It’s not the same, but that’s okay


Fact: unless (or until) I get some custom orthotics I am no longer able to do any more long distance running. My toes just will not allow it without a huge amount of pain. I am at the acceptance stage for that fact.

Fact: I do need to have some form of regular exercise in my life. The reality is that as I approach 50 year of age I need to do something to avoid conditions that endanger my long term health and quality of life.

Fact: walking is fine, but it does not achieve as much as I would like for fitness. It is better than nothing, but I would like something a little more strenuous.

Given all that I have embarked on new fitness ‘regime’. I am doing my best to not do two things. First, I will not obsess over it, I know that while the exercise is good for me, and feels good to have accomplished, that it is not mentally healthy for me to let it take over my life. Second, I will not let my failures and misses as far as meeting the schedule upset me, because down that path lays dangers.

Saturday morning I got myself out of bed and went and swam at the local community pool. 10 laps in about 30 minutes, not great but not terrible. Today I did the same before coming home and getting ready for work. I was a little faster, but I’m not going to focus on that if I can avoid it. I do like swimming, and I know it is great exercise if you can fit it into your schedule.

Here’s the thing, it is not the same as when I was running regularly. I was running nearly 20 miles a week or more at my peak, during my training for races. I saw the whole west side during that time, and really enjoyed it. But it became my life. Which meant that when genetics caught up with me in the form of arthritis in my toes I went into a spiral.

My new goal is to diversify, swim 2-3 times a week. Keep walking when I can. And maybe get into a body weight exercise regime. And accept that setting aside 30 minutes to an hour aside for this is okay and not falling back into that obsessive frame of mind. While at the same time making sure to not beat myself up if I skip a day hear and there.

Again, it is not the same as my running. The reality is that I will not ever get back to that form. But that is okay, life is change, and expecting things to stay the same is a recipe for disaster in some form.

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