Habits are weird things. You sort of only hear about them as bad things. Like that biting-your-nails habit or the clicking-your-pen-lid habit or the seemingly endless list of things you maybe don't know you do or don't notice you do or maybe you know you do but aren't sure it's bad enough you need to stop kind of things.
All that previous paragraph is a whole lot of blah blah blah while I try to sort out what you call something that's good for you but not a habit. Like exercise.
Because for it to be a habit, you don't have to think about it, it just happens. And exercise doesn't just happen. Oh but I wish it would, but it doesn't. *sigh*
Anyhow, let's let this post begin, shall we?
It's been about a year since I was in that car accident
. What does that have to do with exercise and habits, you ask? Oh, everything.
See, before that I was going to the gym regularly. I was seeing cute boys
and avoiding possessed treadmills
somewhere between several and many days a week.
After the accident I couldn't go to the gym. It was frustrating but I understood that things needed time to heal and I shouldn't rush.
Even when I was allowed to go back to the gym things still hurt and I got scared. It's taken until now for me to get to the place where I can be back at the gym slowly and gently and not hurt worse the next day. (Yay!)
But on top of that, I knew I had to get back in the "habit" of going to the gym. I knew that I couldn't give myself a goal I might not be able to carry out because of injury or pain, so I wanted to give myself something I could do and feel positive about exercise wise that would still allow my body to heal the way it has been.
So, I told you
back in January about my "take a photo every day" thing, but I've also being "doing some exercise every day" since the start of the new year.
And I'm really glad I decided to take that one on. See, I love being physically active and I love how I feel after I've done something, but it's sometimes (ok, often) very very difficult to get myself up and going. So I told myself that every day I have to *at least* walk around the block (which is more like four blocks by four blocks) which ends up being a walk of about 15 minutes. Which when I'm sitting feeling like I'm glued to the couch is doable. "Come on self, you can walk around the block, don't be ridiculous."
So I do.
And there are days when I'm dragging myself off the couch, dragging the boots or runners on to my feet and mentally pushing myself out the door. Hell, sometimes there are weeks where that's all I'm doing; mentally complaining about how much I don't want to do it and why can't I just NOT do it for once.
But then there's that voice that says "Well, *today's* not going to be the day I *don't* AT LEAST go for a friggin walk around the block because it would suck going to bed knowing I was too lazy to do that."
So it's great because I'm no longer feeling lazy or like I don't exercise enough but I'm also getting my body back into regular exercise in a really quite gentle way.
It's been three months now and I'm back at the gym two or three days a week. And the pain's still improving and my cardio's coming back (although five minutes on the stair machine just about makes me pass out thank you very much) and I'm sleeping better and just feeling better physically and mentally and emotionally. It's good to fill in the calendar every day with what I did; makes me proud of myself.
It may not seem like a major accomplishment. I haven't scaled a mountain or run a marathon or lost a ton of weight but for me, getting my exercise habit back after almost a year of not having it has been a major accomplishment.
I remember talking to a counsellor after the accident (because I didn't talk about it to you guys at the time but I was terrified of driving for a while and really wanted to work through that) and him saying that I must be upset that I'll never be the same as I was after the accident and that physically I'd always be weaker than I was.
I paused, looked at him and said "No, I'm going to come out of this accident physically stronger and better than I was before it. That's the only way I'm willing to see it."
He just kind of shrugged and warned me not to expect too much, but I think, for me, it's more about the attitude than anything.
So I'm happy to be back working on my exercise "habit."
Even if I had to start rebuilding from scratch. It's ok. It's worth it for me.