Never Surrender

Last night after work, I was able to get my second cardio workout in, and I feel pretty good this morning. My first stationary cycle workout was on Tuesday, and I kept things very light. I did the easiest setting not because I didn’t think I was strong enough, but because I was testing my Achille’s heel. Since that went well for 30 minutes, I figured I’d give a real workout a try last night, and it went great!

As for difficulty, I started about half-way up, at a setting of 9 on my Life Cycle. I did the 2 minute warm-up followed by a 30 minute fast and steady ride. I was able to keep my heart rate at around 150 bpm, which is pretty good. I then did a 5 minute post-workout cool down.

Were my legs all wobbly? Surprisingly, no. They actually felt good, albeit tired. I definitely worked my legs, but most importantly, I got a good sweat going for the first time in a long time. I longingly looked at my free weights, though, as I horribly miss being able to lift right now due to the shoulder injury that seems to be lingering far longer than I’d expected. I’m getting concerned that a doctor’s visit is in my near future.

As for running, I will be hitting the road on Monday. Well, either the road or the treadmill depending on the weather. Although my heel still aches every now and then, I’m beginning to think that it’s due to a lack of stretching and exercising. I think once I get back into running (slowly at first, of course!), that it will actually help heal the heel. (lol) I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the Achille’s heel, and it’s complicated to say the least, but one constant I’m finding is that stretching it post-injury is important, and I wasn’t doing a good job of that while it was healing. Now it’s stiff, and that stiffness is what’s causing the aching. I’ve been stretching it for the past week and a half, and I feel like it’s helping a lot. I’ve had to fastest dissipation of pain in that time as compared to the entire healing time thus far.

So, I guess the good news is that I’m close to getting back on the road with running! The also good news is that the stationary cycle is a viable way to burn some calories and to get the heart beating. As for lifting: not so much good news there, but I’m hopeful that I can get back to lifting within a week or two so I don’t lose too much progress.

The most important thing in all this is that regardless of the injury I’m dealing with, I keep finding ways to exercise. Couldn’t run? I lifted weights. Couldn’t lift weights? I rode the stationary cycle. Fitness is a priority in my life now, and it means more to me now than it ever has. The benefits, both psychological and physical, are too great in my life now to overlook. As I get closer to my expiration date, I need to make sure I do whatever I can to ensure that my quality of life remains as high for as long as possible. I don’t want to be over 60 and tied to a chair because I’m physically unfit. I don’t want to miss out on playing with grandchildren because I’m physically unable. I want to be able to pester and annoy my wife by chasing her around the kitchen as long as I can, and I believe that it’s through a good diet and exercise that I can give that my best shot.

Don’t ever give up. Things may seem difficult, and it may appear that your avenues of approach are blocked, but that’s when you need to think outside the box and come up with a solution and a plan to execute. As a Marine, we are taught adapt, improvise, and overcome. When applied to my fitness, it’s led me to being able to stay in shape despite multiple injuries. Don’t let anything stop you. Excuses are easy. Solutions are hard. That’s why we admire heroes who never gave up and accomplished their goals.

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