I've been talking about getting in-shape or getting back in-shape for several years now. And honestly, I'm not in bad shape, just not the kind of shape I want to be in, especially given what I want my body to do.
The past year has been really tricky. I've attributed it to my age and our constant traveling, both which make it more difficult. But there was something more to it. I wasn't willing to put the work into it. I told my self to ease back into things and yet even when I was "taking it easy" I felt like I was hurting myself.
No Pain, No Gain
It's one of those old-school motto's that has practically gone the way of the dodo bird. Over-training and injury certainly are things that can derail you before you get started and yet getting in shape does hurt. I remember all of the nagging minor injuries, blisters, cuts, bruises, etc. etc. that I would have and still train. In fact, one bit of insight, I would give to people who would train juijitsu with an injury was that, I would often see my game get better when I was injured because it forced me to rely more on technique than strength or it made me approach moves differently.
As you get older, it's easier to get hurt and it does take more time to recover. Because I like to do activities that put a lot of stress on one's body, I have been getting hurt. But still just little things, nothing that stopped any of my activities.
A Simple Truth
Last night I laid out my running gear, made sure my gadgets were charged and got to bed early. I woke up. It was still dark outside. It was cold out of my bed. I forced myself to get up. I didn't want to go out into the cold and run.
I started putting on my clothes. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I hadn't been pushing myself. I hadn't really been willing to do the work.
The way I was feeling this morning was a familiar feeling, I've had hundreds of times, and I used to get over it fairly quickly and get on with the training, but not of late.
Resting On My Laurels
The level of physical fitness that I am typically at and my body's natural constitution and resiliency has been a double edge sword. I can eat pretty much eat what I like and not get too massive. I don't need much sleep. And I could still run 10 miles if I had to. And I'm stronger than most guys my age and considerably younger.
I can trace my change of attitude, ironically, back to when I was probably in the best shape of my life, at least in regards to my endurance. I was stronger and faster in my youth, but I never had the stamina like I did when I was turning 40 and the years just past it. When I was fighting off having a mid-life crisis.
But that's just it, I was fighting. I was motivated to not let age slow me down. I was willing to put in the work and the time.
I haven't bought into the Cross-fit trend for a few reasons. It can be dangerous if you're not doing it properly. It's easy to push yourself to the point of injury with the competitive climate that comes with it.
But I used to do a lot of the things they do in Cross-fit and I pushed myself as hard as those instructors would, just not recently.
15 minutes would be when I started feeling comfortable in a run. Right now its the half-way point. I used to not count it as a running day if I didn't go at least 45 minutes. Now that's my max. My long runs were 12 to 20 plus miles. I would spend 3-5 hours on trail runs.
I realized this morning that I needed to get back to work. So I decided to run at least an hour and try to get 6 miles under my belt, much less than what I used to do, but almost double what I have been doing.
I set out in the dark, in the cold and thought maybe, I should just go and see how far I get. Maybe I shouldn't push myself too much.
Or maybe I should.
No, I definitely should. I will.
I ended up running 6.5 miles(10.4 km) in 1 hr, 12 min.
It's going to take some work to get to where I want, but I see what I need to do.
I remember pushing myself and am ready to do it.