OK from just the title one could think this post will be about traffic. And there are many days that this could be true. However, this week finds me in Spokane, and (with all due respect to my EWA friends) there is NO traffic in Spokane. Once, I have had to slow down and do the actual speed limit, the rest of the time, we are flying.
Nope this time it comes from something I saw on Facebook, and even though I’ve said it many times before, it is always worth saying again…
Yep, this was the post, and it is right in so many ways!
But first a caveat. I have NOTHING against sitting on your butt time. Michelle and I just had a weekend away at Langley where we spent most of 3 days sitting on our asses reading, knitting (her), looking at the view from the hotel,
seeing whales and harbor seals, and occasionally walking a block to either the bistro for dinner or the winery for, well you guessed it, wine!
However, I digress a bit. The reason for this post is to discuss getting up OFF your ass and getting some exercise.
OK, I know, I hear it at work a lot. “Hey its easy for you! You ride 200 miles in a day, and climb mountains. I can’t do the stuff you can do.” And that brings me to the exact point I am looking to make. No one has to do the stuff I do to get healthier. (And it took a long time for me to get to the point that I am!)
Everyday I ride I see people who I can tell have just recently gotten back on the bike and are very unsteady and unsure of themselves. But, they have made the effort to do so. I make a point to smile, nod or give a hello to these folks.
It may sound strange, but I am damn proud of them. It aint easy getting started. You feel self-conscious, like everyone in the gym or on the bike path is laughing at you. They can only a little ways, or work out for a little while before they are tired and have to stop, which some times makes them feel embarrassed or inadequate. If they don’t get some encouragement or worse yet, someone says something like “That’s ALL you did?” It can shut them down and send them right back to the couch.
How do I know this? Well, I had a bit of the self-consciousness myself this week with the spin class. I felt like awkward Joe most of the time, out of rhythm, old and beyond sweaty. With the music, light show and other participants, my 50-year-old non spandex butt was out-of-place. But the first instructor asked us to introduce ourselves to our neighbors and give high fives at the end, which helped a lot. The second one made a point to come to me and give me a pat on the back during class as encouragement.
Both of these went a long way to make me feel better about myself and my performance and I try to do the same for others.
I had a co-worker once who did not exercise much, if at all. She signed up for the three-day breast cancer walk here in Seattle I believe it is a 30 to 40 mile walk. She had to stop after one day and about 12 miles. When I saw her that Monday and asked how it went, she was down on herself and said “I only did 12 miles and had to stop.” I corrected her and said “NO! You DID 12 miles, there in no only. How many people do you know who didn’t even walk a mile?” It seemed to help.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I took a bike ride but we only went… ” or “I went on a hike but it is nothing like you would…” I almost feel embarrassed myself when I hear that. I like to share stories (obviously, otherwise why would I blog) of my rides and adventures with people and show the pictures. But I do so to encourage not to discourage.
Just last week though, I noticed a co-worker, to be unnamed, who seemed to be doing laps around my floor at work. The third time I ran into him I said “Dude I am running into you all over the place!” He replied, “I am trying to get up and move more. I see you take the stairs, and I need to get healthier!” So I high-fived him and said “Good man!” I love that! I was being a good role model!
Folks, pure and simple it doesn’t matter what you do for exercise, as long as you do it and do it often. My gorgeous wife rocks the elliptical and treadmill hard so she can do halfathons. My mom hits the gym multiple times a week as a “necessary evil” to keep in shape. The math major tango dances. My neighbor Cheryl walks the dog all over hell and gone.
The key is to start moving, feet or bike, inside or out, and do it multiple times a week. Try different stuff till you find stuff you want to do. Then, tell people you do it. It aint bragging! It’s sharing your accomplishments. It’s a way to receive support, and maybe even a friend to do it with you. Anyone who works out regularly deserves to tell the story.
And do NOT sell yourself short EVER. Taking a half hour walk does so much more for your heath than sitting and watching a rerun of Laverne & Shirley!
And if you have no one else who will listen, then tell me what you’ve done, I promise to listen and show you how happy I am for you!
Like the wind!