Using the Recovery Toolbox to Build a Fitness Routine

Since I am in “follow-up” mode this week, I figure I’d follow-up last Wednesday’s post.

I committed, to myself and to a fellow blogger, to start (re-start?  for the gazillionth time?) my fitness routine.  I have languished, and that is putting it mildly, for the past year, and it’s time to get back on the horse again (in this case, the horse is an elliptical machine).

Committing to somebody other than myself, so far, has been a brilliant maneuver:  I have exercised, in some form or another, for 10 days straight.  May not seem like much, but for me it feels like 10 days sober did… a miracle.  I genuinely cannot remember a time that I have exercised 10 days in a row.

And I have seen progress, too, in this short time.  First day:  14 minutes, and I thought I might pass out.  Today:  28 minutes, and I could have gone longer, but I am trying to do the “slow and steady” approach, so no more than one-minute increases each day until I hit 30 minutes, and I will re-assess this weekend.

So here’s my story for today:  I have been fortunate to grab the same machine each day since I started back to the gym.  This helps me because I can use the final numbers as a relatively accurate chart of my progress.  This morning, I was not so lucky.  An older woman was puttering around “my machine” for so long that I decided that I would just use another.

Which meant that, by the end of my time, my miles travelled, and calories burned, were way less than any of the other days.

Now, my logical mind certainly knows that each machine is different, and that the numbers are relative anyway.  But my competitive, instant-gratification senses were fairly disappointed:  how could I go for the longest time yet, and come up with such poor results?

Pre-recovery me would have sulked about this all day, would have held a deep resentment to the puttering old lady, and would have berated myself for such a poor performance, which in all probability would have led to giving up.

Post-recovery me knows that I committed to exercising every day, no matter what, and I went above and beyond my commitment to myself (20 minutes is the minimum).  Further, post-recovery me knows that using a different machine uses different muscles, which in all likelihood was better for me all around.

So, take that, old way of thinking!

Today’s Miracle:

Refraining from shooting the old lady dirty looks definitely constitutes a miracle.  Oh, second miracle… had a conversation at the bus stop about Garanimals, which I had to explain.  We compared ages, and are within a year of each other (which makes me all the more confused as to how Garanimals does not come instantly to mind). There was surprise at my year of birth, the thought was that I was of a younger generation.  Tell me that is not an excellent way to start the day!


Posted on June 12, 2013, in Recovery, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. You. Are. Awesome.

    That is all.


  2. Old lady resentments – aren’t they just killer? Ha ha…I get them all the time at the checkout at the grocery store with the slow activating purse and subsequent poor hand-eye coordination as they try to pay the entire bill with crusty coins and lint-laden coupons. Oh well. I ask God for patience and he teaches me often…lol. Sounds like you almost had Granny Rage there. I laughed at that one. I also got what you were saying about the different machine, different results, etc. and how annoying that would be…in terms of the inner climate of ourselves. It’s that innate thing we have of always having to be better…not good enough…keep at it. You’ve got to show ’em (or ourselves at least). You’re like me in so many ways – the mental understanding is there, but sometimes it takes a while for it to reach the heart. or maybe you’re not like me at all, and I am projecting because I want company in my perception challenges…ha ha.

    But on a positive note, I am very excited and proud of you for doing the physical challenge there so consistently! I could not pull that off. I got tired reading your routine 🙂

    Keep at it!



    • I have a tragically funny/sad-at-the-time-but-funny-now incident at a nursing home… I was about 13/14, and an old man in a wheel chair made some unkind comments, because, and this is what I was told, “that’s just what old people do.” Needless to say, I’ve had some serious prejudice going on in my head since that time!

      You hit it dead on… not being good enough. So the new thing I’m competitive with myself about is talking back to that voice. It’s gotten to be a game, and, for the past 12 days, I have been winning!

      Thanks for the encouragement, Paul! Update us once you’ve visited the nutritionist!


  3. I prefer the elliptical at the gym to the one in my basement, however the one in my basement is way more generous when it comes to calculating calories burned. I usually just ignore them these days and go by how sweaty I am afterwards (sorry if gross). YOU’RE DOING GREAT!! You are a miracle and every day you’re sober and continue to look for ways to grow and take care of yourself is another miracle. I hope you’re enjoying your workouts or, as is often the case with me, how good it feels to be done with the workouts! Keep up the great work!


    • You are not gross, and I love it! It’s along the lines of the “don’t weigh yourself, but judge by how your clothes feel” mentality for people who get obsessed with the scale. Now, of course, my sick mind could start to obsess (didn’t I feel sweatier yesterday? Weren’t my arms sticking to my sides more last week? I kid, sort of), but I really do think that sweating is the more accurate barometer. I really appreciate the encouragement!


  4. Time With Thea

    Keep up the great work. Not only are you giving your heart and lungs the gift of exercise but your muscles and bones will love you too! I find there are always things to get in the way of my ideal workout (old ladies, too crowded, too cold etc.) but I always feel so much better after the workout. Well done! ~Thea


    • Thanks, Thea! I am SLOWLY introducing jogging, and man, talk about finding muscles I didn’t know existed!

      I appreciate the encouragement, I need it (especially this morning, I am fighting it for some reason!)

      I wonder if your school year has ended? My kids are done Friday, and I have been wondering how your last days went. I am sure you plan on blogging about it, but I wanted you to know I am thinking about you!


      • Time With Thea

        Here in Canada students go till almost the end of June. They finish on the 26th and I finish on the 28th. I have just now had a chance to spend some time catching up on my blog reading! I have been trying to get out exercising as much as possible too. I find I feel so much better afterwards and seem to have more energy. I am going to go for a run later today after work! ~Thea


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