Feel the Burn. After Feeling the Rest and Relaxation.

I came to a grand realization this morning after spending 45 minutes flopping around on a treadmill at the Gym: I am now old enough that I have to exercise twice as hard to get half the fitness I used to get simply by glancing at the gym as I drove past. I lay there this morning — gasping and heaving and drenching the treadmill controls with my Woman-of-a-Certain-Age sweat — wondering if maybe I shouldn't just accept my posterior's trajectory to my knees instead of fighting it tooth and tennis shoe.

It's exhausting you know? Emotionally, I mean. All that worry about running as fast as the spandex-skirted-chickie-wickie next to me, looking like I live for smashing the runner's wall, not face-planting and getting belt-burn. I remember back in the olden days (a.k.a. Pleistocene Epoch) after I ran the St. George marathon (that one time), and I thought that when I set the treadmill speed to 7.8 (which translates to a 7.42-minute mile) I was slumming it. I could run my daily 3 in less than 24 minutes, which for a regular person was pretty good.

Now? I spend the entire running period telling myself "Another 60 seconds. You can run for another 60 seconds. 55. 56. 57. I'm going to die. 59. 60! Huzzah! I made it 60 seconds! Woot! So that's one minute down." And after a few sets of 60 it now feels like I've run to St. George and back again. And I have to take an hour breather at the gym's little health smoothie shop trying to convince myself that the Chocolate Protein Freezie doesn't taste like vitamin powder.

These days I pretty much top out at a breakneck 11 minutes per mile. Geriatric snails and small children in strollers can pace the heck out of me. But you know, I feel pretty good about it. I mean, at least I'm out there, right? You've got to celebrate the little things. I'm running. I'm lifting the occasional weight — usually all the way past my elbow. And as long as the backsideal area of my anatomy continues to hold up my jeans, I'll call it good. 

So ooRah for baby steps, my friends! And aging lady steps. And steps into orthopedic running-capri's. They're my orthodpedic running-capri's, and I'm proud of them. Go Everyone Who Exercises! Except Anyone Who Can Still Wear A Little Running Skirt. You Should Go Somewhere Else To Run. Yay!

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About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.

1 Comment

  1. ooRah for baby steps indeed.  I am learning how to weave rugs now after weaving other stuff for a couple of decades.   It's a whole new ballgame.   I have to use actual muscles to slam the beater.  Which means I needed to make actual muscles to slam the beater.  Whereas I had no upper body strength before, now I have a little!   Slamming is happening!   Baby steps.  

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