Monday, February 14, 2011

Exercise Highs and Lows

I'm not feeling that proverbial exercise high this morning.  Perhaps because I didn't do anything but sit around over the weekend.  But there's another more psychological reason I'm not feeling it this morning.  I'm procrastinating.  Who, me?  Nah.

I'm supposed to get started on the first Couch to 5K workout this morning.  I've got my MP3 player all loaded and everything.   That was an accomplishment in and of itself.  I should pat myself on the back and get on with it.  I decided on the podcasts by Robert Ullreys.

But in all truth, I'm a bit nervous.  What if I can't even do the first workout?  How pathetic is that?  I don't sit around watching TV.  I'm not a typical couch potato.  I do spend time at the computer and reading and other more sedentary hobbies (such as crochet, lately).  But I don't engage in the quintessential couch potato hobby of watching  TV.

And I've been working out for 5 weeks already.

But what if?  What if I can't do it?  What if I'm even worse than a couch potato?

When I was in high school I'd come back to the dorm from track practice or basketball practice or whatever, even just a good run.  Often I'd do aerobics afterwards.  Or even get up early to do them before school.

I remember one conversation with a friend.  We were wondering how people could possibly get out of shape.  "That will never happen to us."  I got such a rush with exercise, that I really couldn't imagine ever not doing it.

It's easy and fun to exercise when that's all one has to do in one's spare time.  But eventually the responsibilities of adult life drag some of us down.   Gradually severe out-of-shape-ness creeps up on us.

I was at my worst about 5 years ago.  I think it was after John was born, but perhaps it was after Stella.  I had gotten very overwhelmed with life and just wasn't doing anything.  Hadn't done anything for several years.  Except regular life, that is.  I was always nursing a baby or being pregnant, teaching the kids or doing laundry or dishes or fixing meals.  Just holding things together as a mom of seven (or eight) and wife and home educator and pastor's wife.  Just that.

But I hadn't even taken walks for probably a year or more.

I bought myself a beginning pilates video, and Joe and I would go downstairs and pop it in the computer.  We did it early in the morning before the kids were up.  We were so bad at first.  Uncoordinated, inflexible, weak--structurally and cardiovascularly.  Really pathetic.  We just laughed our way through those first few weeks.

But we kept with it.  It was a start.

Now I try to take walks all summer.  I try to keep up with pilates all winter, or some other sort of exercise.  Last summer I even started running again.  Not tons, but a little bit.

And I've been working out consistently for 5 weeks or so, the last two weeks very strenuously.

So really, I shouldn't have a problem doing the Couch to 5K thing.

But I still can't shake that nagging,  "What if?  What if I'm worse than a couch potato?"

I guess the next hour or so will tell.

If I can get going.

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