Friday, July 19, 2013

Mama Fitness: NOT Giving Up

I have some of the stupidest joints ever given to a human. And I've been awfully busy.

Great excuses, right? I bet you have some too. Here are mine, and here is my two bits worth of encouragement for you anyway.

So, firstly, the stupid joints. One week it's an ankle, another week it might be a knee, or, like this week, an elbow. They take it in turn to fail me miserably.  The whole thing is preceded by a twinge, a fall or nothing at all. I just wake up the morning after a workout (or intense knitting session) unable to move that part without pain. It is inflamed and red, black or blue. Until recently, this meant a long period without much activity between injuries. It became an excuse for being out of shape.  Oops, can't exercise, guess I'll just have to sleep in, read a book, knit socks. No more. This time,  I missed class on Monday, but went back today and learned...a lot.

The movements themselves, getting each one right and in rhythm, with proper positioning, took up much of my attention. I paid extra attention to the way the instructor held her wrists, shoulders and knees as she modeled each move. I could spend the extra energy that was not holding any weight to observe and imitate correct posture. The squat section was, if possible, more leg-liquifying than ever. The abs had to be all crunches and no planks, so I did beautiful crunches after so much practice, or at least I hope I did. It was a very light workout, but it was a good one. 

Work and children have been crazy the past two weeks. My writing time has been shot in the pa-tooty, but not the exercise. The dog has been getting a lot more walks these days, as I transfer his leash to the right side and go. He is always up for a stroll. In the past week I've had marathon days of chauffeuring kids around (theatre, reptile show, kung fu, pool, shopping, Michigan, ((OK, Thierry, not me, took C. to Michigan for her sailing adventure)), but I held down the fort at home with sick kidos). Work meant regular appointments as well as one all-nighter in the E.R. followed by mental illness ward and an all-day, beginning at 6am, very sad, hospital job. Did I miss a day of exercise? Yes, maybe even 2, but the dog still got a walk, even if it was a short one in 95 degrees, super ugh. 

So, trot them out, those excuses, and then give them along, hard look. It can seem impossible, even irresponsible, to let something go for the sake of staying or getting in shape. But really, it is just the opposite. There are many things we find to do each day that are superfluous, from the extra ten minutes in front of the computer to the time spent sorting through the mail when nothing but ads are in it that day. These eat up our time and bind rather than free us to our unhealthy selves and bad habits.  If you're struggling, what will help you let go and get some exercise. If you've overcome a challenge, how did you do it? I'd love to hear from you! If the comment box will not cooperate, send me an email and I will post it for you. Happy Weekend; be safe, stay active!

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