Ralk? Wun? Spralk? Sprun? I wonder if there is a name for a walk/run endeavor to start the day? Sprinting, probably? But that sounds too grand.
That’s what I’ve been doing, however. Short little bursts still, but they’ve gotten longer and faster these past few weeks. I’m loving it, too. It feels great. I’m wondering if I should add a few evening ones in, just to burn off the days’ indulgences and undue energy.
Although, as I read long ago, “energy begets energy”.
While our children were growing up – until they left for college – I spent a few hours a day at the gym several times a week – weights, yoga, pilates, and, less regularly, some sort of cardio experiment. For a while, I had private yoga instruction, too, and we always swam all summer.
For me, it was just a normal part of an active lifestyle, as routine as brushing my teeth.
When our sons left for college and we moved to a rural area where there were far less gym options, I wasn’t worried. I had country roads to run and ride my bike on, an exercise room in my house, and four acres of garden and yard to tend to. I stayed busy and active. But eventually, the gardening took precedence. Big job that it was, it wasn’t enough to keep up with my disastrous eating habits.
To this day, I still eat like a teenaged boy – a wild, teenaged boy.
When we moved to back to the suburbs, so many things were going on in our lives that my workouts pretty much ground to a painful halt. But I continued to eat what I wanted, when I wanted, and still enjoyed a glass of wine or two every evening.
I love fresh fruits and vegetables and herbal teas. I also love fried foods, ice cream, Dutch gin and rosé.
Lately, that hasn’t been feeling so good. My clothes all still fit. I’ve worn the same size for years and years. But take it from me, I’m not the same.
For one thing, I’m weaker. Of course, I am. And there’s a heaviness around my waist that I can’t like. I’m not as flexible as I used to be, either. Anastasia, what have you done?
Obviously, I don’t diet. I am also not of the “no pain, no gain” school. Absolutely not, although I can see where that would work for certain personalities.
Well, then, what?
It’s okay to be gentle with ourselves. I’m not out to impress anybody. But I should take care of my body so that I can fully enjoy what time I have left on this earth. More to the point, I would like to continue to have fun with our children and grandchildren and all of our loved ones.
My family, by the way -- our children are sooo very fit. Our older son works in the fitness industry -- he's a guru, really -- and our younger son and daughter-in-heart are the most active people I know. My brother owns gyms! And all our family works out more these days, not less. No one nags me -- they are all wonderfully sweet and supportive -- but I'm pretty sure none of them expected me to ever NOT be physically fit.
And I probably am reasonably fit. But I can do better.
So... Modified… everything. I do modified pushup several times a day. I don’t sweat and I don’t hurt my joints. But now, a few weeks in, I can do more regular pushups. I can see that becoming a trend.
I’ve begun lifting again – oh, what a blow to my ego. But my muscles seem to remember what to do. And my yoga practice – it’s probably the most challenging aspect because, damn it, I didn’t even realize how my shortened, lazy asanas were chipping away at my flexibility. This, I’m having a hard time going slow with, which is against yogic philosophy. Let go of ego. Breathe. Be kind to yourself. I really can’t imagine not having a yoga practice. Everyone, absolutely everyone, should.
My walk/runs are beautiful. I love being outdoors early morning, always have. My sprint time is beginning to equal my walk time, although not always. So far, my longest, um, spralk is about a mile and a half. Hardly marathon material? Is that what you’re thinking? I’m grinning at the very idea. You’ve got that right!
I’m drinking more herbal tea than wine these days, although ice cream, well… How can such creamy deliciousness be bad for you? I will have to leave it off my shopping list for a while.
If you take anything away from this, my “confessions”, I hope that it might be some small encouragement. Little steps do make a difference. I’m feeling more myself again and more confident in my physical capabilities. Every little bit really does help.
Cheers, friends! Wishing you joy!
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran
From me to you with a smile.
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