My family was all home for Mother’s Day last night. I enjoyed a few glasses of wine and their company. This morning I woke with a slight headache and it’s raining and cold outside. I really would love to stay in my bed and do nothing. Suddenly that voice starts in my head. You know the one, “You can skip the workout today.” Just do it tomorrow, or later, or… Excuses are easy to find and hard to resist.
I probably can name every excuse you’ve ever thought of because I’ve had them all. Here’s the truth about what happens when you use them though, they derail you rather quickly. For example, if I had rolled over today and said I’d do the workout later today, it likely wouldn’t have happened. Later, I’m sure something would come up and I’d then make another excuse and say, “I’ll just take today off and get back on track tomorrow.” Then tomorrow the cycle would start all over again. Before you know it I’ve missed workouts and start losing my drive to do them as the routine has been broken.
One of the best way to deal with excuses is to schedule your workouts on a daily planner. Write them down and think of them as a work appointment, or important meeting. They are not negotiable and not to be moved around. Adopt a no excuse policy. Unless you are medically excused you must do it, no excuses, just like your job. If you have a fever, are vomiting, or have a true medical issue you must listen to your doctor. Otherwise, game on. Listen to your body though. If you are sluggish, consider walking instead of running. That’s a great modification that keeps you moving and on the path to health.
Let’s talk more about modifications because like apps, there’s a modification for almost everything. I’ll share a bit of my journey to illustrate this point. I suffered an ankle injury years ago. After that, every now and then my left ankle would feel like it popped out of place. I’d circle it and it would pop back in. This went on for years. Fast forward to three summers ago. I was running a lot of inclines on the treadmill. Really pushing myself and loving it. One day I noticed my ankle was swollen. Then I noticed the swelling was not going down. I wasn’t really in much pain, but concerned enough to get it checked. I had a torn peroneal tendon from years of that popping and use in running hills. Surgery followed and a beast of a recovery. Now this is an acceptable excuse for not working out, right. It could have been, but I tried super hard to stay on the path. I was non weight bearing for six weeks, in a boot for three months and unable to walk correctly for almost a year. What could I possibly do? Swim! I started as soon as I was on a cane, so that was three months into recovery. I walked myself on a cane into the gym, to the pool edge and into the pool. I was kind of embarrassed, which is ridiculous, when I did it but I did it. Getting in and out was the hard part. Did I love to swim? Nope. Did I hate it? No. It gave me hope that I could continue when really I just wanted to give up.
This year, after getting myself back in running condition, I sustained a femoral stress fracture, right side. Man did that do a number on my mental state. I mean seriously, how much can one girl go through? I was told 20 week recovery and NO swimming, biking, yoga, walking for exercise, or anything. Wow, this was going to be a real challenge. I decided to make this time about my arms and upper body. Operation sexy arms I dubbed it. I did my thirty minutes daily in a chair. I modified my workout streaming and completed pretty tough upper body workouts in a chair. I used a program that broke the body into sections and did thirty minutes a day. This was because you really shouldn’t work the same body part when weight lifting every day. Each day I worked one of the following – back, arms, shoulders, chest, abs. I cycled through with one day of rest. I did this for six weeks time. Then I added in cardio when I was able to stand, but it was truly modified because I couldn’t put any pressure on my legs. No jumping, squatting or anything. It wasn’t much cardio, but I pumped my arms a lot and it was psychologically uplifting.
I am sharing my story to say that it can be done if you refuse to use any excuses not to do it. I’ve had so many things happen to me that could have truly taken me off this path. I’m not going to lie, it would be far easier to take the excuse. It would be easier to take it and nobody would really blame me for doing so. But I’ve come too far to lose now. I am tougher than anything and know there is always someone who is worse off than me. I’ve seen people in races I’ve run with one leg, no legs, blind, obese or fighting cancer. They aren’t taking any excuses to not get out there.
This journey is about digging in deep and pushing through. Get the calendar out today and plan for your thirty minutes a day (minimum) of exercise. Write it down and do it! No excuses allowed! You will be so happy you did and trust me, eventually it becomes a habit, like brushing your teeth.
I’d love to join you on your journey. Join me on Facebook on Reclaiming My Health to share your story.