Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wherein we look Inertia right in the gaping yap.

Poor me. Today is THAT day. Today is the day in which I am no longer officially incapacitated, and can begin to exercise again. This SHOULD be a day of celebration and hop on the bike and rip it up! BUT, today is THAT day.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to muddle through THAT day outloud, because I think it happens to a lot of people, and I KNOW it happens to me whenever I have an unintentional break of more than three days.

At the three day mark, I begin to feel like I have filled the space that exercise would have taken with other things, reading, writing, cleaning, sleeping, healing, whatever. And I do feel that sort of urgent "UH OH!" at that moment, like, get back on your bike, or get out and hike, because... ahhhh! The habit is going away and you will forget!

I do tend to be very hard on myself, and I know that I can be too hard on myself, so I am trying to learn some balance there. But in order to GET to a place in the first place where I could get in SOME exercise, I had to be a little bit evil. (moo-ha-ha-ha). I had to use my will-o-meter every day just to get out the door. Because it used to start with me just SCHEDULING the time to go, which was a major issue. My exercise was not important to anyone other than me, no one really understood why I was becoming so adamant and rabid about getting out every day. (In reality, I got out about twice a week, but in order to accomplish this had to make an attempt every day.)

Over time, I learned to make it happen, to stop asking "can I go for a run" but to say "I am going for a run". I had to change things in my mind, and make what I wanted for my life an UNAPOLOGETIC priority. Which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. And it wasn't just getting to that place, but maintaining it. YES, its still JUST as important today as it was last week. NO this is not going to change about me, this is me setting habits in place for life.

YES, I am now living a life that fills my emotional needs, which does NOT mean, okay, I did it, now I will stop. NOW I feel like, Okay, I have BEGUN to scratch the surface of the kind of fitness that makes things like climbing mountains FUN rather than PAINFUL!

SO. Enter THAT day. (Today is apparently also a day for CAPITAL LETTERS.) THAT day is the day in which you can't really remember why you are doing it. Its a pain, I can go tomorrow, I have a bunch of stuff to do, I'm behind in dishes/taxes/homework/billpaying... I need to go to the grocery store. I'm a bit down, because I haven't been exercising for a grand total of ELEVEN days, and am now eight days out from surgery. So I feel like I've lost fitness and gained fat, and I know my first time out is going to be painful, and that I'll have to start two rungs down the ladder from where I left off.

Another thing that makes THAT day a tough one is that the injury or illness that lets you get there, facing THAT day, usually occurs for me just as I am crossing a new level, entering into a new level of fitness and skill. The last time I went out, I rode my mountain bike with Angela. And it felt good. I felt happy, and strong, and it was hard, but fun and challenging. To have had surgery a few days later, and then be out of commission for another eight days... well...

It looks uphill.

And uphill is hard.

But THESE MOMENTS RIGHT HERE are what define us. Should I give in? Should I just take today to do my homework and clean up the playroom which is an unholy mess? Or should I look at this inertia issue I am suddenly facing? My body is clear for exercise. I feel in my body that it is healing, ready to be pushed, and that it healed well. My mouth is still sore, I'm still full of stitches, but that hasn't stopped me before.

Can I possibly look at this BAD mood, this DOWN place I am in, and choose to view it as a challenge? Can I ask myself to get out there ANYWAY. No matter what. And do it NOW before the weather changes. Just go for a short ride, or a short run or a short hike. SOMETHING to put ME back in charge, on top. So that I am dictating the choice I make, rather than letting an undisciplined mind and a lousy emotional state dictate that I fail?

I know the answer to this question. I know that choosing to get out of this chair, and walk down the hall and put on my hiking clothes or bike shorts will be an ordeal. And I know that I will be full of doubt and asking myself if I can come up with SOME excuse not to go all the way to the trail head.

But IF I can keep choosing the positive, if I can keep climbing over these little hurdles that I throw in my own way, I will become empowered, proud, strong, happy, full. I will have taken an active step towards regaining whatever fitness I have lost, which is probably not as bad as I think it is, and I will have sat back down in the drivers seat.

Its a good pep talk. I'm feeling better. Now the question is, can I do it, whatever it is, before the rain comes? Its on its way. And I'm not going to use that as an excuse, either.

Because it comes down to this: what if, the day that it REALLY matters, it starts to rain, or I'm in a crappy mood, or I'm not feeling strong, or I'm lonely? It doesn't change the fact that the mountain is there, there is beauty to be seen, there is connectivity with the earth to be had, there is opportunity for love and fulfillment, if only if ONLY IF ONLY I can get my ass out the door.

See ya.

UPDATE: Kate: 1, Inertia: 0
Rode my bike up the Bozeman Creek Trail about 4 miles. Hit some mental snags, but was grateful to be out and to have done it. Came home and had a gooood loooong talk about my headspace with Tom, and revelations happened. Good. Good. Good. Moving forward. Today, I did more than yesterday, tomorrow, I can do more than today. Right NOW, I'm gonna make the kids Mac N Cheese and do my Anatomy homework!!

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