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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Couch to 5K

       


I used to rock climb. I used to run. I used to be really fit. Then about 10 years ago I took a pottery class, and slowly, year by year I got less fit, less active, because I was obsessed with learning everything I could about clay. It's amazing how time consuming clay can be. There is so much to learn, I feel like what I know about pottery right now is like a grain of sand on the beach. There is still so much to learn. Not only have I had to learn about centering clay on the wheel, which took me about three years, until I figured out I should have the wheel going the other way because I am left handed and learn everything backwards. I learned glaze chemistry, explored the many ways to fire, including ^10 reduction, wood firing, low fire, electric fire. I learned to slab build, raku fire, mix terra sigilata, slip, use stains. Sooo much, this only scratches the surface. I have spent countless hours online looking for problem solving articles and glaze recipes and reading and learning about other potters, the history of pottery, reading books and Ceramics Monthly magazines.... some people go to school and get a four year education in all of this, I taught myself and it has been a long road. The latest learning has been about marketing my work, and selling it and dealing with galleries and collectors and all that this includes. It's not easy, interesting but definitely not easy. 
And the thing that has suffered most is my body! It has been neglected, I now have tendinitis in my shoulder, achy fingers most days and I'm dirty most of the time. But I am also painfully out of shape. Which gets me to the point of this post.
Wesley has joined a group at school called Couch to 5K, There is a good website that describes the program. I looked it up and thought, "hey, this is something I can actually do." It takes 20 minutes to get started, easy enough, and you work up to longer distance running slowly enough to not be in pain and get unmotivated. So, I started last Sunday and today, I moved up to the next level. Run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, etc., warm up 5 minutes, cool down 5 minutes. Totally able to do this! Wesley is home from school this weekend so we went out together this morning. Her legs are so long, her stride is like a thoroughbred and mine is like a pony next to her, ha! But it was fun and she stayed with me although she is now at the running for 8 minutes level. Yesterday we went for a hike, so every day since last Sunday I have been physically active and I'm sort of pissed at clay for keeping me so non active for so long. And clay is exactly why I haven't done anything else, it is an obsessive material and I'm thinking we might need a minor separation for a little while soon. Or either, I need to do something new with it. I'm getting to a place where I am just trying to make enough work to sell, and trying to figure out what people these days can afford and what do people want, and I am not enjoying this so much. I don't want to get tired of clay, but I need to approach it in a different way for awhile, I think. I need to be working every day making enough for the upcoming holidays, but instead I am paying attention to my body and my family and those needs. It's like dealing with a beam scale, I'm trying to find the balance right now. I'm sure there is one, just got to make it happen!

9 comments:

Kings Creek Pottery said...

Ha! It's easy to get wooed by the clay love, as you well document! I used to run and finally got sick of it. However, when I see another runner I get a twinge of jealousy! We moved to walking and this way we can talk and bring the dogs with us. To get it all in I get up at 4 a.m. to get my weekday walk ~ yes, crazy, but gotta get it done! Go get 'em!!!

Shannon said...

I think balance is the ongoing, never-ending struggle, challenge, project (choose your word) that is our ultimate life's work. We all know stories about artists of all kinds who've burnt themselves to a crisp and died, so no more work at all to share.

Sandy miller said...

If you figure this out bless you! It's been thirty years and I am still struggling with this.....
Used to be a runner, rock climber and cyclist. Grew up speed skating and then this clay thing popped on my radar. My butt has never been the same....... It occurred to me early on I didn't know any marathon runners who were potters. I still don't. Two more shows and I'm blowing the dust off my Nike's :)

Susan Wells said...

What are you Crazy!?!? Running is for sissys. Don't do it. Really. I hear it clears the mind. And connects you to OUTSIDE!!!!!

Lori Buff said...

I always joke that I don't need a gym because I'm a potter meaning I'm always carrying 25 - 50 pounds of clay, doing booth set-up squats, running around the studio like a crazy woman because I have to get something into the glaze kiln last minute and now you tell me it's not exercise! CRAP!
Seriously, I've heard lots of good stuff about that program, have fun with it.

Tracey Broome said...

Not getting up at 4am, no way! I'm always amazed at people that have that kind of discipline!
Shannon, yes balance is important, I'm a Libra after all:)
Sandy, I just have to get some exercise, my body is feeling it!
Susan, you crack me up, so nice to laugh so early in the day , xox
Lori, I always tell myself I'm getting exercise with this pottery business too, but what I'm really getting is an aching body! Feels much better to just run!

smartcat said...

Years ago I was told that one of the healthiest things a potter can do is drink a pot of tea in the morning. It will have you going to the bathroom every 20-30 min. and encourage you to exercise in small bursts.
Glad to hear via Hollis that Gerry is safe....even if he is out wading around in the water.....we are still on the edge of Sandy.
Take care!

handstories said...

alright, this is a sign to get moving...i've spent the last 3 yrs focussed on fiber & work, letting everything else (body & home) slide. hmmm.

Amy said...

Great post, thanks! I need to exercise more- yet my excuse these days is that allergies are so bad. :( anyway, thanks for the inspiring words!