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Friday, April 18, 2008

For ever so many reasons, this was almost the day that I broke my workout string. And itís not even that Iím committed to working on the treadmill every single day for the rest of my life. In fact, Iíve learned from this journal that you can keep going on something at a decent pace, even if itís something youíve done daily for a long time. Iíve only done the treadmill daily for five straight days.

But today? Today it was a chore, and it wasnít all just because Iíve been going so hard at it for so long. In fact, Iíve been going as hard as I can, but your mileage could easily vary. I have a top speed and top incline that I havenít surpassed and donít intend to, at least for awhile. I might never go beyond thirty minutes a session, and Iím okay with that. So far, I havenít done enough to make me feel even a little sore the next day (although Iím often pretty sore for a little while right afterward).

Last night, in the middle of the night (at about 5:30 am), the electricity went off, and it came back on this morning at 7:30. How did I know it went off at 5:30? I woke up in the recliner at 5:20 and crawled off to bed, and the power went off a few minutes later. And how did I know it came back on at 7:30? Worried that Iíd overslept, I turned on the radio (to whatever random channel it was already set to) and listened for a time check, which came a few minutes later at 7:43.

When the power goes off or on in my house, it sounds like the Main Street Electrical Parade, with a series of electronics grunts and burps and wheezes and whistles at various pitches. My stuff doesnít just go to sleep; it complains loudly about it. And when it wakes up, itís like your dad in the morning (or James sharpening a machete on the Dabu beach). You donít sleep through it.

So after the power came back on and Iíd reset the bedside clock, I curled up and went back to sleep, and I didnít get up quite as early as I normally do, which isnít all that early in the first place. It would have been easy to tell myself Iíd got too late a start to work on the treadmill, and after my fitful night I didnít feel all that energetic anyway.

But I also knew I was going out to lunch later on today, so I wouldnít be doing my morning errands at their usual time. That fact, and the extra bonus that it was Friday (yay), gave me whatever incentive I might have needed. I didnít do quite as well as I did yesterday, though. After about five minutes, I started looking at the twenty minute mark to give up for the day, and thatís the only thing that kept me going that long.

And then, when I hit twenty minutes, something happened. I turned the speed down a few ticks, and I flattened out the incline a shade, and I kept going. And as wretched as Iíd felt earlier, it felt good to keep going! I think maybe thatís the secret: Keep going at whatever pace feels like the best I can do at the time, and stop when it feels right. It sounds simple, but it helps to have it as a sort of mantra.

17 April 2008

Spring comes to the sunset oak.

Maybe it was because I was so punchy, and maybe (more likely) it was the company, but I felt pretty good by the time I took off for lunch this afternoon. We laughed. I donít laugh nearly enough these days. It was a real treat.

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