Hope for the Physically Insane

At other times in my life, the reason that I haven’t blogged since Wednesday would be attributed to poor health. It is not the case this time. In fact, I have been quite busy and have accomplished a lot in terms of my mission to spread the gospel of fitness. I revamped my Do It With Me website to better portray my team members and to convey how each one of us is working to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. I expanded my newsletter by adding more features and that will be coming out on schedule. In fact because of my lifestyle choices now, I seem to have dodged the flu bullet (which this year, unfortunately, seems to be the size of the rocket that blew up the spy satellite).

I also, this week, finally came to the conclusion that I have been physically insane.

What? Don’t you mean mentally insane? No, over the last 20 years, I am ready to admit that I was physically insane – you know, repeating the same workouts over and over and expecting a different result. Yes, I had a bad car accident, went to a bunch of doctors who wouldn’t think outside the box, took tons of antibiotics, had surgery and yet didn’t feel better. Thoughts that maybe everything that I was feeling crept into my head and the whole time, I was going out the door and running mile after mile, doing workout after workout and thinking that was what would make my body right again.

Wrong! What I needed to come to grips with was that my physical landscape had changed because of the medical treatment that I had received and that the body that I had once depended on and taken for granted had been “altered” (read the part about the Caldwell Luc procedure in My Story) and now I needed a new road map for success in life.

Why did it take over 20 years to realize that? I guess that lots of us get comfortable with the status quo and thinking that if it worked before it will work again. Let’s face it, I am a runner so what else should I have to do except run? Running isn’t rocket science. It is whoever has the most heart and training the hardest doing the best. And that works for most people.

But what if your physical landscape changed because of an injury or illness or setbacks in your life for whatever reason. If you are starting from scratch at 20 after being an athlete in high school, maybe you can do what worked before and get the same results. If you are in your 30’s and 40’s and beyond, though, and you haven’t worked out in a while – maybe you got injured, couldn’t work out for awhile and then you got busy with work and family and started putting on some weight or you just lost interest and let your body go – putting one foot in front of the other (or whatever your sport or activity involved) may be a whole lot harder than it used to be.

What’s my advice? Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do what you used to be able to do without getting back the strength, cardiovascular capacity and flexibility that once propelled your body to success. Start by getting your weight under control with a weight loss program. Build up your strength with a strength training program and then with your once again sleek strong body, get your heart and lungs in shape to be the engines that drive your body with an aerobic workout program.

Running was my horse pulling my cart. Now strength training and flexibility are my horse and they are pulling my running along. Without them, my running won’t “move” as it hasn’t done for many, many years. In my 20’s and 30’s I was very strong and very flexible because I did manual labor (working on a farm) that required a lot of walking, lifting and being very physically active. Now I sit at a desk and rely on P90X to give me back the body that I used to have as a result of just working. It is my “work” that will give me that incredible “horse” that I once had and that will pull my “cart” as it once did!

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