The Best Workout Ever: Exercising Flexibility

Last December I thought about calling 2015 the year of yoga and swimming.

Then I thought calling it the year of having all my toenails would be even better.

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(It’s been a long time since I’ve had all my toenails.)

Can you see where I’m going with this? No? Well, let me tell you.

As the end of December rolled around, I was becoming a tad bit irritated that I still could not run without discomfort in my left knee. So, without advertising it, I decided to take a break from running…because listening to my body was the right thing to do. And my body (specifically my knee) was telling me “Hey! I hurt. Give me a break.”

I only hoped my knee appreciated the depth of the rest of my body’s concern, and would choose to respond accordingly.

So, I put away my running tights, jacket, mittens and headband, and diligently headed off to the Y, where I lifted, ellipticalled, and biked my way through the first two weeks of January. (And for the record, I think ellipticalled should be a word. Obviously spellcheck doesn’t know it’s dealing with the 1979 Clayton School Spelling Bee champ.)

I lasted until the middle of January. I couldn’t help myself. How often is there a perfect running day, in Wisconsin, in the middle of January? Exactly. So I went out for a run. Just 5 miles, mind you. And guess what? I felt incredible. Or at least I felt incredible up until a little over 4 miles. At that point, the little twingy feeling I had in my left knee quickly escalated to a knife stabbing me under the kneecap. Just a little knife, mind you, but a knife nonetheless.

Irritated beyond belief, I continued on my route, never even crossing my mind to shorten the route and head directly home…’cuz I’m tough! Stupid. But tough.

So once again, I resigned to the fact that my body needed more time off; reluctantly, my “vacation” from running resumed.

Toward the end of January, I began feeling a bit anxious. Because at the end of January, I was going to have to step on a scale, and I hadn’t quite established a healthy relationship with the scale. Actually I had no relationship with the scale, as I avoided it like the plague.

The last time I had stepped on the scale was the previous September–when I was in the midst of training for a marathon, and  when my refrigerator was chuck full of veggies from my CSA. An ideal situation, if ever there was one. (And most of me feels, there never really is one, just for the record.)

Typically when I get weighed, I close my eyes and tell whoever is weighing me that I have no desire to know my weight; but due to the above circumstances,  I decided to face my demons and look. It was time.

So I did. The veil did not split. The earth did not shake. Rocks did not split open. Nothing.

I wasn’t thrilled. But I wasn’t devastated either.

But January was not September, and while I was working out regularly, I was not running. And CSA? Ah…no. Let’s try Christmas and having the kids home, making goodies on a regular basis. (Vegan goodies, but goodies nonetheless.) This was not an ideal situation. I couldn’t do it.

So on the day of the weigh in, I closed my eyes and stepped on the scale. I was about to tell the nurse that I didn’t want to know how much I weighed, but before I could, she blurted out the number.

And guess what? I weighed 5 pounds less that I did in September. Somebody was trying to tell me something.

Since then, I’ve really been trying to listen to my body, because apparently it really does know best. I’ve tried to be more relaxed about my exercise routine, taking days off when I feel tired, and adjusting workouts as needed. (I have NOT, however, gotten back on a scale.)

All of this brings me to today. Tonight was suppose to be a Y night…weights and bike. But it was 66 degrees. And sunny.

Turns out, it was a great night for a run, and a relaxing bike ride after dinner with my honey.

Exercising  flexibility is the best workout ever. Have you tried it?

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2 thoughts on “The Best Workout Ever: Exercising Flexibility

  1. I agree. I find my body responds best to the desire to run and get movement, not follow a particular plan. I am actually getting faster this way than I ever did when on the strict schedules that got me injured.
    The best part? I never have to force myself out the door.

    Like

    • I absolutely agree! There is not a better feeling than being excited for a workout! And injuries? Yep…no worse feeling than being injured and not being able to workout. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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