Monday, October 28, 2013

One Thing Leads to Another

It started after the Santa Cruz Triathlon, when I was just unfocused on my normal exercise routine. Then the Nike half came and went, and I was lucky enough to have a great event. So of course I had to take a bit of time to recover from that. Don't know if I mentioned this but my left knee was aching in the days after the race so I allowed a bit of extra time for that to heal. I finally made it into the gym this past Friday, and despite my knee still hurting a bit I managed 25 minutes on the upright bike followed by a short, full body weight lifting session. I did some pushups, squats, tricep and bicep work but didn't have time for any of my physical therapy or core work.

And then the cough/cold I'd had prior to Nike either resurfaced or I got sick again, not sure which but by Saturday morning I knew the truth, exercise at this point would only hurt, not help. I'm scared of pneumonia after the bout earlier this year so I'm motivated to take it easy and take the time for this cough to clear up. Add to that, yesterday my neck and shoulders started hurting and got progressively worse until today, when I woke up and could barely look side to side.

Did you add that all up? It's been four weeks since the Santa Cruz tri, which means four weeks since I've engaged in my regular exercise routine. And I miss it! I miss the endorphins more than anything, and the post-exercise feelings of self-satisfaction and relaxation. And this isn't coming at exactly a good time. My life continues to be more stressful than usual, family stuff and a bit of work stuff too, and I could use the de-stressing effects of exercise now more than ever.

But it is what it is. I'm not going to get all wound up about something I can't really do anything about. I have to get over this cough and let this pinched nerve, or whatever's happening in my neck/shoulders, settle down before I get back in the gym. I've read about people that take 4-6 weeks off from exercise every winter. Even some professional athletes do it. So I've decided to view it like that, an exercise sabbatical. My body obviously needs it right now.

My weight is still good. The weight log on my sidebar here is acting weird, when I enter a new weight it wants to log it at the bottom, forcing me to move it one week at a time up to the top. It's painfully tedious and I can't do that every week. But I just did it to finally add a new entry since it's been over a month since I posted one. So if you were wondering, my weight's been fine, I just have ot figure out why the log is glitchy.

I'm closing in on my one year anniversary of maintenance. In fact, it's only a week away! I hear from other maintainers that the first year is the hardest, and I'm hoping that's true. This year hasn't felt terribly hard necessarily, but it's not been easy either. Of course, I don't expect it to get easy for years to come, somewhere in the 5-10 year window, but I do hope it gets progressively less hard as time goes by. Which is what it has done now that I think about it. It's nowhere near as challenging to face food temptations or motivate myself to exercise (that, in fact, could almost be called easy now) as it was in the past.

And that, in turn, goes back to just how much I've changed over the past 6.5 years. February will be my 7 year anniversary of starting this journey (and blog) and much has changed during that time, the least of which is my body. The biggest change has taken place in my mind. There have also been changes in my activities, in my interests and hobbies, in the way I socialize and what I think is fun and interesting. But it's my mind, it's how I view food, exercise...heck, how I view life, those are the most profound changes. I went from someone who was willing to sit on the sidelines and watch life go by, content to let someone else make the calls, to now be someone who's in the game. It's not always easy to step onto the field, sometimes it's easier to be an armchair quarterback than it is to be the one throwing the ball, but win or lose, it's my game now, I'm making the calls, I'm running down the field, I'm taking full responsibility for the outcome and that feels better than the most comfortable couch in the world.

Before I close, a couple random photos from this past week...

My little Miss and I at the ice cream parlor

Curb your cravings...Nope, I passed.
In my next post I plan to write about how I'm feeling better and resisting all the Halloween candy. Positive thinking, one of the most powerful tools in my toolkit.