Hometown: Miller City, OH
Favorite Sport to Watch: Mudhens baseball (to people watch)
Favorite Yoga Poses: Pigeon, Triangle, Dolphin pushups and “anything lying down”
When Bethany Ruiz isn’t busily fixing computer glitches and updating software or managing servers at her full-time job at the Anderson’s in Maumee, she might be lecturing college students about information technology or drinking a beer at Rocky’s Bar. But chances are, you will find her running, biking, swimming, working on her Jiu-Jitsu moves or chasing after her active dogs. And you might even find her on the yoga mat.
The Toledo resident says exercise keeps her sane during her 12- to 15-hour workday. “When I’m not working out, I tend to not eat well and it becomes a downward spiral.”
After a hip injury a few years ago, Ruiz tried yoga but wasn’t immediately impressed. Her mind wandered in class. She would wonder what she was going to have for dinner, what she needed to pick up at the grocery store or what she was going to do after class. Her mind was not in the moment. Then she found a DVD of yoga for runners and it changed her perspective. “I signed up for some classes at the gym and I thought I was in good shape, I thought I was fit, but five seconds in the downward dog when my entire body started to shake I was like, OK, this is working muscles differently. And then it became a challenge so that’s where the fun came in.”
She began a regular yoga practice and now sees it as part of her athletic training. She says it helps her see the bigger picture.
“It’s not just about your times and what you can eke out in a week for swimming, biking and running. It’s more about overall health and how do you feel and correcting your posture. And all that stuff rolled up I think does positively affect your times. If you can put the time into something that you may not think directly impacts your performance for triathlons, you can kind of get past that and start to see the benefits after just a couple weeks.”
Ruiz says her yoga practice has helped her find focus during her workouts. Working to calm the mind has helped her get out of her head and into her body. She knows she needs yoga when her body gets tight, and she’s not going to be thinking about going to the grocery store. She’s thinking about releasing the tightness in her hips and stretching her legs out.
After a good class, she says, she feels taller, “which is awesome because I’m six feet tall anyway. I feel taller, more calm and like I took care of myself, which I don’t usually do. It’s all about bigger, better, faster so it’s nice to take a step back.”
It’s not just about your times and what you can eke out in a week for swimming, biking and running. It’s more about overall health and how do you feel and correcting your posture. And all that stuff rolled up I think does positively affect your times.