The other day I found myself, at 9:30 at night, with about 500 steps left to take to meet my goal of getting 10,000 steps per day. Instead of getting dressed, going downstairs, turning on the treadmill and meeting my goal down there, I decided to just step into my bathroom/walk-in closet to see if I could get my steps completed right there. I wouldn’t have to change my clothes, leave the room or alert anybody to the fact that I was doing something really active during a time which is a quiet time at my house. Bradley snored just on the other side of the bathroom door while I marched back-and-forth, from my toilet to my shoe rack, and considered what I have figured out. What I have figured out is that I am only limited by the limitations that I see around me. I’m only limited by the fear that I have of failing, becoming injured, percieved lack of access, someone else’s opinion or something else intangible that I can’t think of at this very second. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert or somebody who is qualified to give a lot of advice, but at the same time I see myself as a person who, previously, executed her life in a very specific and regimented kind of way that allowed her to tell herself untruths thereby making those fears a greater reality than they ever deserved to be.
As I paced back-and-forth, my mind went into kind of a bizarre fantasy realm. I thought about what if I were trapped in this space for a long period of time? I took stock of the sink, the shower, toilet, my clothes, shoes and everything else that was in there and realized I could sustain a life in my bathroom and closet for a period of time, as long as somebody delivered food to me, like a prisoner. Goodness. I sound twisted. Anyhow, I also realized that in this limited amount of space, I could keep it active and fit lifestyle. While it would certainly be limited by the distance I would be able to go or the speed I would be able to achieve, I could still do enough walking to get 10,000 steps in a day, I could still do some lifting, and certainly can do plenty of cardio to stay in shape in a small space. This led me to realize that I have the ability, along with many other humans, to put a lot of walls up in front of myself that prevent me from making choices that will make me healthier. In other words, I am willing to allow fear of failure to guide my choices rather than smart, common sense thinking unless I am proactive.
I believe I can be rather creative when it comes to opportunities to get my workouts in. I will try almost anything. The small bit of experience over the last four years that I have with being an active person tells me that until you try it, you really don’t know if you’re going to like it or not. I have learned that it’s silly to fight myself in workouts, though. If I have decided that outside it’s too cold, then I go out and run, usually I’m not very happy during the whole run. It’s much better for me to make a negotiation with myself than to force myself to do something that I really don’t want to do. To that end I have come up with a lot of different ways of running or getting it done. Sometimes I get a lot of feedback about how I am torquing my hips or knees or people are concerned about damage being done to my feet. I look at that as fears and walls. I’ve talked to my doctor about what I’m doing, I listen to my body and believe that I don’t do those tight, small, rotation workouts consistently enough to have them make a negative impact on me long term. I also try to balance out the thinking I have that I can skip the workout or negotiate to walk laps and at least do something. As a result, I rarely skip working out and almost always find an alternative.
My entire point is that when working out gets tiresome, you can give yourself a break by trying something different. Don’t allow your attitude or fear to misguide you. Don’t limit yourself with rules about the way you do things or the way you are. Negotiate and find something that will work for you right now.
- I love walking laps around my kitchen island and table. I still get to be in the thick of my family’s life, get to watch tv, help with homework and all of that good stuff while meeting my step goals.
- I love to walk (or jog) laps in my kids’ summer pool (in summer when it’s blazing hot!). But this summer I got a blister. Apparently I need to invest in aquasox or something.
- Wander runs are when I’m bored with a route and start just being like a dog and running toward anything that looks interesting. It’s disorganized and crazy, which, when I’m non commital to a distance or timing, is helpful and allows me to be rebellious in my own weird way.
- When my kids are playing outside I will often turn on some music and will dance all over my patio. Like, those big, dorky moves that you’d never try in public along with toddler-like marching. I monitor my heartrate and step count to make sure I’m being productive, but otherwise don’t take myself too seriously. I sometimes wonder what the neighbors think of me in the summer…😂
- On rainy days when I just can’t run inside on the treadmill or kitchen laps, I head to our local high school or elementary school. The walkways are usually flat, level, paved, covered, lit, clean and security swings by every once in a while so you’re kinda safe, too, at least in my hood. No one runs around at schools, either, so you usually have the run of the place. The kids can play and run around while I get mine.
- During recess at school you can often find me walking laps around my classroom while I read my math book or think through something. I believe I look obsessive. Lol.
- I must add that exercising close to home or in my home allows me to quit whenever I want, so commitment isn’t as big of an issue starting out. Plus I’m usually much more likely to go longer and meet my intended goal.
- And, as always, kegels and butt squeezes; kegels and butt squeezes, at all stoplights.😋