Friday, March 09, 2012
I have always used the gym where I work to workout, which means I have always taken the weekends off from exercise. I have been getting on the elliptical 3 or 4 days a week and working out for about 40 minutes, bouncing between a few different settings: hill climb, cross country, interval, or manual mode with an incline and resistance of 6. Each 40 minute session burns almost exactly 500 calories.
I've been working on these ellipticals for 11 months now, building up to this resistance and I feel like I've done a pretty good job.
While I was struggling with my 3 month plateau, however, I decided that I needed to do something on the weekends to shake things up. Trying another cardio method seemed best so the natural answer was just to try walking.
After all, how hard is it to walk? ;-)
About 2 weeks ago, I decided to go walking around my neighborhood and I charted out a route that would end up being about 2.7 miles. Since I do this on the elliptical all the time, I figured it was easy.
I was WRONG.
I made it half way during that walk and already felt tired. So many things crossed my mind that I didn't even consider: my lips are chapped and I don't have chapstick, it's 42 degrees so my nose is running and I don't have kleenex, my jacket is doing nothing to help cut the wind that is in my face no matter what direction I'm facing...
I did sluggishly make my way back home for the 2.71 miles round trip and those last few blocks were just horrible. My socks weren't thick enough and I could feel the beginning of blisters on the balls of my feet, I was getting a weird sore/ache in my hips, my knees were starting to hurt... by the time I made it up to my apartment, I was walking like a grandmother who just had hip replacement surgery.
And all I did was walk. It was on pavement, on roads, which have inclines and such. That first time, I stretched as much as I could and then soaked in a hot bath until I was all pruney.
Walking humbled me. It kicked my butt, frankly. So naturally, I went out and did it last weekend, too. 2.62 miles and it wasn't as bad. I remembered sunglasses and chapstick, although not the kleenex. I got better insoles in my shoes and that helped.
This weekend, I've planned out a 3.0 mile route.
I know that I've changed as a person from this weight loss journey because that first day of walking which left me achey and defeated would have turned me off completely before. It would have been a simple case of "god, that really sucked. I'm never doing THAT again"! But now the voice I hear in my head is "Wow, that was harder than I thought. I better work on that so I can get better".
I didn't care that people were looking at me, that people were just seeing a sweaty fat girl- I only cared that I was doing something that was challenging to me and I was succeeding. I also didn't care that I was slower than I wanted to be, that I was slower than the runners passing me on the sidewalk. I was out there- that's what matters.
And really, everything new is a skill to be learned. Your first day in physics class, you aren't going to be Einstein. Your first day of ice skating, you won't be Nancy Kerrigan. I just had to remember to let myself be a newbie and struggle naturally to get my own rhythm.