At the end (or beginning) of our day there are so many of us that choose to do something from our list of to-dos besides exercise. The other month I had a free night and actually re-caulked the bathtub instead of exercise. Another night I retreated to my bedroom an hour before bed to “clean out some drawers” instead of exercise. I ended up binge watching three hours of Blue Bloods while drinking red wine and eating crackers.
And I know I’m doing it. I’m like one of those cartoon ostriches. I know what I’m doing and I just put my head down into the sand/caulking/Netflix and ignore all of the little voices in my head. But I know what it takes. And I know how to do it (I think). So when will I start doing the right thing and stop sabotaging myself?
My exercise history is pretty diverse. It is important that I acknowledge I have an exercise history, mostly because I never give myself enough credit about anything. But I do (kind of) know what I’m doing, and do (kind of) know what it takes. And I definitely know how important it is to my well being. As the Kierkegaard quote goes, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
In my 20s I found myself working with some MMA guys in a teeny tiny gym in a small unnoticed corner of the city. It smelled of sweat and… something unknown… and I was one of two females that was either dumb enough or brave enough to go in there. I found a camaraderie there, with a guy named Johnny. I worked out like a mad dog and eventually joined them in flipping those gigantic tires in the gravel parking lot. After that we’d do lunges and burpees until we threw up. I was also working with them to learn how to defend myself. I enjoyed that era of my life. It felt good. I was proud.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.-Soren Kierkegaard
Then I met my future (ex) husband and hit my first detour. Away from what used to be my good comfort zone into a lazy, easier zone. My husband always said he wasn’t a gym person and he never encouraged me. So I stopped. The excuses became a road block that became my alternate route, if that makes sense. I completely gave up and re-routed myself.
Fast forward a few years and my husband was full-time devoted to his hobbies, not me. So, I started up my love of exercise again. Interval training and free weights training, both new to me. I love both of those things and encourage everyone to try them if their health allows. I got back on track and loved it.
Then I had a baby and found another alternate (and less healthy) route again, the parent detour. Difficult pregnancy, baby in the NICU, breastfeeding, diapers, baths, sleep, over and over and over again. My choices became shower, nap, exercise, or catch up with my husband/friends. I rarely chose shower, exercise or third parties. And sometimes, I chose cuddling with my baby over all of the “me” options.
So here I am, at the end of yet another detour, this time thanks to a husband that has left me and a life that has given me a small break in the repetitive motions of work and life that we all get caught up in. And I am a hot mess. Even when my husband didn’t want to tear me down, I did it myself. It was a bad cycle. And I am left in a state that I am ashamed to be in.
So this absolutely has to be the end of my detours.
As a sidebar to my other topics, I will be writing here about what I am doing to be mentally and physically healthier and happier (under “End of Detour” in the Menu, here). What I am doing to get the endorphins going, what I am doing to find a little peace, and what I am doing to prevent another detour. A fourth (fifth, sixth) detour really isn’t an option for me right now, nor should it be. I absolutely deserve to be healthy and happy and around for as long as I can.
I would like to ask for kindness. Writing about exercise and health is entirely out of my comfort zone. I am by no means an expert, and have put myself down my entire life about anything associated with exercise and health. So here I go…