Necessary Roughness

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Other than my office and house, the place I visit most often is Planet Fitness. Most of the staff know me and frequently shout, “Jean”, as I walk in the door. Yes, I feel like Norm Peterson walking into Cheers.

I enjoy working out, if I can choose my favorite type of exercise. Walking is marvelous. It is my favorite space to mentally process information rolling around in my brain, connect with the Creator through nature, and bond with my puppies. When I go to the gym, hopping onto the elliptical is my “go to” for a solid cardiac workout. Listening to music, a podcast or reading a book makes the time fly by.

The problem is after doing these favorites repetitively for years, they become less effective for weight loss and management. Our bodies get accustomed to certain exercises, and unless we keep our physique guessing what muscles we will work next, we can stall. Sigh, this is me all too often.

A few months ago, I started working with a trainer at the gym. This early 20 something, dear hearted, gentleman was once again the voice of reason. He kindly reminded me I need to get off the elliptical and change things up every day I workout if I want to lose extra baggage. He also respectfully suggested I need to stretch before and after working out.

Inside me was a determined voice declaring, “Young man, I do not want to believe you. I like what I am doing now. Just tell me how to make what I am currently enjoying get the results I am looking for.” Somehow what came out of my mouth was something like, “Denial does not fix anything. Ok, tell me what I need to do differently.” Who said that? Oh yes, the voice of reason. Welcome back. Reality is a horrible thing to waste.

After several weeks and noticeable weight loss, my trainer with a huge smile and his youthful, ridiculously muscular body approached me while I was working out saying, “How are you liking the new routine?” I responded through breathlessness and sweat, “I HATE it!” Then I smiled and said, “But, it’s working.”

I can still jump on the elliptical once or twice a week. Interestingly, I enjoy it even more now. It feels like a day off of working out. Stepping into reality often changes our perspective.

Our bodies are our transporters. As pilots of our earthly vehicles, it is useful to create a  logical checklist to monitor our physical condition and provide proper maintenance to avoid a stall. Emotion will often cloud signs and symptoms of potential breakdowns. We only get one body, after all. If we stall and crash, the damage may be irreparable.

So, let’s determine together how to prevent and recognize a stall as it applies to our individual transporters. There are times we want to believe what we have always done will get us where we want to go. Denial is driven by emotion. Truth is steady.

As a first step, I encourage you to consider if changes in your physical activity might increase your quality of life. We will look at other areas in the days and weeks to come.

Thanks for stopping by.

May we soar as never before in 2017!