The hardest thing about working out after the age of 35 is getting out of bed the next morning. The obstacle of agony begins. A part of your body will stop working, or stab you with a shiv carved from bone and cartilage as you climb out of bed. Anything that bends below the waste will scream, “Oil me Dorothy!” And the first object of necessity will be so far out of your reach it will take Le Maho’s Scientific Tracking team to retrieve it. You don’t know whether to pat yourself on the back for the previous day’s work, or flag down your first born and beg them to beat you unconscious. This is where determination or death kicks in. It’s now up to your character.
As I came to this crossroad this morning, I decided to rely on the strongest part of me; indifference. My ankle refused to move without poking me, so I dragged it to the stairs and began my Stooshing. Stooshing is defined as the careful dissention of a flight of stairs by a physically unqualified adult now reduced to baby talk. It involves a step, a drag, and heavy rail leaning. If the leaning is done correctly than you should be able to feel your pulse bulging on the right side of the body. This is not to be confused with “Scootching”. Scootching is a small shadow darting across the living-room and landing in the seat that an adult figure is attempting to procure. This technique usually ends with spilled coffee and a sad back-swat, finding nothing but empty air and continued humiliation. Swooshing is a private matter best done after everyone else has left the house.
The strange thing about pushing on despite the pain is that the pain gives up rather easily. It’s like a Leif Garrett, Erik Estrada, New Coke, or any NFL Quarterback past the 1980’s. The slightest rejection of its presence will almost certainly end in a win for you. Unless it’s a heart attack, in which case you’ll need to refer back to my original article “Fat From Nowhere”. This stresses the importance of a doctor’s visit before embarking upon any new exercise program. So stop pointing fingers and call an ambulance. If you aren’t in cardiac arrest however, give yourself an extra push by taking a small walk down the driveway. My ankle was better within five minutes and I was ready for the new me.
If it hurts then stretch it before you hit the trail. I stretch down to the floor, side to side, and finally on all fours, (Don’t be disgusting people and you know who you are). The best way to stretch your back is on all fours extending your back and then moving it forward. For me there is no substitute for this type of prevention. My sciatic nerve gives me a nasty look if I try walking six miles without stretching it. It is the most important part of the team and the best excuse to quit when things get too hard.
I do not recommend walking six miles a day by the way. We all have work to do and walking is as time consuming as picking lint balls off a sock. I started walking three miles in the morning after my first week because no one at my house had a clean shirt and everyone was tired of eating cereal. After years of taking advice and having long periods of success with my exercise program I’ve learned one important thing, be reasonable. Good health should enhance your life without torturing those around you. Pick an aerobic exercise you like and do it for an hour. It’s your hour. Enjoy that hour, be somewhat stingy with that hour, but don’t forget to pick up the kids.
The bottom line is; sore is going to happen. If you’re working hard and you wake up on a bed of anvils, be happy for yesterday was a success.
To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short. ~Confucius, Analects