I haven't had much to say of late - it's been quiet around here, in some respects, and after the fiasco(s) of last year, that suits me right down to the ground.
I've been back in the gym since the New Year. (It's part of that resolution thing, ha ha.) I daresay I'm not the first to discover this, but... when you're exercising regularly and you've built up some fitness, then stop, you don't just go back to the pre-exercise level. You go below it.
I'd heard that, but I'm not sure I believed it. I do NOW.
As we walked out of the gym this afternoon, I said to Himself "You know, this is the first day I feel as though I accomplished something - I feel stronger. Not incredibly strong, but strong-er. Definitely improved. And where I'm at now is where I was over a year ago, before we joined the gym."
It has taken me five weeks to come back from that super-sedentary lifestyle I lived for several months. In another four or five weeks, it's back to the States for another round of dealing with the house, yard, maintenance, all that ongoing fallout from the avalanche of Life.
Now, the question is, assuming I improve in the next month and build on where I am so far, can I maintain that while I'm away?
I believe I could - "Will I?" is an entirely different question. Fingers crossed isn't sufficient here, methinks. I'm looking at a mountain.
And I keep telling myself, one shovelful at a time... one shovelful at a time.
* * *
Several years ago we had a treadmill we'd gotten second-hand from a gym. It was a superb piece of equipment that we got dirt-cheap, and it lasted us for quite a while with only a few minor hitches now and then (one of the pre-programs wouldn't function, one of the dashboard lights failed - little stuff).
I had gotten up to a fair speed on it, and would do bursts of incline to add variety and beef it up.
Yesterday was the first time I've added "incline" to my walking on the treadmill. I've been working on a different achievement.
Until January, any time I was on a motorized treadmill, I was hanging on: sometimes in front, sometimes on the sides, but always with a grip of death.
Oh, afraid of falling - I can envision all kinds of nasty injuries from falling on one of those things. My bum knee made me feel shaky, even after the surgery when its stability improved. Sometimes I feel as though my balance is really off; not as in feeling faint or dizzy, but as in weaving or staggering from side to side a bit.
At any rate, I held on, for dear life.
Two articles made me rethink treadmills and walking exercises:
I don't see any sense in paying for a gym membership (and thank goodness ours is subsidized, or we wouldn't be able to afford it at all) and not getting the most benefit out of it I can. And I certainly can't see the sense in "working out" for 30-40 minutes and not getting the most benefit out of it I can.
I wouldn't have thought it such a big deal. I mean, I've been walking for (!) over sixty years. Without holding on.
So I'm back down to 2.5 mph, up from 2.0 with no hands, down from 3.5 / 4.0 with holding on.
I can't get away from that baby-step analogy, but - I feel better for using the treadmill without holding on.
That's what it's like this evening in our little corner of England. G'night, Sparklers, wherever you are!