Get Me Moving!

From Karen
Friday 5/14 – Let’s get moving. Exercise . . . love it or hate it? Do you have a regular exercise routine? Or do you have trouble finding your exercise motivation? How do you manage your insulin and food to avoid bottoming out during your workout? Today is the day to tell us all about your exercise habits, or lack thereof.

I miss exercise, in a totally theoretical sort of way. I don’t miss it enough to get out and get moving again, even though I know I need to. I also know that I will feel a million times better once I do. But I keep finding excuses to not take that first step. It’s all bullshit too. Total and complete crap.

There have been two distinct life changes that come to mind regarding exercise, both work related.

From 2003 to 2005 I worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The building was right on the fringes of downtown, and parking prices were pretty steep. Just a bit more than 1.5 miles away, along the scenic Mississippi River parkway, there was free street parking. So I’d park there and hike my way in. Built into my day was about 3 miles of walking. Automatic, 5 days each week. There was also a small (but really nice) fitness center on-site, that I would use often too. When I moved on from that job, I also moved away from a nice chunk of exercise.

From there I started working at Cozmo. They were gracious enough to allow me to split my shift on three days of the week. For those three days, I would come in at around 8:00 AM, work until 11:00 AM, take a three-hour lunch break, then come back to work from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM. I was doing some computer support, covering the entire US of A, all by myself. It was beneficial for them to have me there a bit later to handle some of the West Coast customers. It was beneficial for me because during that long lunch I would head to a YMCA (which was right up the street) and play basketball for about two hours. The third hour was split between changing, showering, and getting a small lunch in. That lasted until 2009 when Smith’s pulled the plug on the diabetes division.

Since then I’ve really been struggling to find that next routine (that I can stick with!). I did really great for a couple of months last fall, but then my schedule got crazy from trying to hustle up rent money. I had to sacrifice my morning exercise. During the winter I played basketball once a week, and it sucked (because I was so out of shape). Winter is gone, and the hustling has since fallen apart, and I’ve been stuck (doing no exercise) for the last few months, with no good reason.

I hate that I’m stuck, and every night I tell myself that tomorrow is the day that I’m going to get out and walk, or get back to the gym to lift some weights. I’m scared of going back to the YMCA for basketball because I’m so out of shape. I’m worried I’ll hurt myself, and that I won’t be able to play like I used to play. I’m worried about what the guys there will think (how ridiculous is that?).

I’m also getting pretty close to some new work opportunities, so my schedule may change drastically again in the real near future. So my crazy head starts talking to me – “why start something now when it will all change in two weeks?”

But it is all bullshit. Any bit of exercise I do will be better than no exercise at all. When I first stepped into the gym at the YMCA back in 2005, I was out of shape and hadn’t played ball in years – and it was still awesome. Why am I so damn worried about going back again?

I also remember last fall when I first went to lift weights. Ginger convinced me to go, and was generous enough to set me up with a very basic, beginner level, workout program. I went to the gym, warmed up, lifted weights, cooled down, and was done! The moment I got back in my car, I felt fantastic. I was sure that I was experiencing that “endorphin high” that people talk about. The cloud of depression that was hanging over my head disappeared. Just like that, I felt like a million bucks!

I want that feeling again. Every night I tell myself that I will get up and go to the gym the next morning. But then I stay up too late, and the snooze button and my retiree (a.k.a. unemployed) lifestyle seduce me into sleeping half of my day away.

It’s a wicked snowball of guilt and spiraling self-esteem. It’s easy for me to sit here and type about how much I hate it and how much I hate how I feel right now. But if I hate it so much, why don’t I get up and go to the gym? So what if it happens at 1:30 in the afternoon?

This turned into a monster-long post, which I didn’t mean for. But I think it felt good to get some of this out and off my chest. Now I need to get to the gym, or out for a walk, or get on my bike. Did I mention I’m doing the Tour de Cure in three weeks? Yeah. 25 miles. WTF am I DOING to myself?! That one is all Auntly H’s fault, but it’s cool. I can do it.

 

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…