Continuing with our new column, “That Girl”, we are celebrating the accomplishments of real women who make health and fitness a priority because we know that true athletes come in all shapes, sizes, ages and athletic abilities from around the world. So this week we’re celebrating Terry Cockburn, a fascinating yogi, runner, coach and mom whose love of fitness helps her to make it all work.
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
Running my first marathon was definitely one of my proudest moments. I trained for it on my own, using my own plan, and ran it out of state, where I knew no one. I kind of felt like Clubber Lang in Rocky III: “I live alone. I train alone. I win the title alone.” It was more of a mental test to me, than physical, although, don’t get me wrong! I had a blister the size of Rhode Island on my toe and could barely walk for three days!
What inspires you to get fit every day?
My boys! Leading by example for my kids (ages 7 1/2 and 9) is so important. They know I wake at 5a.m. to run and have cheered me on during my races. I do yoga in their classrooms at school, and they are proud of having a mom who can do “cool yoga tricks”. I’m certain the active, healthy lifestyle our family leads is what has fostered their love for athletics and has made them more aware of how good you feel when you eat healthy foods and exercise. I need to stay fit and be a good example for them!
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
Honestly, if I don’t feel like working out, I don’t! If my body is telling me I need rest, then I take it. Yin, gentle or restorative yoga is what I turn to. Now, if my MIND is telling me I don’t feel like working out, that’s another story! I will do battle in my head after hitting the snooze button, and remind myself of the importance of my training, and how good it will feel once I’m up and on the pavement.
Favorite energizing meal:
My go-to meal is whole wheat toast, roasted almond butter with flax seeds and sliced banana with a cup of green tea. I’m really picky about my bread. I prefer fresh bread made by a local bakery. It’s simply fantastic, and yes, I’ve been known to eat an entire loaf in the course of one weekend. Should I say that out loud?
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
After the ice bath, of course, I enjoy a leisurely brunch with strong coffee, bacon and . . . I guess nothing else matters after those two items. I relish in the soreness of my body after any run over two hours. Is it weird to love that feeling? Doing restorative and gentle yoga postures as I hang out with my husband (who is also a runner) and kids, in our house that smells of bacon, is my top favorite way to chill post-workout.
What is your top kick-ass workout?
Give me a hot, sweaty, crowded yoga class with awesome music, an energetic vibe and lots of arm balances and unique twists on challenging postures. When I have the opportunity to take such a class, I leave feeling wrung out and worked, both inside and out. It’s the best workout for your body AND mind!
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever done yoga or exercised?
Kripalu in the Berkshires of Massachusetts! My last visit there was for a Yoga for Athletes workshop with Sage Rountree. Winter running in the great outdoors, lots of yoga, amazing food, learning and time for relaxation. The “high” stayed with me for weeks, and I’m already looking forward to my January trip!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
You can’t fake it. You need to do the work to perform your best when it needs to count. I’ve been in races where I was completely unprepared, and it’s the worst feeling; both mentally and physically. The training is hard, but you know what? It’s supposed to be! Arriving at the start line of a race knowing you’ve done the brutal work of training gives you the assurance you need to get the job done.
Calling all female athletes (that means you!): Do you surf, ski, swim, climb mountains, mountain bike, compete in races or stay fit with any other sport? We want to inspire other women with your story. Send an email to Briana@Blisstree.com with the subject “That Girl”.
Photo: Terry Cockburn