My healthy lifestyle mantra traditionally centers round five core tenets: drink plenty of water, eat more fresh produce, get lots of sleep, limit my alcohol intake and exercise daily.
My routine in India also centered around five core tenets, but with some minor tweaks: don’t drink the water, avoid all produce, stay up ’til dawn, accept every beer and exercise no restraint, except when it comes to actual exercising, in which case, restrain away.
You caught me: India was terrible for my health and fitness. During my two weeks on the subcontinent, I stayed up until sunrise half a dozen times, didn’t touch my running shoes once and ate more white rice and refined flour than I did in all of 2012. And let’s not forget the Kingfisher. I think we drank that brewery dry.
Fortunately, health isn’t strictly physical. I’ll be the first to admit that while my two weeks in India wrecked havoc on my bodily self, they had the opposite effect on my mental wellbeing. India may have destroyed my accumulated muscle mass and shattered my hopes of a new PR at next month’s Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon, but I’d argue the trip simultaneously worked wonders for my soul.
And how couldn’t it? For 13 straight days, I was surrounded by good friends, delicious food, welcoming hosts, gorgeous scenery and all the elephants a woman could ask for.
Back in the states now for three days, I know my stamina is no longer where it should be. Wednesday’s 3-miler felt like a punishment, yesterday’s tempo run clocked in closer to my marathon goal pace and I nearly fell off the elliptical this morning after my jet-lagged knees forgot how to pump.
But that’s ok. Because sometimes, crossing a finish line last is worth it when you get this in exchange:
When’s the last time your running shoes took a 14-day vacation?