I love making definitive pronouncements almost as much as I love being proven wrong about them.

I don’t run.

Cross-training? I’m a runner! Who has time for more? And why?

Yeah, no. Strength training isn’t for me. That’s way too scary!

I don’t yoga. I’ve never yoga-ed, not even once. Namaste away from all that nonsense.

It’s okay. You can have a laugh at my expense. I certainly do! Because everything listed above has become a staple in my life. I became a runner more than a decade ago, starting with one brave mile and working my way up to an equally brave 26.2.

Regular cross-training, strength training, and active recovery through yoga and stretching are more recent additions, but they’re the holy trinity of activities that support my running. The three running accessories I was wrong about: kettlebells, rowing machine, and yoga mat.


Woman performing a renegade row with kettlebells

Kettlebells, like Pam, are small but mighty!

These cute little bundles of iron look completely innocuous, and maybe they would be without the evil brain of my trainer Nick. Every week he has me lift and otherwise manipulate them in ways I never would have imagined. Then, just for giggles, he sends me homework and I use those suckers to torment me a second day. It’s terrible and I love it and I can’t imagine life or running without my bells. Strength training still scares me, but I was wrong about it not being for me.

Rowing Machine

Woman using a rowing machine

You think Pam is rowing in a home gym, but she’s actually on the River Thames.

I may be landlocked in Atlanta, but I’ve never met a water sport I didn’t enjoy. The problem is I never met the sport of rowing until long after I moved away from the coast. But never fear! After getting a taste of the rowing machine in the gym last year, I immediately decided I needed one and my 40th birthday provided the perfect opportunity to make the purchase. Now I row all over the world with iFit, and I’ve found the practice to provide a fantastic full-body workout. It also helps me cement some of the kettlebell exercises into functional movements (looking at you, cannonball thrusters!) that then support my running. It turns out I was wrong about cross-training, too: it’s not only for runners whose legs need a break. Sure, it provides variety, but it also directly benefits those miles spent on the road.

Yoga Mat

Blue yoga mat

Pam’s true-blue, new best friend.

For years I have resisted yoga. I didn’t have a reason; it just didn’t appeal to me. Then, one day last month, I saw an advertisement featuring some iFit stretching workouts on a beach in Costa Rica. As mentioned, I’m a sucker for anything having to do with water, so I gave the stretching workouts a try, and OMG YOU GUYS! The stretches felt glorious and relaxing, and I felt better the next day. And wouldn’t you know: stretching is a gateway to yoga. I found a beginner yoga workout for runners and was immediately hooked. Who knew yoga was so great for running and recovery (apart from, like, everyone other than me)?! Yep, I was wrong, wrong, wrong about yoga and my marathon-training body sighs in relief.