The Exercise Dilemma

I did not make it to the gym this morning.

I can say that many mornings. But if I really am going to do something about it, that needs to change.

Having said that, the fact that I can’t make it there everyday is not entirely in my control. My wife travels for her business. So, my promise to myself, and my arrangement with her, is that when she’s in town, Ill go to the YMCA to swim and she’ll get the 12 year old to school. On the days she’s traveling, I’ll need to find another means of staying active.

That’s a reasonable deal. Well, except for the whole getting up part.

I mean well. I go to bed with my gym bag packed and my clothes ready for the next day. But when that alarm says 5:00 a.m., I can come up with a basketful of reasons not to get up and go. Complicating that is that I’m up late writing or reading, and it’s hard to step away from the keyboard or to put the book(s) down.

So, I compromise again and tell myself that on the days I don’t make it up, I’ll at least walk at lunch. Some days I’m better at that than others.

You see, exercise doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not a gym rat, even if I’ve got the Foursquare badge that says otherwise. Truth be told, the majority of my check-ins at the YMCA are to pick up the 12 year old.

But it goes back further than that. I was the large (okay fat) kid. I was never the athlete. And, while it’s embarassing to admit, I only dressed out enough in P.E. to do the minimum to pass the class.

See, in high school our P.E. teachers were also the coaches, and when our team lost, they’d take it out on the P.E. classes the next day. At least that’s the way my mind saw it. And, with all due respect to my classmates who were athletes and who were actually on the teams, we lost a lot.

So, I did enough to get by. I needed better guidance, better coaches.

Oh, who are we kidding? I needed my butt kicked.

I got it kicked a little in college and lost a considerable amount of weight. I’ve never been thin, but when I walked across the platform to get my diploma, I looked pretty darn good.

But I can’t base where I am now on what happened over 30 years ago.

Over the years, I’ve made valiant efforts to to get in shape. I’ve paid enough in gym dues to purchase a small country.

So great, now I feel as bad about stewardship of money as I do the whole fitness/weight thing.

Normally this would be the part where I reach for the candy bar. But I’m not doing that anymore. I wrote the other day that I’m going to make one positive change a day. I thought about making the second day giving up sugar. But again, who am I kidding? Saturday was a birthday and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

The giving up of sugar is coming. Lent begins next week.

But for now it’s limiting/eliminating between meal snacks and cutting back on things like starches and breads. The fast food and sodas are already gone.

Oh, and exercise. This post is about exercise.

I walked at lunch today. But once again I’ve not been so consistent there. I was doing great with that in the spring until the hot weather hit. I attempted to go back to it several times over the fall. But somewhere along the line something happened with the hip and walking was painful for a while. That seems to have subsided.

The tricky thing is I have arthritis. So I know that movement, either swimming or walking is something that I need to be doing every day. I feel better when I do it. I rest better. I work better.

Those are the things I need to remind myself of when I don’t want to get up to go to the gym or don’t want to walk at lunch.

The reality is that at my age, my weight and with my arthritis, if I don’t move, I soon won’t be able to. And that’s a scary thought.

So here’s the deal. I can’t/won’t make it to the gym every day. But I can be active every day. Whether it’s the gym, or the Wii Fit or walking at lunch. I can do it.

I have to keep moving.

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