There comes a moment in anyone’s life that after a long spell of busy-lifeness they return to exercise – often with mixed results.
I did this recently, and while it wasn’t a disaster – it also wasn’t the walk in the park I remember it was in past. Somehow, I felt a bit jaded or tired or both.
Running, like any other endeavour, requires the dedication of mind to succeed, and truthfully, I was only partially in that zone when I started.
However, I can’t say I failed either. For being the first time back at the gym, yes - it wasn’t open air (but that has a lot to do with my own self-consciousness) and for doing an hour of walking/running (basically five minutes walking with three minutes running intervals) I did surprising well. My mental toughness was there and my body warmed up and responded.
After 30 minutes, I was tired but I was ok. I kept on, had the pace, and went to the very end.
Everyone in my gym corner had seen me slowly turn into a tomato face but I kept on. And I got to the end – even with my legs heavy and chest heaving – I was good. My knees were fine and my old heel spur was gone – and I had somehow gone back to the fitter life I had before my thesis took over (four months ago) and I was happy!
Suddenly my headspace was clear. Everything was crystal clear.
I was strong and capable and the exercise was the answer to the jaded me before the workout. I now knew I would lose the weight I had gained and the fog had lifted.
Somehow the fuzzy meaningless I had felt since finishing my Masters was gone.
I was suddenly reminded that I actually really did love exercise. It makes me happy – even when I go tomato face or deal with the stiffness the day after.
And in reality I noted that (in the end) I went running to clear my head to do more running in the future. I remembered that exercise is a lovely circle, which you get better at, good for the mind and (over time) beneficial for the body too.
Bring on the summer. I can do this.