Sometimes Workouts Have To Take A Back Seat

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to spend some time today sharing a little bit about what I’ve been dealing with over the past week or so. It’s certainly been a frustrating time for me, but it’s given me time to think about a lot of stuff!

So. Let’s talk about health… and how much I (and I’m sure some of you can agree) take it for granted on a day to day basis. It’s not uncommon for me to workout at least an hour or two a day for 6 days a week. It’s just become part of my normal daily activity. I love it, I love the endorphins I get during and after a good workout, I love the feeling of sweat dripping from my face (and arms… and legs… and knees… and hair…), I love the feeling of working out with others, I love the feeling of teaching a class full of hard working members… you get the idea. Working out has just become a huge part of my life, so when that is taken away from me- even if it’s only for a few days- it’s really hard on me.

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I’m not worried that I will gain 5 pounds or lose all my muscle definition and cardio endurance I’ve gained over the past X number of years of working out. It’s more than that- it’s my source of stress relief, it’s my “me” time to think or not think, plan or not plan, it’s something I do for myself each day that helps me relax, get centered and appreciate my body and its abilities.

Last week, over a short amount of time, I came down with a weird skin condition (for the sake of privacy, I’m not sharing what I was diagnosed with) that literally made me the most uncomfortable I have ever been. My hands and feet were incredibly painful and so swollen I couldn’t bend my fingers and it hurt to put on sneakers or brush my teeth. My arms/legs were covered with spots as well, and although they weren’t painful, they were itchy as hell. Needless to say, my number one priority and concern during the first part of the week (ok, actually most of the week) was, “what the F*** (pardon me) is going on with my body right now? When will it stop? What is causing this? Who will be able to tell me what it is and how fast it can be healed”. Working out was such a distant thought in my brain, which never happens.

However, as the medication started to have positive effects on me and I started to feel a little better, I was getting antsy. Working from home all week with pretty much no social interaction is such a foreign thing for me, and is not something I enjoy, so when you pair that with having physical limitations inhibiting you from working out, it makes for a cranky Monique. Actually, more than cranky, I was frustrated. Why me? What have I done to make my skin react on me like this? Why do my hands and feet hurt so bad? {Cue the “woe is me” music…}

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After I spent some time (ok, a lot of time) feeling bad for myself, stressing myself out and crying to my parents, I realized I had a choice: I could wallow in self pity and be miserable, OR, I could appreciate the fact that what I had was likely nothing TOO serious, and certainly nothing fatal. Yeah, it’s super uncomfortable and annoying, but it would be so much worse. So, I did my best to keep myself busy with work, blogging and talking on the phone to take up some of my abundance of “free” time (it’s so annoying that when I actually HAVE free time, I never remember all the things I want to do when I’m busy and don’t have time. Anyone else have this issue?).

And, you know what? It wasn’t the most miserable thing. Sure, I got bored and certainly got cabin fever, but I think the fact that I knew, physically, that I couldn’t be as active as I normally am and really couldn’t be in public helped me accept it more…. Until things started to feel a little better. At that point, I was getting restless from lack of movement. Even if I don’t work out on a particular day, I can usually bank on walking at least a few miles in my normal commute. That doesn’t happen when you don’t leave your house for 48 hours… just saying.

Thankfully, I was able to come up with a very modified, no-contact, no impact workout on Wednesday that I did (going to post for you this week!), and then on Thursday, after g-chatting with Athena and asking her for more suggestions for exercises that didn’t require any touching with my hands (planks, push-ups, tricep dips, anything with weights, etc.) or jumping, I got in a really good- and fun- workout on Thursday after work. An hour passed within a blink of an eye and I think I smiled the whole time (my 3 mile walk during the day in 50*, sunshine weather didn’t hurt my mood, either). Granted, it wasn’t high impact, but you know what? It left me sweaty and sore and gave me that boost of endorphins that I was really craving.

So, what’s the point of this long rant, you may ask? Well, I wanted to catch you up with what’s been going on and I wanted to show you that if you want to make something happen, you can. I knew I physically needed to let my body rest for a few days (Sunday- most of Wednesday), which I did, but I also knew that for me, I needed to figure out a way to get some endorphins flowing once things started to clear up. And, you know what? Having to step outside of the box and my “normal” workout regimen was actually kind of fun. I was able to do things I hadn’t done in a super long time and, because of that, I felt the effects of it the next day. Our bodies get used to doing the same things day after day, week after week, so when you throw in “new” moves or variations, it wakes up some muscles that may have been dormant for a bit (Athena wrote up a great Sunday Sweat Talk on this topic on Sunday- couldn’t agree with her more!). Next time you find yourself with injuries or something else that’s limiting you from doing your usual workouts, I challenge you to talk to friends and try to find “new” exercises that you can do- you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results AND probably won’t be bored because it will be new to you.

Your turn to talk! When’s the last time you changed up your workouts? How do you deal with being cooped up at home for an extended amount of time? Who do you go to when you need fitness advice, ideas or motivation?

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3 thoughts on “Sometimes Workouts Have To Take A Back Seat

  1. Kim says:

    I’m glad that you are finally feeling better!!!
    I try to mix up my workouts fairly often – it works best for me that way!
    In the summer (or nice weather) I can’t stand to be stuck inside but in the winter I’m completely happy hanging out inside most of the time!!

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