Thursday, September 13, 2018

Getting Fit (Part 1)

One of my goals for the year was to visit the gym at least 50 times. I set this goal while I was still at the firm and commuting between Austin and Dallas each week. For the first half of the year, I was struggling to get to the gym even once per weekend. I was just so tired and so burnt out.

Then I left law firm life. Without question, there was time to get fit.

For the first few weeks, I enjoyed jogging on a treadmill in the air conditioned gym. Soon, though, I found myself just walking on the treadmill so I could simultaneously read my latest book on loan from the public library's electronic bookshelf. My workouts lacked intensity--some days I didn't even break a sweat.

That's when I downloaded the Peloton app and started using a bike in my gym's empty spin studio to take spin classes. Although I like spinning, I'd never taken too many classes because at $25+ per class spinning felt like a special treat not something I could afford to turn into a habit. Unlimited access to the Peloton app, by comparison, cost $19.49/month plus tax as of the date of this writing. At this price I could (did and still do) take a spin class every day of the week.

Two weeks into working with the app and I could feel tone in my muscles for the first time in a long while. I lost a little weight, but most importantly, I was awash in beta endorphins that gave me a sense of well being around the clock. I was hooked. And relieved.

In the 15 months prior, I had subsisted on Diet Coke and french fries (literally--this is what I would pick up from the McDonald's drive through on my way from the office in Dallas to the motel where I stayed during the week), worked out sporadically with little intensity, and spent nearly all my time sitting at a desk or in my car while working or commuting. I'd had a miscarriage that resulted in the loss of so much blood that I needed a blood transfusion. I'd been hit from behind and knocked off my feet by a SUV while walking across the street. I'd been rear ended in what was a serious car accident. And, for the first time in my life, the results of basic lab work drawn at my annual physical looked bad. Long story short, I was in terrible shape.

I had started to believe that I had already experienced the best health I would experience during my lifetime. That I had let things go to far.

I'm so happy I was wrong.

I'm so grateful that my body has turned out to be more resilient than I anticipated.

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