December 1, 2014
The older I get the more I understand the saying, “Growing old is not for the weak.” I’m also starting to understand why the older you get the more you talk to yourself. I think the two go hand in hand.
Although I’m not necessarily in what most adults would classify as the “Ancient” category, with every passing year I have to try a little harder just to get up in the mornings. While most of the times I’d like to attribute it to not getting a good night’s sleep, the cold brutal honesty is that things just aren’t as easy as they used to be because I’m getting older.
A few years back, and I won’t say how many years because I don’t want to remember, I started the habit of getting up every morning at 4am and jogging a couple of miles. I say habit, because it turned into something that I did without fail and without too much effort. I kept it up for at least five years.
The early morning hours were the perfect time to jog. There wasn’t any traffic on the quiet country roads and the stars were usually brilliant at that time of the morning. Another perk was that I never had to worry about anyone seeing me.
I kept up the routine regardless of the weather, how tired I felt,or anything else. It wasn’t until tendonitis set in, then pulled muscles that I started backing off from my morning trips. When the police stopped to ask if I’d seen a murder suspect that was the last straw and I quit.
In the following years, I tried to find other ways to get in some extra cardio but they all failed after a while. I spent a lot of money on gym memberships, DVDs, and exercise equipment but none of that could compare to being a mile out and having to at least walk back to get back home.
Several weeks ago I decided to try picking up my old jogging routine again. It’s amazing the arguments that can go through your head when you make a decision to do something that requires some effort. And in typical aging fashion, those arguments are much stronger than they used to be.
A few mornings later it was 19 degrees and spitting snow. My tendonitis was flaring up, I only got 6 hours of sleep and I was tired. All valid points, especially when you’re lying in a warm bed and your eyelids are heavy.
Then I rationalized that it was winter and would most likely be below freezing the next few months.
I asked myself, “Are you going to do this or not?”
Then I reasoned again that warriors don’t let weather stop them, that weather is irrelevant. That was a handy little phrase I picked up from a trainer along the way. I reminded myself that yesterday was my day of reprieve as I promised myself I would do this three days a week.
So I said to myself, “Are you a warrior or a wimp? Just do it. Don’t argue. Just do it.”
I pried my lids open and started digging for clothes to wear. A few moments later I was out the door making the effort to get a mile away so I had no choice but to walk home.
Instead of the normal walk/jog routine I decided to walk. I figured that I had at least gotten up and out and that was half the battle. It was the coldest it had been so far so I walked a little quicker and thirty minutes later and a little after 5am I was finished!
I decided to take today off. Again,no sleep and I’m congested. That never stopped me before and I’m already imaging how hard it will be to get and do two miles after having several days off for the holidays. I’m sure if nothing else it’ll require a whole conversation with myself just to get me out the door!