My Launch Back Into Exercising

So I went on a walk today in my quest to get back into shape. (And by “in shape” I simply mean able to do a simple hike at Yosemite without panting and having my lungs feel like knives are ripping into them. …) Sheesh. … 

Plus, I need to lose weight, and I know exercise is a huge factor I always ignore.

So the quest was on. I decided to start by carving out a simple hour on the weekend. When I was younger (and more spontaneous and less picky), I think I used to be able to just “go on a walk” without much difficulty. But now … holy cow … now the moon needs to align with Saturn for things to be “just right” for exercise.

First, I couldn’t find my old running shoes. Well, I couldn’t find ONE shoe (which is really the same thing, right?). One was right there in my closet, but the other was nowhere. I remembered that my daughter borrowed them once for P.E. early this year, and I tried to picture where she might fling them when finished. I looked under the bed, in the depths of the closet, under the nightstands, in her room, in her bathroom. Argh. Plan thwarted. Back to bed.

The next week, I had found the shoe (it was under my armoire, by the way), but when I went to get ready, I realized I didn’t have any socks. I tried to hobble together some combination of my daughter’s socks (which are quite huge) and my husband’s (which, as we’ve discussed here, are BLACK), but I couldn’t bring myself to go out into public like that. Plan thwarted. Back to bed.

The week after that, I had my new pack of socks from Target and both tennis shoes, but when I started to pull on my exercise clothes, I realized I couldn’t find a sports bra. I rummaged around the back of the closet and … viola! I found it! It was buried under some old free weights I had in there, along with an old plastic step from the late ‘90s. (I’m surprised there wasn’t a headband, there, too, to hold back my perm …) Okay. Plan still entact. I went downstairs to get my iPod, which was recently loaded up with new songs, but … batteries dead. Wow. No music? (Who can walk to no music???) Plan thwarted. Back to bed.

THIS weekend, I thought all the planets were aligned: tennis shoes found; socks purchased; sports bra unearthed; iPod loaded (and charged). I even had some yoga pants and a T-shirt set aside. I realized one of my teens “borrowed” my earbuds, so had to tear apart a few junk drawers to find them this morning, but I did.

Plan entact??? Really??? I can go??? I was stunned. (In the back of my mind: NO MORE EXCUSES? You mean I actually have to do this thing?)

I went on my walk. I have to admit, despite all my conscious and subconscious sabotage, it was great. I’m still woefully out of shape and could only do a third of what I used to do, but it was nice. The birds were singing. It was warm, but not too warm. My fave part is that it smelled great – there’s jasmine all over the place, and it’s warming up so you can smell all kinds of California sage and other wild stuff in people’s yards. I love that part. My music was fun: Shuffled to two Jack Johnson songs, UB40, and an old Rod Stewart I hadn’t heard in a zillion years.

Overall, it was a great experience. (I kept thinking, sheesh, why don’t I do this every day…?) I kept looking at how beautiful everything was, how great I felt, how lucky I am to have healthy legs and a healthy-enough body to do such things. And I vowed to keep doing it. …

Of course, I’m only on Day 1.

We’ll see how long I last.

How about you? Have you tried to get back into an exercise routine after YEARS of being out of one? How do you make time with the kids and work and regular life in the way? (Do you have as many excuses as I have?)

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0 thoughts on “My Launch Back Into Exercising

  1. HAHAHA. I love it. A friend of mine gave me for FREE an exercise bike that real bicycle racer type people use called a Trixster. The thing is cool but is definitely like a real bike…uncomfortable seat and all. Man, I sit on that thing and my fanny hurts within minutes. My SIL tried it out with a pillow from the couch which she said helped a lot, but it looks ridiculous~! I could never exercise with someone watching. The pillow flops back and forth with every pedal, slips and slides, but it works. I have done it 2 times this week. YEAH me.

    Good luck with the walking and I will hopefully pedal myself back into shape, too. I hear you about the hiking and the lungs~!

