All right, here we are, one week into 2018. Happy New Year! As I said in my last post, I’m going to post weekly for a while to hold myself accountable on fitness. My goal to start the year was simply to get moving more often, to make fitness a habit again – as a first step.
Fitness guidelines are to get 30 mins of moderate exercise most days per week. Using that as my baseline, I’m less concerned with how far or how fast I’m doing anything than I am with just doing something more frequently. I don’t think I can adequately describe how embarrassing it is for me to at this point. I was always in good shape, often in great shape. I ran ultramarathons (many of them), I climb high mountains, I swim, hike, windsurf, ski. I always knew my body could manage whatever it needed to do on any given day. But now, I need to get myself doing some physical activity more days per week, so the guidelines are a good base.
A couple days later, I really struggled to go out. It was still cold – around 10-15 degrees F. It was late in the afternoon and I wanted to stay in my warm house in front of the wood stove. I thought I could just skip it, it wouldn’t matter, it’s just one day, right? Who will know? I can make up for it later in the week.
Exercise used to be like breathing for me. It was the most natural thing in the world for me to go outdoors and do something. But I’ve gotten out of the habit of it, so it was so easy for me to think of skipping it. But no, I had decided to write this little blog, to hold myself accountable. So I forced myself outside, complaining to myself in my head, and promising I’d only go out for 10 minutes – that would be good enough. Of course, once I got started, I was rewarded (and walked for far longer than 10 minutes).
And then came the “bomb cyclone.” If you’re not on the east coast and aren’t fully aware of what this is, it’s a super-charged storm with rapidly dropping pressure, lots of wind, lots of snow, way more than just your typical nor’easter. (If you are on the east coast, you’re probably still hearing “bombogenesis” in your sleep.) We prepared: hauled in lots of wood, filled buckets and pans with water (for you suburban folks who might not think about it, if you’re on well water like we are and your power goes out, you still have water but you can’t get it because the pump doesn’t work), and had candles and flashlights ready – ended up being unnecessary, we never lost power, but have to be prepared.
It was indeed a pretty intense storm. I did go out in it. I chose a point when the wind had died down a bit, got really bundled up, and went out into the woods. I love feeling the intensity, it’s incredibly beautiful in its way. I only walked for about a half hour – turned back when the wind picked up again and limbs started cracking, and then there was the muffled whhhummmph of a distant tree falling in snow.
But the days after the storm have been glorious. Okay, cold, seriously cold. But gorgeous. We got enough to do a little skiing back in the woods. And with temps in the single digits, I dressed appropriately, closely monitoring how my fingers and toes were doing. The longest I stayed out was an hour and a half – which was probably just a little too long. The other days, I stuck to about an hour or a little more.
Along with the skiing, there was some work to be done: hauling more wood, shoveling, and a ski down to pick up packages. My Fedex guy knows he can’t get his truck up our driveway when it snows, so he called me 15 minutes before he arrived, then I skied down and loaded up my little green sled. (thanks, Fedex guy!)
I would like to point out that I’m very happy I had already started getting myself back in shape a little before the new year. (I don’t believe in NY’s resolutions, just start if you need to make a change!) I had started working my core and shoulders – so good when I had an hour of shoveling.
All together, I hiked 2 days, skied 4 days, shoveled snow for an hour, and carried wood most days. Except for my one day of struggling to force myself to go out, it was a solid week – not big long hikes or skis – but solid, regular exercise. And the good news about my one day of no motivation: I didn’t want to, but I did it anyway, and it was wonderful!