7 AM Alarm!
All I really want to do is throw the phone. Instead, I swipe to dismiss the godawful noise. Before the voice in my head convinces me to fall back asleep, I get up, get dressed and plod downstairs zombie like.
She says, “Go back to bed. The covers are nice and warm.”
Still wishing I were back in bed I manage to change from my house shoes to my gym shoes. I drag my sleepy ass downstairs to the basement, turning on only one light (it’s better this way, trust me). After putting resistance bands and stability ball in place I slowly start the first of a two-set circuit. I often think about doing 3 sets but that would require me to get up earlier and I’m not that evolved yet.
As I start the first set, the voice tells me
“Stop! Put that down, the couch looks so inviting!”
Ignoring her, I feel like the tinman from “The Wiz” before he was fully oiled. I hear creaking, cracking, and popping… I think ‘No one in this house eats Rice Krispies.’ but then I realize those noises are coming from my joints! I use the Wave Master for my front kicks and punches. When I get to the resistance bands, I focus on loosening all my back muscles. I’m still half sleep but I hear her laugh as I struggle to stay on the stability ball. I get to the second set; the crunchy noises die down; mostly; and I finish the circuit with a lot more balance and fluidity.
“Thank goodness that is over with! Now we can go back to sleep.”
In my mind she’s halfway up the stairs. I drag her back down.
Putting the bands and ball back in place allow me time to catch my breath for about 1 minute. Next, I get on the bike, set my timer for 20 minutes. Slowly I start to pedal. I think I hear whimpering from the voice in my head. I’m not sure because my quad muscles are asking if the front kicks and high knees, we just did weren’t enough. The first 5 minutes are excruciating. Every few seconds she’s questioning or complaining.
“…why do we have to do this?”. To get healthy, just keep going.
“...I don’t like this.” You will, just keep going.
“…I’m hungry, let’s go eat!” Food later, for now, keep going.
“…it hurts!” No, it doesn’t, keep going.
“…but… um…ah…but” Shut up, Keep Going!
“I want to stop!” Too bad, Keep Going!
“I hate you!” That’s okay, I love you! so KEEP GOING!
I keep going. Just before the 7-minute mark, I kick it into high and go as fast as I can for as long as I can. My heart rate is sufficiently elevated for a short burst, I slow down to a more normal speed and keep going. My quads are in a rhythm now.
“Has it been 20 minutes yet? Check the timer”. Don’t worry about the timer just keep going.
I feel a slight vibration on my wrist signaling the ½ way mark.
“…are you kidding me, it has ONLY been 10 minutes!!!?” (I ignore her)
13-minutes in, time for another speed burst. She’s quiet now… but I can feel her pouting.
After the burst I realize that I am enjoying the ride and I have been for several minutes. I found the flow state. I found my equivalent of the “Runner’s High”. My breathing is easier, my movements smoother. Time seems to flow with me not against me. I find myself pointing my toes up then down to stretch my calves while pedaling. I am aware that if time permitted, I could ride longer. Four months ago, a 5-minute ride was almost an impossibility. For now, it is time for one final speed burst. As I am backing down from the burst the double tap vibrations on my wrist announces the 20-minute mark. I reduce the resistance on the bike and slow down to cool down. I stop the timer at the 22-minute mark. I gather my phone and eyeglasses and as I approach the steps she says...
“…I am so glad that is ov- “
She stopped talking because I do 2 or 3 sets of calf stretches and calf raises on the way up the stairs.
I grab a granola bar from the kitchen to snack on later, change back into my house shoes and head upstairs. I stop in the office and drop off everything I don’t need in the shower. I step into the bathroom and adjust the water temperature so it’s just slightly cool. I step in, close the curtain, and press my forehead against the shower wall. The water hits my head and back and I hear her let out a relaxing sigh. I say to her ‘You’re welcome.’
I go through this process 3 times a week. Three times a week I take roughly 45 minutes and I go to hell and back. I am better for it. I am not perfect… I skip a workout one in a while. Sometimes I make it up and workout two days in a row. Sometimes I don’t. I am learning to be consistent and not let little things stop me. When my 20+ year old exercise bike finally died… I doubled up on the circuit. I was afraid I would lose the habit of working out before I could get another bike. Thanks to two people that apparently love and care about me, my time without a bike was greatly reduced. I didn’t stop. Three days ago, our 10.5-year-old stability ball bit the dust. I added more reps the Friday circuit. I didn’t stop. The new ball arrives tomorrow. It will be here for my Monday workout.
For this journey, I've enlisted help. I have two accountability partners. My wife is one. She is there by my side encouraging and supporting me. She doesn’t pressure or nag. She does notice and acknowledge when I change for the better. I check in with my other accountability partner once a week. If I mention her name, I will get fussed at! She calls me on my shit and reminds me to not be too hard on myself when I miss a mark or get discouraged. Between the two of them and the voice in my head it’s noisy sometimes but I have come to learn that they each provide something I need.
Whatever goal you are striving for, don’t stop. Whether its health, business, spiritual, relationship, fun, doesn’t matter; don’t stop. When it gets hard, don’t stop. When things break down, pivot, but don’t stop. Find someone to accompany you on your journey. Start where you are with what you have and take the first step then another, and another…
If you are inspired to get healthier, find what works for you. Don’t be discouraged by those more skilled than you. My workout is my own. My skill level is what it is. And it is improving. If you can easily do a more difficult workout, I applaud you. If you struggle to do a much simpler workout but you get it done, I stand and applaud you. If you aren’t sure how or where to start, I urge you to stand and start with a short trip, perhaps just 5-minutes to hell and back.
Kim C Wells
Expressing myself through written word. Hoping to evoke emotions, invoke thoughts and actions.
Your Body is talking.
Are you listening
Customized Nutrition based on your DNA can help!
No more guessing!
Let your DNA tell you what your body needs.
Contact me with inquiries