  2. Oh my gosh, Kat, I can TOTALLY picture what you mean, with the pillow flopping from side to side! Hilarious! Well, I promise not to look. : ) That bike sounds like an amazing way to get back into shape, too.

    And I know what you mean about being given the means to get back into shape (so use it or feel guilty …) — my company actually PAYS for our gym membership! So I have a free one. And that’s not the worst of it! The worst is that the gym is LITERALLY around the corner from my house. Seriously. About 100 yards away. So truly … I have no excuse!

    Best wishes with bike! Check back in and let’s keep each other motivated!!!

  3. I agree, it is soooo easy to allow ourselves out of that workout. Too cold outside, too hot outside, too cloudy, etc… Every day I do anything from running to a gym workout it is battle in my head before I finally get out there.
    I find that the best thing for me is to tell myself early on that I am going out there and then not even think otherwise; as a matter of fact to not even think at all about it. If we start thinking about it we can create loopholes and then it’s back to bed.
    Good luck, Laurie on your quest for fitness and let me know if I can help.

  4. You are hilarious! Who would have thought so much time and effort would be needed for an hour, right? (or however long your walk was). It is hard when you haven’t been doing it, but it really does make you feel better about yourself. I find that if you remind yourself that it really is just 30 minuntes or an hour (or whatever) out of your day that you would spend on the phone, watching tv, etc. it makes it a lot easier to do…you are gonna spend that time anyways doing something, right? I agree with the gym though – something about walking into those places bugs me. All the people looking at you, the smells, the sweat – they make me a little anxious! I’d rather do it on my own. Good luck!!!

  5. Ha ha, sounds like me! “No proper clothes, iPod not charged…” I recently started working out again after about a year of nothing. I found that doing about a half hour after work is a great way to get out of “work mode” and focused on the other things that need to happen that day. And since it’s only a half hour, I still have time to do errands/make dinner/etc, etc. Of course, it’s easy for me to say that when I haven’t been to the gym in the last week. (“Too busy with work!” “Too busy with Easter!” “Nursing a candy hangover from Easter”…yes, I have just as many excuses!)

  6. OMG that is hilarious! Your post gave me a good laugh today. I can totally relate. I only started getting back into shape in December last year, started off small. Used the book NEVER SAY DIET by Chantal Hobbs.

    Good luck! You can do it! And you’ll feel super!
    ps i found your blog via Twitter! How cool is that?

  7. Thanks for the encouragement, all!

    Chris and Debi — I like that you both have little sayings or philosophies that get you out there: Chris with simply “I’m going today” and not thinking there is an option; and Debi with “Well, if I weren’t doing that, I’d just be watching TV/ lounging in bed/ etc. …” (or … hmmm …. blogging?!?! … yes, that would be one of my options…) Anyway, that’s so very true. Thx — I’m going to make use of those this week.

    Beeb — Glad to hear your excuses are as good as mine. So how recently did you start up again? And it intrigues me that you work out after work. (In fact, it impresses me, because I could easily come up with 100 more excuses for that time period.) Do you do something on the way home from work?

    Camy — Welcome! I’m so pleased that you found me on Twitter. Please come back often! Thank you so much for mentioning that book — I’ll definitely look that up. Truly, “starting off small” must be the key. All my starts and stops before might be because I get all “gung ho” off the bat and get burned out (or super sore!) right away and then end up stopping immediately. So when you started off small, what did that mean? Not very “far,” not every day of the week? or what?

  8. OK – I will say that I have been running for a while and did the Mud Run last year (soo fun, by the way) but got completely out of it over winter and so I signed up in Jan. for a half-marathon to give me a goal and motivation. (I did one like 6 years ago.)
    I was doing OK, but I still had a LOT of excuses like, “Too cold” or “Too tired,” but now I was having strange pains in different places I never had before. Like why would a place in my back hurt after a run? They would seriously pop up in a new place each time and would take days to recover.
    Long story short, gettin’ old sucks! And even someone who sort of runs a lot still has reasons not to go. But I think the more you do it you’ll get to the point where you feel like you HAVE to go for your sanity. I see it like my time alone away from the kids. AND, my husband and I really had to make a point to schedule when each of us are going to exercise. It’s work, like anything, and you feel guilty doing so much for yourself.
    I’m semi-injured now, and the race is in 2 weeks, so I hope I make it. Bottom line is that we are never too old to get healthy. Good job, Laurie! Oh, and e-mail me about proper shoes. I think that has been my problem all along. I knew it but was in denial. And, baby steps can take you far!

