You have no excuse.
You have no excuse why you are not working out. Too old, too fat, too injured, too broken are all just the lies we tell ourselves when we don’t feel like working hard to achieve something worthwhile. The same goes for not enough time. We make time for those things that are a priority to us, plain and simple. The same with losing weight. If it is important to you, you will simply expend more calories than you take in. Is any of this easy? Not really, but nothing worthwhile typically is.
Two weeks ago I ran 51 miles; mostly on the beautiful, wooded trails that I am blessed to have within a short walk or drive of my home. Last week I ran 1.25 miles on asphalt. Unfortunately, tendonitis (stress fracture?) in my right foot from an ankle injury received at an OCR has led to my very first battle with IT band issues in my left hip. To add insult to injury (literally and figuratively), while moving heavy furniture, I did a number on my back to the point that I can’t take deep breaths. For the first time in 2017, I decided to take the remainder of last week off to try to let my body rest (it didn’t work).
So I can’t run (I love running). I can’t lift (meh…not a big fan anyway…even though it is ridiculously good for you and would, ironically, lead to fewer injuries when practiced properly). So, that leaves me with the good ol’ elliptical machine (which I hate). But not too fast though, as hard breathing is not really working for me right now. Even though this is not the exercise that I would prefer to do, it is the exercise that I currently can do. No excuses. Adapt your plan to your capabilities. And you are ALWAYS capable of something.
Sunday, I started on the elliptical. Did I mention I hate the elliptical? As I cannot go fast, I go long. And that, my friends, is absolutely brain-numbing drudgery. However, exercising for loooong periods of time at a relatively moderate heart rate can teach your body to burn fat for energy and that is not only great for weight loss, but for calling up energy reserves during endurance events. This is something I sorely need right now as my diet has been less than exemplary. Do you know how many calories you can take in when you run 51 miles per week? A lot. Do you know how many calories you should take in when you run 1.25 miles per week? CONSIDERABLY less. But damn if it isn’t hard to flip that switch just like that.
Today, as penance for my gastronomical sins, and as mental toughness training (reference the “brain-numbing drudgery” comment), I went for 2 hours on the elliptical…in a gym that was 80 degrees when I started and 81 degrees when I finished. I will admit, it sucked. But I will also admit that I derived a certain sense of satisfaction from being able to power through that workout. Tomorrow will be 8am yoga (back willing) directly following a physical therapy appointment that hopefully will help to correct the many flaws in my running form. Tomorrow is also weigh in day. It will be interesting to see where I land as it has been quite a roller coaster for the past couple of weeks (again, literally and figuratively as I have been to two amusement parks recently…which certainly couldn’t have helped the back).
And what about that mystery picture I attached to this post? I am equal parts amused, amazed and disgusted by it. It is literally, not figuratively, a puddle of sweat that collected in the footbed of the elliptical machine as I did 2 hours of exercise in an 81 degree gym this morning. At least, I think it is sweat.
Scot W. Loveland