Working Out: Day 1

Years ago, I took my daughters to a birthday party at a rollerskating rink. They were both having trouble adjusting to the skates, and as a child of the 1980s I’d naturally spend a good amount of time at the rink in my hometown. I rented some skates, put them on, and went to help them.

That’s the day I learned that your body is different after 30 years of not skating and putting on 200+ pounds. I was like a pear on toothpicks with wheels attached, but not nearly as graceful.

Years ago, I was part of the Dagorhir medieval rennacement/LARP group. I used to run around the woods and swordfight. And so, about 8 years ago when my friend Mike and I got a hold of some Nerf swords, I felt pretty confident that I could take him.

That lasted about five seconds, then my thighs cramped, my knees locked up, and I fell over.

Mike, executing the coup de grace on my sorry ass.
Mike, executing the coup de grace on my sorry ass.

Sufficed to say, my brain has no real relationship with my body, and has no idea how to care for it. At the time of the writing, I’m 49, weigh around 350lbs, and am shuffling around the house in the mornings like an 80 year old man. My wife, who is much better at this body stuff than I am, asks me each morning if I want to go for a walk with her, and thus far, my brain’s answer to this is, “Not until Spring 2020 stops being a stupidhead and morning temperatures crest 55 degrees.”

What actually comes out of my mouth is, “Nope.”

Clearly my current approach is not working. And by “approach” I mean “ignore all the stiffness and popping of joints and push through without exercising even unless I’m feeling sufficiently motivated.” That motivation, the font of light springing forth shining from my eyes and enabling me with the superpower of a sports-movie-montage, never seems to manifest.

So I started using Daily Burn today. 28 minutes with a very friendly just name Justin and people behind him how looked more like me instead of the tiny little yoga women and cut black-belt men they ground in vats in southern California. It was nice. I don’t like going to classes, and all the gyms are shut down anyway, so doing this at home in my office was pretty cool. I don’t*enjoy* it like I enjoy a good book or an ice cream sandwich, but maybe that part of the point. I’ve been an “enjoy physical work” guy. The idea that forcing your body to do hard things has never really made sense to me. Folks talk about an endorphin rush, but that never really happened for me.

Until today.

It was just a little one, but I felt better afterwards. So that’s something. I’m aiming for workouts three days a week, and am using some habit tracking software to measure how well I am doing. Wish me luck!

3 thoughts on “Working Out: Day 1

  1. Dear Chris,

    It sounds like you’ve found something that’s working!

    I sometimes really struggle to get started on a daily workout. One thing that helps me is to make a deal with myself. I know my body well enough now to know it takes a while for me to get warmed up enough for exercise to feel good, so I’ll make a bargain like “I’ll only do 5 laps in the pool” or “I’ll run one mile, but I can walk after the first half mile” or “I’ll get my gear on and my bike ready, then just ride down the street.”

    Most of the time, once I get going, I start to get the rhythm and it starts to feel good. And on the days that it doesn’t, I reach my tiny goal, then bail, secure in the knowledge that something is better than nothing!

    Endorphins and sunshine,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a good strategy. I remember Terry Crews once saying that you should always at least go to the gym. Maybe you stay five minutes and read a magazines, and you’ll do better tomorrow, but at least show up. That seems
      Similar to the deal you make.


  2. Good for you! I’ve been working on health stuff too and I don’t enjoy it but I am finding small ways of celebrating the fact that I can do things. I’m loving my early morning walks, making friends with the neighborhood dogs, seeing the gardens starting to bloom, and the sky at sunrise. Celebrate the little things and every accomplishment!

    Liked by 1 person

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