  9. I actually got pretty out of shape during the first year after our son was born, doing no exercise and eating pretty much whatever seemed most convenient and satisfying at the moment. Eventually, I was 25 years old, with a 40-inch waist, no energy and a seemingly endless series of colds and other illnesses.

    I pretty much decided that I needed to not simply lose weight but to make a lifestyle change at that point. Exercise became a daily activity, even though it meant (and still usually means) getting up at 5 a.m. or so. I’ve stuck to exercise pretty consistently, although sometimes I don’t do so well at watching the calories. But because the exercise has been consistent, on the occasions where I have put on weight, I’ve been able to get rid of it relatively easily, since I had maintained the ability to exercise with some intensity.

    Now, at 37, I’m in close to the best shape I’ve ever been in, and running a marathon in two weeks. Maybe I’ll blog on this more thoroughly in the near future.

  10. I detest exercise. It’s terrible too, because up until I had my kids skinny minny was no problem for me! But let’s face it – the last kid was 13 years ago. What have I been doing since then? Believe me, not much.

    When we moved here to AZ getting a pool was for staying cool but also the idea was to be able to swim and move around in there, all weightless and cool. So far, it’s nice. I get a nice workout just swimming around and my knees, which truly are by genetics really bad, don’t hurt. We’ll see if it’s made a big difference in a couple of months.

  11. I started up about a month ago, after a year of my gym membership collecting dust.
    I work out of my house, so in a way it’s nice to go outside for a run after being at inside sitting at a desk all day. This is during an ideal week, of course!!

  12. Grace — Wow, that’s so impressive that you’re doing a half-marathon! (And that Mud Run DID sound really fun!) But I know what you mean about the weird “aging” aches and pains … even my hubby, who has been in denial about aging for the last couple decades, has had to admit that his runs have taken on a whole new level of “dangerous”! But good for you! When is the half-marathon? And I’m glad you mentioned the thing about switching off with your husband about exercise — truly a reality for a couple with kids!

    Bill Q — holy cow! You’re amazing with those 20-mile runs (read about that on your blog). Good luck on that marathon in a couple of weeks. I’ll definitely check in to your blog to see how it went. And go 37-year-olds!!! ; )

    Jeanne — The swimming thing fascinates me, but I can never seem to consistently “work out” when I’m the pool. I end up getting distracted by something the kids are doing or just floating around trying to get a tan. : ) But keep me posted — maybe you can share some good tips I can try. I’m thinking that maybe if I were playing music, and told myself I had to keep “water exercising” until a certain song was done, I wouldn’t get so distracted??? hmmm …

  13. Beeb — Oh, that’s awesome, that you work in your home, so you can consider exercise a bit of an “escape” — That’s a cool way to train your brain/body to look forward to it!

  14. Bill and I are actually doing the same event! Except I’m only doing half his distance! 🙂 Something FB helped us realize. When I’m sipping a cool margarita, he’ll still be running! No, really … I’ll be lucky if I cross the finish line.
    When Chris says “dangerous,” he’s not kidding. Even a little uneven surface scares me, like I’m going to twist my ankle or strain something if the conditions aren’t perfect. Then I’m out for like a week of ice and ibuprofen. I just got new shoes at Road Runner Sports (has Chris gone there?), where they have you step on this computerized mat and video you on a treadmill to find you the right shoes. The guy who sold me my shoes said when he trains for a marathon he runs 110 miles a week! (He runs two times a day!) But just 40 or 50 miles regularly. Obviously, he was like 20 years old and had no kids. I kind of hated him a little. Anyway, I think my bad shoes were cause of a lot of my pains.
    Lastly, I found more visible results QUICKLY (weight loss and toning) from a bootcamp-type class with interval resistance training than from just running or walking. It’s not as crazy or difficult as it sounds.

