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Painless Physical Productivity – the Next Frontier

Sometimes, when a person has let herself get really out of shape, and then decides to…do stuff, it hurts.

A lot.

Okay, okay. It’s not *that* bad, but I do have some serious aches and pains going on, and it’s largely the fault of my lack of physical fitness. I mean, it’s also partially because I fell over the Murphy-dog in a dark hallway the other morning (yes, he’s fine, but I twisted myself up making sure *not* to smash him), but even that wouldn’t have been as bad if I’d been in better shape overall.

I do yoga, and I walk when the weather’s decent, but I don’t do nearly as much lifting or weight-training as I should, and it is painfully evident after moving straw bales, taking a metal arch down, and working on a plumbing problem for the better part of a day (it’s partially fixed – but still needs work).

There was a time when all of this wouldn’t even phase me physically. Just another weekend, no biggie. I’ve gotten so much lazier as I’ve gotten older, and it’s not serving me well in the least.

This does seem to be the year of painful change, doesn’t it? And as much as I love sitting on my butt, I need to get off of it and…well, move. Not only do I have things to do that requires me to sit, I also have things to do that require me to move, and it really, really shouldn’t be painful to be productive. That just makes me want to…not be productive.

I think this every time I do something that should be painless, and then hurt the next several days. And then I think I’m going to fix it, but I have to wait so long to heal (another “perk” of getting older) that my good intentions get lost in the healing period, and the cycle continues without me getting stronger.

That’s just stupid.

So, since I’m embracing the “year of perpetual change” in so many other ways, might as well add this to my list too, right? Walking the dogs and yoga are both great ways to work out, and I need to start chasing Pokemon again for an afternoon workout, but there’s one other thing I need to do, and that is to add a weight training element in two to three nights per week. Twenty minutes is all it would take to raise the level of my strength exponentially. Two upper body and one back/abdomen workout would give me some pretty dramatic results in terms of strength and stamina. Walking/climbing stairs is sufficient for my legs, though I do have ankle weights I could walk with to give that a boost too. Might have to dig those out. But definitely the nightly weight training sessions. That would help more than anything else.

And that would almost undoubtedly improve my motivation for getting off the couch, and getting stuff done.

So, a workout calendar seems appropriate. Nothing pre-filled or anything like that, but a calendar to record workouts on. Give stars for. Something fun to look forward to completing, just because.

But! I’m not waiting until the end of the calendar year to start, I’m starting right away. It’s going on my schedule. We’re doing this. At least one workout, this week.

Only I have to wait just a couple more days, for a couple of the “injuries” I sustained just yesterday to have a little more healing time.

Dammit.


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Barriers, Sore Muscles, & Reflections at 45

This past weekend, the hubby and I installed a wire barrier in the Subaru between the back seat and the hatchback. Normally people do this to keep their dogs in the hatch, but my dogs ride in the backseat (I mean, that’s where the windows are, right?).

The thing is, just before Christmas, Athena-dog decided to eat a chocolate cookie while we were out grocery shopping. She climbed over the back seat and into the hatch to get to it while we were inside our last grocery store of the day.

Then the next week, I put most everything into a zip-top cooler, but left my bags from the bread store out (because it’s bread…not much of an enticing smell, or so you’d think). she ate an entire package of english muffins that day.

The week after that, I put everything into a sturdy zipper thermo-bag, and when I came out of the last store, I found a burly, tattooed guy in a big red truck towing a compressor sitting there in the parking lot, laughing at Athena as she ate her way through the top third of a beef liver container (it was half-frozen, thank goodness). He had a great time, she had a great time, and the dogs had slightly less liver in the batch of food I made that week.

So, we installed a barrier to keep the groceries safe from my little perpetually-hungry boxer. And it works great! The groceries are safe, Athena-dog only pouted a little bit, and I don’t have to worry about catching a dog before she can run as I open the hatch to put more groceries in. Win-win for me!

However. I am so, so very out of shape – something I didn’t realize until the day after kneeling/squatting in the back of the car for 30 minutes to install that wonderful piece of equipment. I tell you what – my butt, the backs of my thighs and my inner thighs were all in *so much pain*, they were just burning up. Walking hurt, sitting hurt, standing hurt…I haven’t been in that much pain in a long, long time. Even my back and knees got in on the “let’s remind Jamie she’s not getting any younger” bandwagon.

Ouch.

Yesterday was only slightly better. I did yoga, but it was the slowest I’ve ever done, and it hurt like hell stretching those poor, sore mustles out enough so I could make it back up the stairs. I tried not to sit for too long of time periods at work, but my inner thighs (abductors? Adductors? I can’t remember) are still painfully sore and hurt whenever I sit down or stand up. Or walk, to an extent.

My back, ankles and knees still aren’t happy either. Part of the back/shoulder/neck issues is all the crocheting I’ve been doing to get that shawl done…but I should be able to do that without hurting. And I would be, if I were staying in shape in the first place. *sigh*

I used to recover from such things far more quickly, but alas, I think I still have a day or two to go until I can comfortably sit down/stand up. It was a stark reminder of how out-of-shape I’ve allowed myself to get, and also how much longer it takes to recover now that I’m right at my mid-forties.

Yes, I turn 45 on Friday, and I know people in their 60’s who are in better shape than I am. So…I really need to do something about that, especially since we’re headed back to Universal Studios and Disney World in Orlando this coming fall. I see new, more intense workouts in my immediate future. You know. After it doesn’t hurt to move again.

I’ve been thinking a lot as I approach what is probably close to the midpoint of my life, about the life I’ve lived so far, and the choices I’ve made. I don’t regret anything, really – I’ve found regrets are pointless for the most part. I do wish I could believe in reincarnation or some such philosphy of infinite do-overs. Not because I think I *should* have done things differently, but I so wish life could be like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure novels. I think it would be fun to be able to go through life, making the choices you make, and then at the end, be able to start over again from the beginning and make just a few different choices, to see what that life is like, and then do it over again to see what *that* reality is like…don’t you think that would be fascinating, especially if you could remember it all?

I like the life I’ve built, but I’m also constantly wondering “what if?”, and I think it would be fun to be able to explore all of those possibilities. Alas, it’s not to be, but perhaps that’s why I’m a writer, eh? To explore all sorts of different lives without getting into too much trouble, hurting too many people, or getting thrown into prison (*ahem*).

What’s one choice you made a long time ago that you’d like to know how it would have turned out if you’d chosen differently? Or do you already know how it would have turned out, and would just like to go back and…do that, for the experience? Inquiring minds…


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