Off my routine

It happens to all of us. Our schedules get out-of-sync and before you can blink, you’ve missed a week of working out. Maybe it’s because you are on vacation. Or you’ve come down with the flu. Sometimes it’s an injury. But, usually, it’s because the honeymoon is over. The excitement you felt for a new activity has waned a bit. Considering how hot this summer has been, the weather certainly has had an effect on many outdoor activities.

I spent most of the past week caring for my DH after he had some problems due to hypertension. Sitting up all night in the hospital is not good for one’s body but it had to be done. He is doing just fine now, but I have not returned to my routine yet. I did manage to get in a good 5 mile run last Saturday morning (it felt great to be outdoors) but had to be flexible with the rest of my time. We did take a few walks this week and I made it to Zumba last night. A little yoga and some weights rounded out the week.

While most people would be happy with what I did this week, I know it falls short of my training schedule. But, these things happen. I am not going to worry about trying ‘to make it up’. That is a sure way to get injured, been there, done that. I will total up the miles I completed and focus on making next week better. So, what would I suggest when life gets in the way? Here are some easy tips to keep moving, even a little…

1. Take some extra time and stretch before you get out of bed.
2. Walk as much as you can, including the stairs.
3. Use the internet for quickie routines from various instructors
4. Get out in the fresh air, and breathe deep
5. Don’t worry about it, count it as a rest day.

Did too much?!?

Well, I had been booking along with my exercise plans, adding in a few different classes over the last month, just to keep things interesting. My running was great, mileage was up since we’ve had a fairly mild winter so far. Monday morning I got up extra early for a Spin class I had been considering (6am start). Well, that particular morning, there was a sub and I was the only participant. While the idea of a private Spin class was appealing at the start, it wore off. There were no breaks, couldn’t hide in the back and sit down for a sec, and so on. As a result, later that day I noticed my left knee stiffening up. By that night it was sore and swollen.

Being the stubborn person that I am, I was up early again on Tuesday (after all, I had set a goal for the week) to run. Despite the knee I cranked out 3.2 miles and felt great. However, my the time I got home, I could not bend me leg and had to ice it before getting upstairs. UGGGHHH!!! Needless to say, I skipped that night’s Zumba class. I hate being injured, especially when I do it to myself. So, I’ve been doing more yoga and upper body weights stuff. I’ve definitely been a cry baby about this, knowing that I’ve probably set back my training a good week. Live and learn…I hope. How do you handle injuries? Does it bum you out when you can’t get your workout in? Send me some tips to read while I ice this week.

Slowing Down to the Speed of life

In the book of Ecclesiastes, the third chapter opens with the words “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” (NIV).  What has happened to our understanding of the fact that the Lord GOD, who made heaven and earth, wants us to enjoy His creation.  I have become painfully reminded that since the 1980’s, the decade of materialism, we have lost our ability to notice and appreciate many of the gifts given by the Lord. We have bought into the lie that we must work harder, in order to get more stuff; to work faster and longer to avoid being overtaken by the ‘other guy’.  No matter what we have accomplished, we’re being told that we should be striving for more.

 Everyone has an e-mail address (some of you have several), cell phones (many people have more than one), call waiting, call forwarding, text messaging – there is no time that the average person should ever be out of reach.  But is that reasonable?  Even on vacations and short holiday trips, we carry our cell phones, laptops and utilize hotel computers to ensure that we don’t miss anything important.  I’ve noticed that many churches have posted signs asking members to turn off cell phones and pagers before entering the sanctuary.  Worship time should be a point where we let everything else go, and focus solely on the Lord.

 Now, while I do appreciate the benefits of our advanced technology, I can’t help but question our dependence on it.  Because e-mail is so convenient, we don’t seem to converse face-to-face or write letters to friends any longer.  We find ourselves too busy to sit in our yards so we put a picture of a garden on the computer screensaver. I am concerned that we are allowing our lives to be consumed by the ever present drive for MORE – the next raise, a bigger house, more luxurious car, the newest gadgets.   Having the desire for a better lifestyle is not the problem.  Our spending so much time and effort on gaining these material things, when we don’t even have the time to enjoy them because we are continually working for more, is the problem.

 We have all seen ads and commercials where a woman is drinking instant soup at her desk while working because she can’t take time for lunch. Somehow, we have accepted the notion that we should be constantly working, even to the point where a real lunch break is no longer acceptable. We carry paperwork home at night and try to do it while helping our kids with their homework. We read books and articles while watching television so the time is not wasted. I have even heard people say that sleeping is not a good use of their time.  Does this make any sense at all?  Of course not – but we are seriously putting our health and our quality of life at risk as we continue on this treadmill. If we cannot slow down enough to connect with family members and friends, what do we really value as a culture?  

I challenge you to take a risk and focus on one thing at a time.  Let go of that immense “to do” list you carry around in your head.  Look around and really focus on something that the Lord has put in your life. It may be your child, a beautiful view outside your window, or a lovely piece of music playing on your stereo. Just slow down, take a deep breath, really see, hear, and touch what is near.  And before you get back to work, remember to thank the Lord for His wonderful creation and all that He has provided for you.