When I first started running — or rather, when I first started pushing hard as a runner — I would crank up the music really loud in my ear buds to get me through those last excruciating minutes or down one more block. Then one day, my iPhone ran out of juice mid-workout and I was left to run in silence. When the time came to gut out the last little bits of energy, I was horrified. For the first time, without the auditory padding of Eminem or LaRoux, I could hear myself grunting as I sprinted toward the end of my run.
I felt strong, powerful, and proud of myself every time I pushed just a bit more in workouts like these. But for some reason, hearing myself make noise while I ran made me terribly self-conscious.
This is ridiculous, I know. Athletic women — hell, women who are just moving their bodies — should be lauded, even applauded. We should not be worried we don’t look or sound pretty. In my case, I’m pretty sure that the guy who lives at the YMCA down the street from me and spends his days camped out on a bench at the park where I run will somehow survive if he hears me grunt as I go by. My nice neighbor lady and the kooky kids playing on the sidewalk will probably be OK, too.
In the privacy of my own home, I’ve learned to embrace the noise of working out hard. I’m in the middle of doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred and there are moments every morning that one grunt actually seems to help me hammer out what feels like my five-thousandth plank-jack or abs circuit.
Now it’s on me to stop stressing about voicing my power when I’m working out in public. After reading this awesome post over on Jezebel about how some folks think professional female tennis players really need to ix-nay the unting-gray on courts, it’s clear I am not the only one who needs to get OK with women working out — out loud. Why should we shy away from sounding off when we have to dig deep, hit hard, run faster, or finish up?
An Editor’s Review:
I used to breathe extraordinarily heavy when I was running. I found that I did not enjoy running and it was too hard for me to breathe. I now walk for exercise and love it. I am still losing weight and staying in shape, but I no longer am having trouble with breathing and making loud noises.
I have lost 40 pounds by watching my calories, never letting myself feel deprived and walking every day in SmartSole exercise insoles. (smartsole.com) They are body toning insoles similar to Reebok Easytone that help you burn extra calories while you walk or work out as well as tone and tighten your legs, calves and butt. I read about them on my weight watchers board and the code ww10 gives you a 10% discount.
I also always use a pedometer to make sure I get in 10,000 steps daily which is 2 miles.