Monday, June 18, 2012

A New Season of Life, part 2: The Dreaded “E” Word

Last week, I revealed my decision to become healthier. The biggest challenge I deal with being healthy (and losing saggy boobs in areas where boobs don't belong…) would be getting and staying physically active. In other words…the dreaded "E" word. Don't you DARE say it, or else I will make you wash out your mouth with chocolate!!

Well, this past week has been a…interesting test run on keeping a mindset to stay active. I kept telling myself, if I can do it at least 3 times this week, I'll be as happy as a clam. I was all giddy about my bike purchase. I couldn't wait to try it out, feel the wind in my Ronald McDonald 'fro, and zoom past my jaw-dropped kids who, when they finally closed their mouths, mumbled to each other, "Wow, I didn't know Mama could ride like THAT!"

Guess what? I forgot one little thing…I have not stepped my wide behind on a bike in over ten years. I mean, I didn't totally forget it. It was looming in the back of my head, but not in the way realistic people think about it. It was more like, "Oh, I haven't ridden a bike in ten years…but, you know what they say, once you learn, you never forget!" That was pretty much the extent of my thinking. I was afraid of forgetting how to ride it. More importantly, since having children, I have become a bit more of a klutz in the balance department.

I didn't think about the pain. Who does when they dream up crazy notions as I often do? That's like thinking about sleep before signing up for online college, knowing the only time you'll be able to do it is when the kids are asleep. And forgetting your best thinking occurs when you're in a half-asleep state. This occurs between the hours of 12-3 in the morning.
Now you know why...
Think about pain? Uh…no. I'm still trying to remember to call all my kids by their proper name, who has time to think about pain? Well, regardless of my lack of thinking, the pain still arrived. No warning, no invitation from my body. It crept slowly alongside my bike halfway through the first day. Despite no invitation from me, Pain is rather polite. It gives you a warning (in the form of a slight burning sensation) in your muscles/fat reserves a few minutes or even up to a day before it decides to hit your body full force. My thunder thighs/wide behind certainly felt something going on that first day. But I was determined…I had a spiffy new bike! I used to LOVE to ride! I could totally rock this. The kids and I rode almost four miles that day. Once we neared the house, the Pain decided to hit me full force. It was not a pretty picture. We all had scratches on our legs. I'm almost certain we walked our bikes more than we actually rode them. One of the kids was crying. I was holding back tears. We were all sweating more than I thought humans could possibly sweat. The air conditioning could not cool us down fast enough. We could not stop drinking water. My ass HURT. I could not sit on anything that didn't have a cushion for three days without shifting and gritting my teeth in pain. If there is such a thing as hell on earth, this must surely be it- riding a bike after ten years, and not expecting to get hurt. Go ahead, laugh at my foolishness. I laughed…after the second day. My kids certainly got a good chuckle after seeing me attempt to plop down on one of the dinning room chairs only to scream like a little girl once my bum hit the(wooden, non-cushioned) seat. Not that they got that from me or anything. They didn't.

After hearing the kids whine and complain that day, I thought, maybe I made a mistake. Maybe I shouldn't have bought the bike. Maybe I expected too much from them. What if we can't keep doing this all summer…what if we can't do this one more time this week? What if they want to call it quits after such a horrible first day?
The next day (Tuesday), I decided to not bike. I could not sit on my bike without shedding tears. I felt I should be moving in some form, though. I didn't want to give myself a rest just yet. So, I woke up early, drank some coffee, and put on "The Biggest Loser: Weight Loss Yoga". If you don't think you'd like yoga, I suggest you hunt down this DVD at your local library. I did Yoga back in my late teens, and this is totally not the same.
This has been my idea of yoga for the past two years
 I won't go into details but I will say that it makes me sweat regardless of the temperature. Normal Yoga does not do that for me. Halfway through the DVD, I thought, I can't do this, I have to stop. Just as I was getting ready to hit the EJECT button, who comes out but my youngest daughter. She saw what was on the television, and with big, anime-type eyes, she asked, "Can I do it, too, Mama?"
"Can we Mama? Huh? Can we?"
Who can say no to that? So, despite my sweat and slightly sore muscles, I agreed. We finished the DVD together. As we both laid on the floor in deep relaxation, I couldn't help but thank God for my youngest and her waking up at the moment she did. That day, I asked the kids if they wanted to quit riding. To my surprise, they quickly said, "NO!" and said they couldn't wait to ride their bikes again. My, what a difference 24 hours makes!

Wednesday, the kids and I *gently* hit the bikes again. After getting a suggestion from a friend, and using an idea I said jokingly to my neighbor, I felt much more comfortable riding my bike that day. We rode to the park, and rode back home (about a mile total). The next day, we went on a field trip (which required a lot of walking…and also a lot of free food, so it canceled out all the walking.). Friday we biked the almost four miles again. My son also managed to get a hole in his tire this day, so once again we biked half way, and he and I walked the remaining way. I worried about this, because I was not sure how much it would cost to fix and when I would have the money needed to get it fixed. I prayed for some way to come up with the money needed. Saturday we stayed home and cleaned/re-arranged my living room (if you don't think this counts as a workout, then clearly, you have never seen my house!). Today, I thought we were going to walk back home from church, but a family from church decided to surprise my son with a new tire for his bike, complete with installation(and transportation home). Talk about a blessing! Thank you, God!

So, what I have learned this week? First off, I am no spring chicken. I can't just jump into physical activity, even with the best of intentions, and not expect pain. Second, I have to start taking a bit more seriously what I put in my mouth. Third, despite the pain and slight complaining, I really did enjoy biking this week. I even felt the urge to do it on a resting day, but I resisted the urge. I don't want to keep pushing myself until I'm exhausted and end up hating it.
What about you? Have you started to add small bits of physical activity in your routine? What form of exercise is your favorite? Why? Don't feel shy-share!
Until next time…


  1. Good luck with your fitness journey -- I'm on one, too - it's not always easy, is it??

    1. Thank you, Mary. No, it's never as easy as it sounds in our heads when we dream up the idea of starting! But I guess trying to go against old habits never are. This week was a not as difficult. I'm praying that as each week progresses, it will get easier and more second-nature. :)