If you are a regular, you may recall my post on exercise. I still get outside and trot around but everything else, like climbing stairs has fallen to the side.
I just read Stop Running for Weight Loss over at Greatist and was reminded that exercise has to be something that you enjoy and more honestly, it cannot take a lot of effort.
For instance, I loved climbing stairs in the university’s parking garages but having to get up, drive there, dodge students/cars, and time my weekend workout around morning classes simply became too much of a hassle. So, I stopped.
I went to the gym five days a week for a year and swam for an hour. Then, between driving there, timing it so that I hopefully would not have to wait for a lane, hoping I could be able to swim without getting a migraine, constantly smelling like chlorine, ALWAYS being wet (shower or pool), finally it just became too much and I stopped. No matter how much time passes, I continue to love swimming but I simply cannot get back into the groove… even with a pool in my backyard. The effort it takes before and after swimming is too much of a negative for me.
Trotting is my thing. For as many years as I can remember, when I get tired of sitting on the couch, I head outside. Whether in the neighborhood or in the woods, I find enjoyment in this exercise. Actually, I find solace in either listening to the sounds around me or listening to whatever I decide to put in my ears.
Exercising, using only my feet, gives me the control to go as far and as fast or slow as I choose. I can go for 30 minutes or hours. I do not carry water and I tuck my phone and keys in my sports bra. The only thing that I carry is me. I am all about traveling light.
If I go very early, I take Tigger but if the sun is coming up or I plan to be out for more than two hours, he stays at home. He loves being outside but as the sun comes up, he get hot very quickly. He also wants to stop a lot more than me.
I do appreciate that I live in a neighborhood that has miles and miles of sidewalks but also miles of trails.
Two trails are no more than five minutes from my house by car and one, is an easy walk. Early morning trail walking is great because I usually arrive before anyone else and I can get lost in my thoughts. If I start really early, I can explore the bike trails, which are off-limits when the bikers arrive.
Although trails in Florida do not offer much elevation, I enjoy exploring random trails that might loop back to where I just came from or might be a dead-end. I do not enjoy the scrub forests where there are two types of plant life and neither offers any protection from the sun.
People have expressed amazement at the number of miles that I can clock in a single day. For me, and I appreciate how fortunate I am. For me, walking is easy. I have never had any physical ailments that prevent me from exercising. I buy shoes online and they work just fine, I can count on one hand the number of blisters I have had in my life, I have never fallen down, nothing broken, and nothing strained. I did, maybe, have tendonitis in my knee but it has been gone for more than a year. I am thankful!
The worst that happens is, after a 16 mile day, I know if I keep going, within 2 days, I will not be able to get up for a morning trot. My brain will be fine with getting up but my body will not move. Yep, I feel paralyzed. So, when this happens I take a day or two to recovery and then, I’m off!
The only exercise that I plan to do, as sporadically as I possibly can is yoga. I find the poses relaxing and they help with flexibility.
Years ago, I saw an orthopedic doctor and took anti-inflammatory meds for my “tendonitis”. They did nothing (doc or meds) so I stopped. Last year, I did the Child’s Pose and over the course of a week, I stretched the tendon (or whatever was tight). It took a few months to completely get it right but it has never tightened again. I can sit comfortable with my butt on my heels. So, for all those years, all I needed was a good stretch.
Perhaps, I will write a post on my yoga experience but for now, I will simply say that I have found the exercise that works for me. No matter how long I am away from it, I always get the urge to return to trotting.
What activity/exercise motivates you?