When I think about my life of fitness, I don’t necessarily think about what I do each day, but the accumulated whole. If I thought about the daily doses of exercise, I think I would drive myself crazy trying to fit something in each day. It’s the big picture that is important. Sometimes life gets in the way of the daily stuff and we just can’t get it done. The last few days have been like that for me.
We returned home at 4 a.m. this morning from a trip to Chicago for the funeral and burial of my father-in-law, Charles Hetzel. We left on Sunday morning after church for the 13 hour drive, and the next few days were a whirlwind of visiting with family, meeting with the funeral director and the priest, and getting kids ready for the service. My husband had flown to be with his dying father the week before we left and had been gone for four days before we packed up the car to leave on Sunday. Needless to say, exercise was the farthest thing from my mind during the last week, and that is how it should be…sometimes life trumps fitness.
Making adjustments and taking time off when life happens is essential I think for a healthy outlook on fitness. That is not to say that if I could have fit in an early workout while I was away, that I wouldn’t have – after all, exercise is a good stress reliever. However, sometimes I believe it is best to not bring along the running shoes or workout gear and keep the focus on what is important. That is the way I felt the last few days.
Now that I am back and ready to start things up again, I know it’ll be slow-going at first. I plan on an easy five-miler with my daughter on the trails this afternoon before I begin the carpool for sports practices. I can’t say I’m looking forward to the run. As long as it takes us to get into shape, it always seems it takes just a fraction of that time to get out of it! I know this run will be a bit of a struggle (I woke up with a wicked headache for one thing- and it doesn’t want to end), but I also know it’s one-foot-in-front-of-the-other the first few days back after a break.
Not only is my body a little stiff, it’s also a little heavier. Between fast-food and gas station stops, and meals out with extended family, I’m sure I’ve gained a few pounds, and what I really want to do is take a carbo-nap. Heavy foods and salty snacks don’t add up to healthy eating, but unfortunately a nap is not on the schedule and it’s back to business as usual in our home today. This is just how it is after a week off and four days of traveling. While I know the next few days of exercise will be slow and tedious, I also know that the week off was good for the soul, good for the family, and the right thing to do to honor my father-in-law.
Do you sometimes have to stop the exercise to deal with life?