Making Rainy Days a Workout Motivator

For the last few days in Austin, it’s steadily rained. Yes, I know this is par for the course for those in the Pacific northwest (my friends in Oregon are laughing right now and calling me a wimp), but it is hard to be motivated to haul ass outside in the dark when faced with the cold + wet combo.

Red letters in a puddle spell out "run."

I missed my run this morning; the sound of rain on our metal roof paired with my warm soft bed, a snuggling kitty, and a spouse with time for breakfast out lured me into lethargy. I could beat myself up over this, but I’m not. In fact, it’s probably good for me.

Instead of the regular run, I’ve picked out something I don’t normally do — in this case, the Zumba class at the East Communities YMCA. My body has spent many years moving in the same directions, and shaking it up helps me stay loose. Changes help point out areas where I’m losing ground as I age: flexibility, agility, power. This same weather steered me to the Wednesday CardioAgility class. Yeah, I had the cardio dialed in — not so much the agility. I felt like a lumbering dinosaur (and paid for it on Thursday). However, I’ll be back because I can see the benefits that quick feet will bring to my functional movement.

New workouts also stretch the mental muscle. In my boxing class at Pink Gloves Austin, we’re switching it up this tier. Us righties are boxing southpaw. The mind/body connection in boxing is crazy amazing, and that simple shift in dominant foot/hand is significant (and, again, I’m paying for it in soreness, something that completely surprised me). I’m also adding yoga into the mix; as you read in my previous post, “The Hardest Workout I’ve Ever Done,” this is also a mind/body experience for me, one where the physical muscle is working better than the cerebral one.

Ooohhh, and I noticed the ergometers in the weight room. I love the rowing machine; combine that with having just finished Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, and I just may be racing a 2K today. So many exciting options!

Recommended Reading about the 1936 Berlin Olympics

cover225x225If you love a good sports book, engrossing history, and a rags-to-riches success story, you cannot go wrong with reading The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympic.


Some excellent companion reading, as many of the characters in each book overlap, providing a wonderful, multidimensional portrait of the times:


Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (In Boys in the Boat, Louis Zamperini’s ability to eat is humorously described, along with the American athletes’ youthful shenanigans in the Olympic village)




Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics by Jeremy Schaap (How could you go wrong with this story about one American whose irrefutable actions spit in the eye of Nazi philosophy? Look for more description of Leni Riefenstahl’s ground-breaking camera coverage of the Olympic Games)


(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)

Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.