It’s been four and a half months since I talked about my passion for walking, and all the clear and obvious benefits I’d gotten from the simple act of going out every day and exercising. That was a popular post back then, and getting in that habit was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
Two and a half months ago, I got back out of the habit. And I’ve been paying the price ever since.
I have to feel a little bit stupid, saying it like that. I wrote that blog post with a perfect understanding of exactly what exercise meant to me, and still somehow managed to get off track.
It wasn’t too hard. I started school. I published a book. And I still had a full-time job, and a full-time family, and all the little unpredictable catastrophes we all face every day.
Those are the same kind of arguments that made it so hard for me to get started in the first place, but when I did, I saw such results that I made the time to walk. Right up until September.
Since then, I’ve been stressed. I’ve been working long hours and sleeping short ones. I’ve been gaining weight (although, thankfully, not too much), and hiding from social interactions, and wrestling with all kinds of things I thought I’d left behind.
I knew it, too. I knew all of this was happening, I watched it happen, and I knew every moment of it what the solution was. I’d come home from work, crash on the couch, and tell Trish, “I’ve got to get started walking again.”
And then I wouldn’t. Maybe tomorrow. And then the next thing I know, October’s almost gone.
It finally got bad enough the last weekend of October. I knew NaNoWriMo was approaching, and I knew just how much I wanted to get done. I knew I had big homework assignments due in November, too, and several deadlines at work. I knew how much I needed to finish in October if November was going to happen at all….
And I knew it wasn’t done. The last weekend of October rolled around, and I spent all my free time that weekend napping. Like all the rest, that was a symptom I recognized — one I knew all too well.
So I came home from work Monday (tired as ever), changed into my running shoes, and went for a jog. And by the time I got home, I felt better. Physically, mentally, emotionally…I was firing on all cylinders. I used that energy to get some work done, too.
It was exciting to be back to it. I made my plans for Tuesday afternoon. And Wednesday work and classes would keep me busy until nearly 11 at night, so I just decided to wake up early and go running then. I’d gladly give up an hour of sleep to feel this good….
Except I didn’t. I didn’t work out when I got home on Tuesday, and when the alarm went off Wednesday morning I slept right through it. Thursday I walked again, but then Friday we had plans right after work, and I couldn’t quite find the time. Saturday I was busy, but Sunday I went out again.
That’s been my whole November. I’m getting in my recommended 45 minutes, 3 times a week, but it’s nothing like the miracle cure I experienced last spring. And, worse than that, it’s hard.
When I was in the habit of doing it every single day, it was easy to slip on the shoes and go. When I’m only doing it sometimes, I have to fight with myself every time. I have to consider all the reasons I’m too busy today, all the reasons I should just put this off until tomorrow…and if I’m not careful, next thing I know, it’ll be January.
I’m not interested in letting that happen. I can’t afford to. So I work out every chance I get, and when the chances don’t show up…I’m working on making them.
Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.