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Sunday, August 19, 2007

How Many Fresh Starts

I know that I've announced a fresh start at least twice since I started blogging. Fresh start as in walking log. This is my fourth fresh start over the past 9 months. I am also keeping a sub total and will be interested in where I come in at a full year. It would be easy to feel like I'm going down hill and not in a good way. My first fresh start was an effort to find a new normal and do the best I can with what I have to work with in the here and now. It was counter productive for me to keep looking back and say: this time last year I was jog/running 5 miles most mornings. Since my emphasis initially was to get back to where I was prior to my groin lymph node dissection for node positive melanoma, it took me a long time to stop using BEFORE as the yard stick.My first fresh start in mid December, 2006 was an attempt to establish a routine of walk/jogging between 2 to 3 miles 4 or 5 days a week, as I recall. I realized that running wasn't going to happen. Hard to let go of that because I didn't start running until I was in my mid 40s and I had worked very hard at getting into good shape, after letting the middle age process take over. However, I had a lot happen that made it unrealistic to keep trying to get back to where I was at the beginning of 2005. Therefore, setting new goals made sense. Pretty quickly, it became obvious that jogging was hurting more than it helped. Every time I'd feel good and break out of a walk into a jog, I'd end up with more crap. In the middle of my first fresh start, I tried to set even more realistic goals. At a bare minimum I would walk briskly 2 to 3 miles every other day on average, but hopefully more.I did well with that realistic goal until the severe heat. For the past two months I've had two more fresh starts (30 days a piece) and have continued to do a little worse in my efforts physically. But fall is on the way and in honor of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I will begin anew. If I add all my logs together from the first fresh start mid December, I have walked 100 out of 239 days. By that, I mean for exercise, not a la di da di da stroll. Not every other day, the bare minimum, but not nothing either. It's at least remotely possible that I will be able to average in at every other day for the full year. I have about 90 days to go and if the weather improves and I am inspired I may be able to start walking 5 or 6 days a week.I am going to try very hard not to think about where I'll come in at the year mark, when I add my logs together from each fresh start. If it's going to be a fresh start I need to think about doing the best I can over the next 3 months. I'm also not counting the hand full of times I make it to the pool or gym. Those are side issues. If I got into a regular routine of water aerobics or water walking or using an indoor track or an elliptical trainer, that would be enough from an exercise stand point. However, every time I try something new I hurt myself no matter how wimpy the effort. Over the past 2 years since my melanoma dx, I've tried a lot of different things at various times. It has all backfired with one exception. Walking. Walking under 3 miles a day works (anything over that and I pay). It also has enormous psychological benefits. I like the sites, sounds, and smells of outdoor walking on woodland and lake trails and I have access to them less than a mile from home. If someone would just turn the sun down a notch or perhaps if I would go to bed early enough to get up by 6:00 am, that could work too. I'm about ready for sweaters and coats or even being able to walk in long pants for a change. I am almost 50, hear me whine!

2 comments:

Kim said...

You know what Carv? You can have as many fresh starts as you wanna have! Each fresh start comes with an epiphany and that can only be a good thing.
Like you, I have to come to grips with a new normal in terms of exercise. My legs just feel good after my little treadmill jogs...now I hope that motivation will carry me through and I can jog outside on a nice flat track when the weather cools. Ah! sweaters and sweats. Bring 'em on!
Another lesson learned from fresh startings is that more is not necessarily better...especially if 'more' leads to injury which leads to 'none'.
Let's just keep tweaking our way toward that new normal.
Love, K.

Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
-Scott Adams

Carver said...

Hi Kim,

We can be new normal buddies. We already are for that matter. You always know the right thing to say. I also love the quote. Bill's degree was in architecture but except for one stretch with an architecture firm he's always worked in engineering. I'll have to tell him about that quote. Love, C