Wednesday, October 12, 2022

You Have to Start Somewhere...

Today I hadn't expected to start over.  In fact, before I headed to the office this morning, I made a Starbucks run for breakfast and was already thinking about lunch plans.  

By mid-morning, I devoured a dozen snack-sized servings of gummy bears in an effort to drown my ever-increasing anxiety.

I would have laughed if you had asked me at 11 am if I would be starting over today.  

Then, a conversation with a fellow coworker, Sarah, this afternoon ignited a little spark of motivation.  We were gabbing in the hall for a few minutes, commiserating on how hard it is to lose weight when you have no motivation or energy to put down the bag of chips and get up and moving instead.  We both know we'll feel better if we just do it.  But, alas, the motivation keeps eluding us.

After that conversation, I got to thinking... I don't need motivation; I need determination.  Motivation is a fickle friend, but determination and grit, that will get you much farther than motivation ever will.  

I remembered what Sarah said the last we spoke, that she was going to try and go for a walk tonight.  And I half-heartedly told myself, I'm going to go for a walk too.  But the more I thought about it, the more determined I grew to go home and go for a walk.  

When I got home from work, I changed into workout clothes (a pair of sweats, a ratty t-shirt, and a 32 Degrees hoodie).  I asked my daughter if she wanted to join, and she was thrilled because she hadn't been on a walk in ages.  

While putting on my shoes, I had to choke back a panic attack when I realized the walking path would be a challenge.  Unfortunately, there's a hill on my road, and I have a reasonably steep and very long driveway I would be contending with.  

After all, I've been completely sedentary for months (*cough* years).  Just getting ready in the morning gets me winded and washing dishes leaves me with a terrible back ache.  I knew this walk wouldn't be easy. 

My daughter looked at me and said, "You have to start somewhere."  And she's absolutely right; I have to start somewhere.  It's just a walk, right?  Well... 

We set out and made it down the driveway quickly enough; it was downhill.  We headed in our usual direction down the road, also downhill.  The first 5 minutes were uneventful, and I felt fine.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I started feeling intense pain in my lower left hip/back.  Seriously, 5 minutes in, and I'm definitely questioning my decision.  

I talked myself into walking to the end of the road, which usually takes about 10 minutes.  However, we were 12 minutes in by the time we reached the end of the road, and to say I was in excruciating pain would be an understatement.  Both the left and right sides of my back/hips were in agony.  Every step was so painful that I told my daughter no less than a dozen times I wasn't sure if I would make it back home. 

I continued on because the reality was I did need to get back home, and I wasn't about to call my husband to come to pick me up; however, the thought did cross my mind more than once.  I took a short break every other minute and then kept trudging on.  

I knew I was walking at a snail's pace, but the important thing was to keep walking, one foot in front of the other, until I made it back home.  The hill up the road didn't make it easier, coupled with the sun blaring down on me.  The weather showed it was only 76˚, but it felt more like 106˚; I was drenched in sweat and beet red-faced.  

I made it back home, huffing and puffing and barely able to walk through the front door.  But I made it!  

I immediately tried to stretch and foam roll some of the pain away.  I had to pull out my Chinese cupping tools because I knew nothing else would relieve this pain, and I didn't want to resort to my painkillers.  

A session of the cups followed by a long soak in the jacuzzi tub, and I felt much better.

So, now that I've gotten started, my goal is to find an exercise I can do that's not going to leave me in such horrific pain.  

I asked my husband to add me to his gym membership so I could walk on the treadmill at the gym.  I could do that without triggering the immense pain the outside walk left me feeling.  I just have to build up my endurance.  

I want to start Zumba again.  The gym has classes I might be able to make once or twice a week.  I could also do all of my old routines but with much less range of motion and intensity.  That should give me a little variety as I work my way back into a workout schedule. 

I will start exercising at least 3 days per week until I get more stamina.  Then I will switch to 5 days per week, no excuses.

Slow and steady!  I can do this because I'm determined!  Who's with me?

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