Exercise is a scared dog that I’m trying to approach cautiously with sweet words and kissy noises: No matter how kind my intentions are, I keep getting growled and nipped at.
I went running for the first time in probably two years, and I didn’t make it around the block. It felt good while it lasted, despite the cold drizzle, but I live in a hilly neighborhood–which means that inevitably I had to go uphill. I paced myself, I conversed easily with my husband who was running by my side, and then I felt dizzy. And then I felt like I was going to throw up. It’ll pass, I said, as I knelt beneath a magnolia tree that shielded me from the quickly fattening drops of rain. I stood up and began to walk down the hill, and another wave of nausea and dizziness swept over me. Okay, so now I know that I should eat a little before I try to do any heavy-duty exercise. Maybe I’ll be an afternoon runner, rather than an early-morning runner.
A day or two afterward, I did a workout DVD that uses one of those big exercise balls; mine has a 5-pound sandbag inside that adds an extra layer of oomph to my routine. It got the ol’ heart pumping, got the sweat glands up and running again, and made me hyper aware of how sadistic it is to have a cheery-sounding voice a la Stepford Wives slowly counting reps: 13…14…15! And when you think you’ve finally finished, she says, “Now let’s start the whole circuit over again!” No time for rest or water, fraulein, just lunges with a weighted bouncy ball over your head. Schnell!
But what an amazing workout! I was sore for a week, and with every new twinge in my abs, I smiled. I haven’t given up on running; I just need to find some flat ground a little further from home before I attempt to run uphill again.
In the meantime, I’ve been sleeping a lot, experiencing random bouts of dizziness not associated with physical exertion, and continuing to slur my speech and having moments of confusion in the afternoons at work. I also had a very uncomfortable conversation with my husband during which he revealed to me his deepest fear: that I will die before he does. I told him not to count on it; I promised to nag him for decades to come.
So this week’s goals are to:
- run at least once
- do yoga at least twice
- do my kick-you-in-the-gut-and-laugh pilates DVD once
Until next time…