Saturday, March 19, 2011

Excuses, Excuses...

One of the things my students learn quickly is that Mrs Loomis does not tolerate excuses. Printer didn't work? Should have finished early enough to find an alternative. Out of town? We're in class two days a week--you are responsible to get the work done. Out of paper? Out of ink? No internet? (see answer above.)

So, it's probably no surprise that I roll my eyes at exercise excuses from reasonably healthy people. There are very few people whose doctors discourage any form of exercise. (I have known one in my life, and she WANTED to get out and move. Sadly, she passed away from Type Two Chiari Malformation) Most people are able to exercise; they just aren't willing.

Want excuses? I have plenty:
1. I was diagnosed with asthma at three. I know the insides of ERs all over the country--and a couple internationally. In all likelihood, I will die of some asthma-related malady (in many, many years)

2. I have a slight case of scoliosis. It's not enough to warrant correction, but it is enough to cause pain, muscle inflammation, and stiffness.

3. I have a titanium plate in my neck to secure a bone graft after a ruptured disc. There is another disc threatening to herniate and rupture, too.

4. I have fragile feet. The bones are more flexible than they should be, and that can be painful, although not life-threatening.

5. I am busy. I have a part-time teaching job. I also tutor. I have a photography business. I am an artist (and I've actually sold a couple of things!) I have a daughter in college, a daughter about to graduate from high school, and a daughter in high school who is in marching band AND swims year-round. Mom's taxi-service is always running.

6. Then there is my passion for music. I sing with the local symphony choir--weekly rehearsals, plus concerts. Give that up? Not a chance---it's the best therapy I know.

7. Allergies? Yep---to pretty much everything that grows from animals to yucca trees.

8. Finances are tight (see #5)

9. I have a long term injury sustained when I was hit by a car 16 years ago. It can cause excruciating headaches (and the medicine I take for my high blood pressure excludes any anti-inflammary over the counter medicines to ease them. Acetaminophen barely touches them.)

So, as far as excuses go, I have plenty. I don't write this to elevate myself, but to encourage anyone who reads it: if I can exercise regularly, anyone can!
I run...because it works for me. (My doctor can hardly believe I run like I do, but she keeps an eye on my health issues and tells me to keep it up until my body tells her otherwise.) But there are so many options for people! Time an issue? Make a 10 minute committment. EVERYONE can carve out ten minutes over the course of a day.

Walk, bike, swim, dance, lift weights, stand on your toes, stretch, invest a few dollars into bands, find househod materials to simulate weight lifting (milk jugs, sugar bags, laundry detergent creative!), find fitness shows on television, check out videos from the library...just MOVE!
Start small. My running began with walking. I added a short jog (from one mailbox to the next.) I extended the jog time. Then I moved faster. I still take walk breaks. (Jeff Galloway is a hero for making the run/walk interval acceptable in the running world.) Sign up for an event--something about having paid to participate is highly motivating. (Plus, many events come with really cool shirts.)
Do one push up. Do one squat. Then add one more. Use a two pound weight. Then a five. Be persistent. Be faithful. Be stubborn and determined to persevere.
It's your LIFE---make it spectacular! Get off the sidelines and play hard. No excuses!!!


Simone said...

What a great post and I had no idea we are pain twins? Really, the similarities are uncanny. :O I used to love to work out and am eeking back towards it. Thank you for the kick in the behind. xoxo

Mimi2six said...

Wow, I am pulling my tail from between my legs, ouch. I just found your blog today and I think it is providence that lead me to I am read this entry. I live with pain, back pain, hip, shoulder, etc., etc. I am on quite a bit of meds because of the pain that at times is intolerable. I have used that pain as an excuse to not do a lot of things in life. I feel convicted. If you can do the things you do with the legitimate conditions that you face, then so can I. I do not see me running, but I can move. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to motivate me, a complete stranger. I'm off to have a little walk.

Kathy said...

Excellent blog, Stephanie! I appreciate what you've said and I'm going to print and post it near my pc as a reminder! If you haven't yet, perhaps you should blog this on SparkPeople! Thanks for sharing your inspiration!