Have you ever been looking forward to something so very much that you started a count down to prepare for it’s arrival?
That is how I feel, as I sit here, with one week left until my medical ALL CLEAR to resume exercise after my hysterectomy in March.
I am one week until my body can resume full activity, working out, sweating, feeling the rush of endorphins and confidence that comes from a great workout.
Except of course that it is not going to work that way. After six weeks of NO activity other than the walk around the neighborhood and the day to day activity that comes from working and running errands, my body is not going to be able to jump back into exercising all of a sudden. Or at least, it will not be able to if I want to avoid injuries.
The truth is that I am just a bit fearful of starting to exercise again. Of wanting so desperately to feel strong, to feel fit, and yet, failing. Failing because my body is not up to what I would like it to do. Failing because I let excuses get in the way.
That might sound crazy. But the pressure to get back into fitness after this six week hiatus feels extremely high. So high that I know how easy it would be to sink into frustration at not getting there fast enough. It is all within my control this time. It is up to me. Only me.
While the knowledge that it is up to me should get my motors running and make me feel in control. It doesn’t. It instead reminds me of the times in the past when I have not met my fitness goals. When I have failed myself in training or at a race.
Friends have told me that I have inspired them to start running. Others have appreciated my honesty with my ups and downs telling me they have learned from my reflections. But me? It is hard to take your own advice sometimes. It is hard to see myself in my words, knowing that I need to let go of all that was.
The fact of the matter is that this was not just a six week fitness hiatus. I have been out of fitness commission really since last September. I have dabbled here and there, but my habits were off. My consistency wavered. I talked a great game of letting go of the runner that I used to be, of the distances that used to feel easy. I have talked of secret weapons and tricks to get back on track.
But I have not taken my own advice. Or maybe, it is that I have not BELIEVED in my own advice.
Whatever the case, as I mentally prepare for the green light to flash, signaling my medical permission to start again, I feel something happening. I feel an energy brewing. Much like I felt when I decided to train for my first marathon in 2001 at a time when I could barely run three miles. Much like I decided to train for a triathlon after having spent twelve years being afraid of riding my bike.
Whatever it is, I am not about to let it go to waste. Yes, it is going to be hard to get back into a fitness routine. Yes, my body is going to behave differently and progress will be slow. Yes, I am going to have bad days where I wonder if it is all worth it. But….there will be good days too. More and more of them as I keep going.
I read a great expression today on a friend’s site, as she shared her experience of competing in a Tough Mudder.
And I realized…she is right. No matter what personal obstacle course we are on. Whether we are starting over or starting anew. The past does not matter.
Come back tomorrow to see how I lay out my five step plan to ease my body back into fitness after my surgery. Because today? Today is all about building my mental strength. Forgiving my body for not being what is was and moving on. Moving on to a new body. A stronger me.
Have you heard? Next week, on April 23rd, Just.Be.Enough. is hosting a special prompt: Change the Conversation. Read all about it and get ready to add your voice!