My exercise mojo has been M.I.A. for about five years and I want it back.
In 2012 an orthopaedic specialist advised I cease various fun but pain-inducing activities (e.g. kickboxing and squatting) to preserve what remained of my right knee’s cartilage. While I like being pain-free now, there’s been long periods where “preservation” has translated to “doing sweet feck-all exercise”.
At other times, there’s a month or two flurry of activity, when besotted by a new app or gadget or workout or challenge. Then I get distracted or frustrated, and fizzle out.
It’s a tedious rotation through enthusiasm > obsession > rebellion > inertia, with ever-dwindling fitness.
Last weekend Gareth asked did I want to go for what I currently consider a long walk, up a hill.
My usual assortment of excuses were about to tumble out when I thought, f*ck it! Enough! I am so over my own shenanigans.
Why am I not moving, when I actually really crave it? And what do I really want to do for exercise, anyway? With the body I occupy right now, not the rose-tinted imaginary one from years ago?
So out we went.
It was annoying to find that hills are still so bloody… hilly.
They just go up and up, I whined to Gareth. It was so much harder than when we used to go walking a decade ago.
He reminded me I whined about the same thing back then.
(Old school peeps – remember how he mocked my descending style, the rotter.)
It was just like old times. Gareth strolling easily; my face Call The Ambulance Red. But it was beautiful outside. There were forest-y bits with pine needles underfoot and the wind in the trees sounding like waves. Skylarks and blackbirds and finches. Clear views at the top to faraway mountains.
I realised, as with so many things, that I’ve been overthinking exercise. I’m not motivated by the same things any more. I don’t want to sign up for a race or do a 12 Week Programme or spend ten minutes finding a satellite on Runkeeper just to stroll to the shops. I don’t want to think or make decisions or count anything. All I want, for now, is some quiet time and fresh air.
Since then I have been taking myself out for walks. Sometimes with tunes, sometimes appliance-free. It is the simplest thing but I am starting to feel awesome.