Stagger For Your Life

I’ve been intrigued and bemused by the different ways my body has responded to my beginning to exercise more intentionally. Some days my legs feel quite leaden, hard to lift — not sore, just inert. Some days my biggest problem is my wind, prickling as though I were trying to inhale steel wool instead of air. Some days my muscles hurt. Some days my joints play me false; this morning, my left knee kept wobbling every twenty paces or so. The insidious obstacle comes from the spirit, though: “Why isn’t this easier already? It’ll never make a difference. You might as well just lie in bed a few minutes longer.”
 
Well, I’ll keep at it. I don’t imagine myself as an athlete, but I’d very much like to be limber and less aerobically-challenged. (I still prefer swimming to running walking, though.)

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4 Responses to Stagger For Your Life

  1. John says:

    In my return to running at 48 it took me almost 4 months before I felt like I was getting somewhere. It was 4 months of steady improvement, but it wasn’t until about the 4th month that something clicked and running became more than a challenge that hurt–it was a joy. Now, having been off becuase of some injuries, I’m finding myself climbing that ladder again. It’s frustrating, but I know that one day–perhaps in the middle of an 8 mile run–all of a sudden I’ll realize, “This is why I run.”

    Three things: listen to your body–sore is okay, pain is not. Make sure you take at least a couple of rest days to recover. And third, stretch. Our old muscles need it far more than when we were young.

    Keep going.
    John

  2. dave rogers says:

    Stagger, walk, run, whatever. Be an embodied being. Your body will appreciate it. So will your mind, when you’re older.

    Stretching is good, but stretch after you run or walk or stagger, when your muscles are warm. Stretching before is mostly a waste of time, and potentially a source of injury. Opinions may vary, but I think I’m right on that. For the record, I never stretch before anything – always warm up first.

    Can’t say enough about yoga either.

    No worries, AKMA. It’s good to do something hard. I suppose it’s often hard to do something good as well.

  3. Emily says:

    I started working out on the recumbent bike and rowing machines at the Y, along with some strength training. I find myself this time around really enjoying the feeling of accomplishment I get from the weight machines (they have these cool new computerized ones which keep track of your reps and weight). The Y also has a computer which you can log your workouts in, and it gives you points. I’ve really enjoyed keeping track of hte points, as it gives me the sense of progress before there are other, more visible signs of progress.

    Yesterday I did 45 minutes on the bike and almost 15 on the rowing machine and I got that feeling of “yes!”

    I’ve found having really good music playing on the Ipod does wonders, too :).

  4. Joi Ito says:

    I saw some research on cancer and other disease with respect to exercise and there was a huge statistical health benefit from some exercise over no exercise, but lots and lots vs just “some” was minimal incremental benefit. So if you’re thinking just about health, always do a little and don’t stress too much if you don’t feel like you’re training for the Olympics.

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