Pick something new to do this week, whether it be a new recipe, craft, or activity, that you have never attempted before. Then write a how-to about this new thing you have done.
My never before attempted thing is morning exercise, specifically, before class exercise. I have always been a person to exercise in the afternoon, so this was different. Here is an account.
Arguably the hardest day. My entire body was telling me, “No, the bed, it feels nice.” With much reluctance I arose from my warm, pillowy cocoon and put on my work out gear and headed to the basement. It has a bunch of stuff cluttering the unloved workout area. I cleared it all out and did “Chest & Back” and “Ab-Ripper X” as per the schedule. It was hard and it made me feel completely week and ineffectual, but I still pressed on. I still remember when I could do that workout without much trouble. It shows how quickly your body can deteriorate without proper maintenance. I did it, day 1, done.
I missed it. I missed my alarm and didn’t get up in time to work out this morning. Maybe it was because my body was just wrecked from the day before, but I missed it. I barely made it to class in time. Either way, after class I came home, ate something, relaxed, and did the workout. Today was “Plyometrics”. Plyometrics is jump training. It involves plenty of lunges, and, well, jumping. To say this workout is painful is an understatement. Again, it brought back memories where I could follow along perfectly with the video and even surpass some of the stuff shown. Baby steps. Baby steps.
So guess what. I injured myself. I didn’t like pop a joint or break an arm, but I am sore to the point of impeding me doing normal things. I guess this is the price of jumping into a workout of that intensity from a point of relative sedentary behavior. I know if that I push myself any more that I will end up hurting myself for a long time. This is where my journey sadly ends. I plan on trying to reinstate my morning routine next week, but I need to build to the point to be able to do P90-X. It’s going to be hard. Starting from complete rest to physical exhaustion is a tough transition. I think the goals will be worth it though. I noticed way more energy during the day I woke up early and did it.
Don’t over-exert yourself. It’s painful and ineffective. Also, the just do it mentality is a must for anything straight out of bed. Don’t let your brain be your obstacle.
My friends will laugh when seeing the title of this post because it is something I have been very vocal about since I started taking physical fitness seriously. I promise this post will not be in the style of dudebro. More this is peek into my thoughts and feelings on physical fitness and exercise as a whole and why I believe it can propel our other, loftier goals.
As said in numerous other posts I have not been the most athletic lad growing up. I was always a very skinny kid, but once junior high came around my metabolism decided it needed a rest and has been asleep every since. About the time I hit junior or senior year of high school I was fed up with being as chubby as I was. My weight fluctuates like crazy so in the past years I have gone from weights as low as 155 to as high as 210. Without boring you too much with the past that brings me to now.
I live in a country where one of our biggest health problems lies in our gluttony. You would be hard pressed to walk into a store, park, or any other venue where people congregate without running into someone overweight. I do understand that some people have genetic issues where it is extremely hard to lose weight, and I do have sympathy for those individuals, but the majority of us do not suffer from such misfortunes. No, most of us just can’t help but stuff our faces with the myriad fast food choices available at the drop of a hat. If you break it down to its base parts, the issue does not lie with taste, connivence, or speed, but in our loss of discipline. We can’t seem to muster up the will power to abstain from practices we know to be bad or difficult to accomplish.
If you can tell from my thinly veiled attempt to lead you into seeing that obesity is not a problem just for our diets, but due to the society as a whole. The bar to which we hold ourselves accountable to has become deplorable. We used to be a nation who would not settle for second best, but in a few short generations, second best isn’t even an attainable goal.
This past year I have lead a personal charge to not fall prey to the prevailing attitudes. One such attempt has been made on my physical well-being. I didn’t just want to get in decent shape; I wanted great shape. It has been tough. Really tough. Tougher than many things have done in recent memory. I’ve started a program called P90X which is all about intensity and discipline. It’s a rigorous 90 day program where you work out every day and cover just about all aspects of physical fitness. To get the results promised you also have to modify your diet, which you can do with the provided nutrition guide. The thing is that it’s not just the physical endurance you will need to do it, it’s the mental discipline. It is everyday for 90 days. You don’t miss a day.
I’m about 40 days into it and there has been days where I just don’t want to do it. It’s physically demanding and some days I can’t seem to muster the energy to start it. There is a line that the host, Tony Horton, says in one of the videos, “Just keep pushing play.” It’s simple, but good advice. Once you start it’s not bad. If you can just hit the play button, the next thing you know another day will be ticked off the list. I want to dispel something I hear quite often which is that some people who exercise often are somehow less effected by the exercise, i.e., the more fit you are the less exercise hurts. Exercising is tough no matter how in shape you are, it’s exhausting, it burns, it’s painful. The point I am trying to get across is that exercise isn’t so much about it being fun (which it very well can be), but about being healthy, living longer, being less prone to disease and injury, and all the other great benefits that come along with being physically well.
Being fit opens up a whole new world of things to you. The energy and self-confidence gained will astonish you. It focuses you and gets you motivated to achieve goals that are difficult to see. This may not be of interest to all of you, but there is many parts of this green Earth that are not able to be reached by car, bus, plane, train, or boat. You can see the majesty and beauty this world actually contains, but it’s hard to do that when you have to climb or walk there without being in shape. There is a blog that I ran into recently that chronicled the journey three guys took on their bike from the southern-most tip to the northern-most tip of Japan. They biked the whole way and spent most of it outside. It just seems like such a great journey and those guys can tell you it whipped their butt to do it.
This post probably sounds preachy, but it’s supposed to. The human body was meant to climb, jump, run, and play. That and our brain helped us achieve the dominance we enjoy today. Ignoring half of ourselves is not right. We are becoming more and more a sedentary culture and it will lead to being like those humans in WALL-E. I have never been more motivated, energetic, and productive. I have also never been more in shape. The strong correlation is not an accident, it is what gave us the edge. It’s how we evolved. To fight it is to invite problems into your life. Once you realize this, you will be much happier. I am.