I will never recommend or endorse something I have not personally tried, and found to be good, and of great usefulness.