Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Battle Cry of the Formerly Lazy

I've been pondering this post for quite a while now; possibly a year or more. It's in response to the thoughts some people express online and I know that more harbor in their dark, inky hearts. Those thoughts are along the lines of, "We get it! You went for a run. We're all proud of you but apparently not as proud as you are of yourself. Shut up!" 

The problem is this: we are proud of ourselves. Very. I would guess that 95% of the people who post about their workouts on FB have historically not been regular exercisers. Their lazy days may have been a long time in the past, and maybe now they love working out regularly, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to do every day. That doesn't mean that there isn't still a lazy, wheezing, overweight kid in the back of their minds, trying to get them to just sit down and watch TV instead of going to the gym. (For a great perspective on this, read Matthew Inman's Oatmeal entry about why he runs.)

When I started writing this post a long time ago, I had pictures of charts ready to go showing how much I'd exercised that week and how that was such a miraculous change from my past. I had to remove them because now my charts would look like janky hammocks strung between the days when I had the time and inclination to lift or run. When my kids were in school, they'd ask me what I did during the day while they were gone. I'd tell them that I ran or went to the gym, and they'd say, "Well, duh! You do that every day!" It filled present me with joy and high school me with shock to hear that. I couldn't believe how much I'd changed my life. I had changed my body so much that, even though I wasn't skinny, I didn't gain back any weight that I had lost after 6 weeks in Michigan last summer, barely working out and eating all the food of my youth. My body makeup had altered.

Just eating thimbleberries wouldn't have been bad, but thimbleberry jam on nisu, on ice cream sundaes, etc!!!

Now I'm back to the sluggo days. With the stress of preparing to move and then getting here and finding a place to live, my workouts have been very sporadic. I'm back out of shape and have to basically start over with strength and endurance, especially in the Hawaii humidity. My right leg really doesn't enjoy running, even though my heart and mind do, so I have to find other cardio. Last week, I decided that it was going to be jumping on the trampoline. Which sucks. I didn't make have time to do it over the weekend after that first time, but I did do it yesterday. IT SUCKED. I'd rather go on a walk for twice, heck, thrice! as long. But I did it. I know it will get easier eventually. I set that stupid timer on my phone and I freaking jumped until it was done. I was very proud of myself. So, yeah. I posted about it this time, too, but on twitter.

Another thing you need to know is that, for the most part, the running/biking/racing/lifting/gym rat/whatever community is VERY supportive. When runners pass each other on the trail, they give each other a thumbs-up or even say "Good job. You got this," especially if they see someone struggling. If you've ever participated in Team in Training, you will forever shout, "Go Team!" when you see anyone in a TNT shirt working out. So, even if someone does tons of races or has been naturally skinny their whole lives, they're usually trying to encourage others rather than shame them.

We all know that we need encouragement and accountability, so that's another reason people post about their work. You're likely to see someone post on FB that they're going to work out later so that they can't punk out and certain buddies will ask them if they did it. A friend posting, "Just did an easy 10 miles," might make me want to vomit because I have never called 10 miles easy, but it will also get me off the couch just like someone posting, "Just did a crappy, slow mile, but I did it," will get me off the couch.

So take it easy on our fitness posts, okay? Unless you're friends with the cast of the Jersey Shore, people aren't trying to simply show off. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to jump on the crap-o-line AND do a bodyweight workout tonight. I don't want to, but I will. And I'll be real proud of myself if
when I do.