Weighty Matters

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Cheer Every Effort

on February 16, 2014

The other day in a conversation with a friend I heard myself say, “I only rode my bike for seven miles last night.” My friend gaped at me and I heard my words as if with someone else’s ears. I looked at her and said, “I need to change the way I think and talk about my exercise.”

She vehemently agreed. Really. I only rode my bike for seven miles?? Only? On the one hand, it’s funny that I would think any physical exercise is less than, that I would diminish any effort. Two years ago I could barely walk up stairs and had to help myself by pulling up on railings. The slightest walk had me breathing hard. I hadn’t ridden a bicycle in more than 15 years. On the other hand, it’s not funny at all that I introduce negativity into any of my thoughts about my effort. By the way, that evening that I rode seven miles capped a day that started with 45 minutes of brisk walking. I was hardly slacking on my physical fitness routine!

I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Negativity breeds negativity. I can’t afford to let that mind set or energy develop. If it grows, and takes hold, it could easily mess with my emotions. When my emotions get messed up, I reach for food.

So I’ve committed to framing the messages that I give myself in positive terms and removing the diminishing qualifiers. There will be no more “only did this much” nonsense. I will cheer every effort, every exercise session. Whether I reach 10,000 steps, 15,000 or more, I will declare, “Booyah!” and celebrate.

For the record, I’ve been super active this weekend. My apologies to all of you suffering the series of snowstorms, but the weather’s beautiful in the Florida Keys. A little cool by our standards but sunny with light winds. Yesterday the dogs and I did two miles/45 minutes of a nice walk along the beach road. Later in the day I added a six mile bike ride just because it was so nice in the late afternoon.

A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to participate in a 5K walk/run to raise money for the organization that provides services and a food bank for people in need and oversees a homeless shelter and meal program. I’m not competing to win anything, but I don’t want to be last in my age group. I’ve declared myself “in training” for that walk. Pyxi was limping last night and this morning and she appears to have strained a muscle in our walk yesterday so I needed to keep things easy on her today. The dogs got a shorter walk and then I headed out for the Seven Mile Bridge and walked about 3.25 miles.

After doing some stuff around the house, I realized that it was again a beautiful afternoon, so I rolled out on my bike for 10 miles.

I find that I dearly love these outdoor exercise sessions. I don’t want to lose these feelings so the more that I do things that I enjoy, the more my enjoyment grows. No “only” about it.

3 responses to “Cheer Every Effort

  1. Hope says:

    Every day that you are active is a day that you should be proud of. 😀

  2. Skye says:

    No “only” about it. Whether they are small accomplishments (as in my case) or large ones, such as your riding any amount on your bike, they are significant and they matter. I’m glad you caught yourself up and became aware of it. Your emotional and mental progress has begun to far outstrip even your excellent physical progress it seems, and that, I think, will keep you in this healthy lifestyle you’ve built for yourself. Another accomplishment! Booyah!

  3. I’ve long thought you denigrate your exercise efforts. Absolutely terrific you’ve now locked in to the concept of how much you do. Been here from the first, seen the progression. Give yourself a moment, catch up to how great you’re doing. Plateaux? they happen.

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