  15. Actually, I got my shoes at Road Runner also — are we following each other, Grace? BTW, feel free to bring me one of those margaritas at the finish line! It might be the perfect recovery drink — plenty of sugar and sodium, and a little “pain reliever” to boot!

    The only caveat I have with Road Runner is that I don’t know if it’s worth it to pay their mark-up if you aren’t going to be running. The shoes they sold me have been the most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever owned, and I’ve logged just under 300 miles on them. But, they also cost three times as much as the shoes I’d been buying previously. On the plus side, Road Runner does offer a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.

  16. My shoes were $130, and when I trained 6 years ago, my shoes cost the same amount. I figure that’s the going rate for a good pair of shoes that are designed for the way I run. And I did get those Super Feet inserts for extra support. So in all it was probably like $160. They are extremely comfortable and supportive, though. I’m willing to buy into all the hype to get the right equipment.
    Anyway, good luck at the race! If you whiz by me, wave!
    And Laurie, good luck, too! Keep it going. I find I get a little depressed if I haven’t exercised for a while. It’s good for mind and body.

  17. Wait wait, Laurie says I have been in denial about my aging for decades???? What a thing to say about a 25 year old?
    I have to say thank you to Grace and Bill. I have, for years, been wanting to buy from Road Runner, but the prices have held me back. I have read really good things about them. In my advanced age I cannot rely on my body to always recover the way I need it to. With all your talk about how good your runs have been with them and in hopes of preventing injury I am going to bite the bullet and get in there. Who knows maybe we will all be running in the next year’s big run!
    Thanks again; I love hearing real world endorsements.

  18. My exercise consists of walking the dog twice daily. Sometimes once at night. (I try to get my son to do that one!)
    Now that spring is here and summer is coming and I truly enjoy the water, it’s time to get down to some serious stuff.
    Exercise is no joke! (Ha, Ha) My body is angry. My youngest is 13, even though my 16 year old plays ball and we are at the park 4 days a week. I’m trying to use that time as walking and stretching healthy time. Like park a little further from the field and pick up my step a little bit.
    Got some of those weights for my ankles I found in the closet from the old days.
    Not going to be running any marathons, only hope to be around to walk them.

  19. Well I was feeling really good about my little 3 to 4 mile runs…not anymore – I wish I had the committment for a marathon! I do agree with the “dangerous” too, hills and gravel scare me! Laurie, I find that the pool works out best for me if I don’t give myself the option of doing laps or not. Even when the kids are in there, I swim my laps first and reward myself with my floating lounger and a suntan:) Also, I like to turn the music up and run laps back and forth across the pool (empty milk jugs full of water make good weights too). You might feel a little silly, but your legs kinda feel like spaghetti when you are done!
    Another fun workout is the Wii fit – it’s not intense, but it does get you off the couch and you can work as hard or little as you want while having fun!

  20. Good for you finding that darn shoe! I keep trying and falling off. Trying and falling off. I never seem to make it stick. I really need to because forty is looming for me. Right around the corner and I’d like to be a bit in shape for it.

  21. Hilarious! Resistance always happens when positive change is around the corner! I can barely finish the lap at the lake now! ;0)

  22. Thanks for all the great tips from Debi, Grace, Bill, Jeanne and others!

    Kwana — Yes, “before 40” is a great time to kick into shape. It certainly doesn’t get any easier … (sorry..)

    Judy — Okay, I’ll have to remember that — that resistance might mean positive change any minute now. : ) Yes, that lake is exactly 1.1 mile, but it feels soooooooo much longer sometimes. I plan to get back to joining the masses and walking the lake soon, actually.

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