“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Monday, May 30, 2011

On Exercise (an epiphany)

I had an epiphany today.

Everyone should exercise. That last sentence applies to me, doubly. I'm not really averse to exercise, I just don't do it enough. I need to exercise more. (In case you were wondering, that's not the epiphany part.)

I've tried P90X, going to the gym, and walking but I didn't really enjoy then. As a result I've come to the conclusion that there are 2 forms of exercise I really enjoy  I enjoy running and climbing stairs (note: I do not count Hula as a form of exercise. Yes, it does get my heart rate up. Yes, it does make me sweat, but I don't dance for exercise so I don't count it as exercise.) I enjoy climbing stairs so much that I sign up to climb the steps (52 floors) of 555 California every year and in a good week, be seen climbing the Coit Tower Stairs during a lull at work. And although I'm new to it, I enjoy running,  so much so that I completed a program called "from couch to 5K"  and ran my first 5K last February.

I signed up for another 5K for the end of July with the SF Marathon. I'm pretty excited about it. I started training for it yesterday. I only ran about a mile and a half, but I loved it. I was going to run this morning but I slipped on a few stairs at the In-Laws' condo in Guerneville. Just a stupid misstep, but it hurt enough to make me take it easy today. After some ice, elevation and some ibuprofen, I was almost ship-shape, and I'll be fine probably by tomorrow, or the next day.

(Here comes the epiphany part)

I was talking to a few people about exercise, what we do for exercise and how we fit it in. One person in the conversation stated she couldn't exercise because she didn't have the time for it. I suggested a few things that I do to fit it in, like waking up an hour before everyone else, or walking instead of driving or taking the shuttle to work (for example, it takes about 15 minutes for me to walk to work from my bus stop in the morning, but instead of walking I wait 5 minutes for my shuttle and take a 10 minute ride to work. The same amount of time passes but I take the bus instead of getting good exercise. What's the sense in that?). This person countered my suggestions with excuses of her own as to why she couldn't fit in exercise.

Then it totally dawned on me (here's the epiphany part). One can't simply fit a new lifestyle into the time they have in the day. One  has to change one's lifestyle to meet one's needs. I need to exercise. I have to change aspects of my life to accommodate being fit and healthy. I can't simply fit in exercise when it's convenient. For me that means waking up an hour early to exercise, going to be earlier so I have enough rest under my belt for exercise to do its magic and changing my diet and my evening drinking habits so I can wake up and eat breakfast, and eat breakfast that has enough nutrients in it to sustain the lifestyle that goes along with my goals.  For other people, it might mean something different, but for everyone it means that we have to give something up, or modify some kind of behavior so that we can change ourselves for the better. We can't simply fit new stuff in. We have to give stuff up to make room for what we want. It's the same principle as dressing for the job you want or surrounding yourself with people who support you. One has to live the life they want to lead.

I don't know how successful I'll be at living like the person I want to be, trying should prove to be a good lesson in the kind of stuff I'm made of. I'll probably slip up once in a while, so be patient with me.

Welcome now my friends to the show that never ends

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