I had a bit of a downer on myself yesterday, you know that way where you beat yourself up for not being good enough, or falling short of your own expectations? I think most of us do it to one degree or another, and don’t get me wrong, there are occasions where a self-administered kick up the bum does the trick.
But there’s a difference between encouraging yourself to go harder in pursuit of a stretching goal, and pouring scorn all over yourself for being rubbish. On reflection, I might have nudged a toe over the line yesterday. Or, jumped right over it as though I had springs on my feet…whatever, I was too hard on myself. Looking back, I know it and you’ve pretty much all jumped on me and said the same thing!
I think what prompted it was being faced with the reality of the cumulative exercise effort over the working week. You know, like nothing. Over the course of the previous month, each Sunday when I’ve totted up my activity I’ve felt mentally stronger as well as a degree or two fitter (except for the bits that hurt obviously, like everything south of my chins). This week I didn’t have any achy bits beyond the ones that come with age rather than effort, and that screamed lazy, plus a few other choice adjectives thought up by the Asshole voice who spied a name-calling opportunity and immediately got in on the action.
On reflection, I accept I could have tried harder last week but you know what I’m not lazy. And this transition from fully paid up couch potato to nimble string bean wasn’t ever going to be achieved overnight, right? I’m assured by various folk who consider themselves to be in the know, that eventually I’ll reach that tipping point where my body and soul crave exercise as a way to relax and unwind. As of right now, my armchair wins hands down in the relaxation stakes, and exercise is still firmly planted in FFS, again ALREADY???
I’m not making excuses, or trying to justify…I’m just digging around a bit to help me plan a route which diverts me around the tendency to regard my whole attempt at fitness with the words not good enough…that’s not helpful. And it’s not accurate either, when you look how far I’ve come.
I can walk four miles fairly easily. Just a few months ago I struggled to walk from the house to the car. I remember a couple of years ago where one of the places I worked out of was a very long building, and the distance from my desk to the canteen was a good two minute walk…many a time I’d go without coffee because the thought of how much my back and my knee would ache by the time I got back to my desk was just too much.
I’ve run my poor boy ragged over the years, to my shame…will you just pop up to the shop for me? was a frequent request, usually because I was after something to push into my face whilst I was watching TV – or, will you be an angel and make me one of your special cups of tea..? There was no tangible difference between his cups of tea and mine, except his didn’t require me to get off my arse and move around. I was happy in my chair thank you very much.
So I need to remember that this sofa surfing physique has come about after years of inactivity and I can’t make the leap from zero to hero overnight. What I can do, is not give up. That’s completely within my power.
I’ve been doing twenty five minutes on the cross-trainer, and today I went for thirty. Only a month ago I practically needed oxygen after five. When I started focusing on getting fit it felt like an achievement when me and the dog made it straight across the crossroads and around the long block. Now we regularly walk four or five times further than that.
So I’ve had a few days out, because life and work demanded a greater than usual slice of the pie. So what? Nobody died. I need to try and minimise the chances of that happening, but you know what, I can be flexible. In the round, I’m doing fine. Better than fine. I just need to try harder with the way I plan my time is all.
See, I made it out of the doghouse 🙂