If you’re a Ms. Behaved regular, you’re well aware that editors Bianca and Rashaun are both hardcore fathletes- thick hotties who like to get physical for the joy of it, and bust stereotypes about fat people and fitness. Both Rashaun and I are runners (although I run really fucking slow, I’m out there almost everyday lately), and I recently re-started Couch to 5K to train for the Color Me Run in Chicago in July. I’m also a Masters of Public Health student, and even though I enrolled in this program to focus on sexuality research, I still spend a lot of time thinking about health, and fitness, and the ignorant ways people talk about muthafucking “obesity epidemic.” Anyway, “incentivizing exercise” is a challenge for people in the field of Public Health, because weight loss doesn’t seem to work as a long term incentive. Exercise enjoyment does, but a lot of people don’t enjoy exercise (god knows I didn’t for many years) due to any number of often very good reasons. I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want to motivate people to exercise, you need to make it into a muthafucking Andrew W.K. style PARTY. The kind of party where you forget you’re exercising and it just feels like you’re partying. Running is a great way to party while getting exercise, since you’re often encouraged to get shitfaced on beer after a race in the name of “rehydrating and replenishing carbs.”
Let me tell you ’bout TWERK 2 5K.
My friends Andrew, Leanne and myself are all huge hip hop fans and avid twerking enthusiasts. To the uninitiated, twerking is a form of dancing that involves shaking your ass a lot. I think we used to call it “booty grinding” back in the 90s. Here’s a nice example:
A while back Andrew, who is an avid pursuer of absurd joy and good natured tom foolery, sent me a link to the upcoming Hoosier 5K and asked me if he thought we could twerk a whole 5K. While wearing a unicorn head. On 4 hours of sleep, with a lingering case of bronchitis. The answer was YES.
Leanne and I put on our most garish neon workout gear, and we were the 5K twerk team, with a mini boombox loaded up with jams including Lady’s “Twerk,” Big Freedia’s “Azz Everywhere,” Digital Underground’s “Humpty Dance” and Mickey Avalon’s “Jane Fonda.” (I really recommend this device, btw- it’s small, cheap as balls, you can plug your iphone/pod into it and jam out with decent sound quality.) Of course I didn’t anticipate that many of our running mates would have small children, so I wound up having to cover the speaker with my hand during some of the more raunchy lyrics.
We galloped, frolicked, twerked our way to the finish line in a little over an hour. It was seriously the hardest I’ve PARTIED in a long time. Maybe I’m old, or maybe we’re just awesome.
On that note, we’re so awesome we made the front page of my local newspaper:
I have been trying to keep my party spirit intact as I train for the next 5K. Here are some of my tips for keeping the party going:
1. I loved the neon legwarmers and headband I got for Twerk 2 5K so much that I now wear them every time I go running. They not only look sassy and ridiculous, they’re functional- they keep my calf muscles limber, and mop up my sweaty forehead. A long time ago I said I wasn’t one of those jerks who train for races in neon gear, but I’ve changed my ways. I figure that if people are going to stare at me anyway, I might as well give them a reason to stare.
2. The Couch 2 5K Iphone app is the bomb, and it’s free! I made the mistake of jumping in at week 5 and messing up my foot though- after a break it’s important to start slow to let your joints/muscles re-acclimate even if you’re cardio fitness is ok. And the early runs are kind of fun anyway- they’re a lot like the interval training I do when I’m not working on endurance. I also encourage folks to try Couch 2 5K even if they think they “can’t run.” Some people legitimately can’t or shouldn’t run, but I want to state for the record that I’m currently 245# and asthmatic and I make it work. Or twerk, even.
3. Last time I did Couch 2 5K I ran on a Woodway treadmill, which was a lot gentler on my feet/joints. This time I’m doing most of my running outside, partly to get used to running on concrete (since most races require running on concrete and it can be crappy if you’re body is not acclimated). I LOVE running outside in the springtime- it’s so beautiful out and I can use my run as an excuse to go to the drugstore and buy nail polish or something.
What are your FITNESS JAMZ this spring? Tell me in the comments.