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Day 564: Shifting Mountains

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

I haven't had much to say of late - it's been quiet around here, in some respects, and after the fiasco(s) of last year, that suits me right down to the ground.

I've been back in the gym since the New Year. (It's part of that resolution thing, ha ha.) I daresay I'm not the first to discover this, but... when you're exercising regularly and you've built up some fitness, then stop, you don't just go back to the pre-exercise level. You go below it.

I'd heard that, but I'm not sure I believed it. I do NOW.

As we walked out of the gym this afternoon, I said to Himself "You know, this is the first day I feel as though I accomplished something - I feel stronger. Not incredibly strong, but strong-er. Definitely improved. And where I'm at now is where I was over a year ago, before we joined the gym."

It has taken me five weeks to come back from that super-sedentary lifestyle I lived for several months. In another four or five weeks, it's back to the States for another round of dealing with the house, yard, maintenance, all that ongoing fallout from the avalanche of Life.

Now, the question is, assuming I improve in the next month and build on where I am so far, can I maintain that while I'm away?

I believe I could - "Will I?" is an entirely different question. Fingers crossed isn't sufficient here, methinks. I'm looking at a mountain.

And I keep telling myself, one shovelful at a time... one shovelful at a time.

* * *

Several years ago we had a treadmill we'd gotten second-hand from a gym. It was a superb piece of equipment that we got dirt-cheap, and it lasted us for quite a while with only a few minor hitches now and then (one of the pre-programs wouldn't function, one of the dashboard lights failed - little stuff).

I had gotten up to a fair speed on it, and would do bursts of incline to add variety and beef it up.

Yesterday was the first time I've added "incline" to my walking on the treadmill. I've been working on a different achievement.

Until January, any time I was on a motorized treadmill, I was hanging on: sometimes in front, sometimes on the sides, but always with a grip of death.


Oh, afraid of falling - I can envision all kinds of nasty injuries from falling on one of those things. My bum knee made me feel shaky, even after the surgery when its stability improved. Sometimes I feel as though my balance is really off; not as in feeling faint or dizzy, but as in weaving or staggering from side to side a bit.

At any rate, I held on, for dear life.

Until January.

Two articles made me rethink treadmills and walking exercises:



I don't see any sense in paying for a gym membership (and thank goodness ours is subsidized, or we wouldn't be able to afford it at all) and not getting the most benefit out of it I can. And I certainly can't see the sense in "working out" for 30-40 minutes and not getting the most benefit out of it I can.

I wouldn't have thought it such a big deal. I mean, I've been walking for (!) over sixty years. Without holding on.

So I'm back down to 2.5 mph, up from 2.0 with no hands, down from 3.5 / 4.0 with holding on.

I can't get away from that baby-step analogy, but - I feel better for using the treadmill without holding on.

That's what it's like this evening in our little corner of England. G'night, Sparklers, wherever you are!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon I am So Glad to see you up and Moving and Blogging!! You CAN keep your Exercise Streak going even while you Travel, just with a little planning and taking along some DVDs and some Resistance Bands.
    I know you won't want to travel with Weights but maybe while you are in the States, you could pick up some Dumbbells at a Thrift Store, for just a few Dollars.
    emoticon Plus, you and Himself can always walk, or do some Body Weight Exercises to keep your Strength Training On Track.
    2222 days ago
    It's hard to come back after being "away"... emoticon cajoling yourself back to life!
    2222 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14895051
    They say the optimum speed is 2.0 to 2.5 mph -- optimum for health that is. Other goals may be in play!

    Look, ma! No hands!!!!!

    2222 days ago
    Great articles and gave me a whole new perspective the next time I go back to the gym to use the treadmill---makes sense, too---duh! to me! Glad you are back where you started---only forward to go now---and yes, you can maintain and improve while here, you just have to make yourself do it.
    2222 days ago
    I'm just crossing into the 4000 range of daily steps and it psychs me to no end !!! Every little bit counts and is a NSV to me ..... just sayin', baby steps work for me.

    Just consider it a victory that you are working out again regardless of how much how fast, how long, etc .... just do what makes you feel good and enjoy it.
    2222 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Yay! It is great that you are back to an exercise routine. I really like the picture.
    2223 days ago
  • BLUEJAY1969
    I am so proud of you for not throwing in the towel! It takes a lot to keep plugging along when you have one of those backward steps!
    2223 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Interesting articles and Blog. When I was doing physical therapy after falling and breaking a leg below the knee and a foot in three places, I was petrified of letting go of my walker, much less getting back on a treadmill. Thankfully, a wise Physical Therapist, outside of the hospital assembly-line-process for recovery, put me in a strap set-up and had me back on the treadmill without holding on, which I always did even before the breaks.

    Just tossing a thought out there since you have gotten back into the gym routine. When you are in the States, if a Planet Fitness is near you, the monthly charge is $9.99 a month and no contracts last I heard.

    2223 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    i am at the same level as you, BUT no incline,,my asthma dictates no incline..
    2223 days ago
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