The magic of Intervals
This first blog experience will be about living strong, even when feeling weak or insufficient. Or maybe especially when feeling low.
Think of intervals. Psychologically, we can get through challenges when we break things up into smaller pieces.
Life is made of moments, most of which get committed away to other things, besides the important goal of self care. By the time I get to exercise, when it’s finally ’Me Time’ my energy can be low. This is when I have to make deals with myself. Deals like, “Just do 10 staircases, then you can... (fill in the blank! ). Sometimes I have to sneak up on myself too. (Oops, I parked 3/4 of a mile away from work.... There’s an automatic mile and a half extra in my day.)
When I can't really commit a block of time to my self care, I like to grab those in-between moments. Again, psychologically, we can do something hard for a few minutes at a time. Example- I am almost home with a bag of groceries and lots to do when I arrive. On the way home, I see a pull-off near one of my favorite roads to run or walk on. Wow, I have 12 extra minutes! I am not exactly dressed right to run, but I will be fine for 1 mi, and the groceries won't expire, I am going for it! When I get back in the car, I am feeling alive, ready to finish the day.
Those are easy, small distances or actions. Bigger goals can scare me and require deal-making with my childish or negative self. The inner chatter goes something like this:
+Positive Me; 'I want to be able to stand/walk/run without slumping forward. I need to do more weight lifting, yoga, massage trading, etc.'
-Negative Me; 'You don't have time for that, and you are getting OLDER!'
+ Me; 'You can sneak in a little time for that...first thing in the AM, before anything else gets in the way.'
-Me; 'I really can't accomplish much of value BEFORE my coffee/tea/bfast.'
+Me; 'You got yourself out of a wheelchair and off a walker with a little bit of effort each day. Just do 25 pushups and 25 reverse flys then you can have a nice cuppa joe.'
-Me; 'That is not really impressive. I heard about an 83 year old woman who races Dragon Boats and she does 50 pushups a day.'
+Me; 'Good, then do 50. Don't think, just Do.'
The magic of intervals is that if you can get yourself to do something hard...just for a few minutes at a time, you will GROW.' (more later on the concept of Intervals, learned while running).
12 WEEKS LATER-
In 30 min, I manage 120 pushups (no more than 20 in one set, BTW) and 120 flys, AND when I ran later in the day, I felt more upright AND my low back did not nag me to stop. Not sure what I actually looked like, but my point is, I felt strong and loved it. Thank you 83 year old positive role model!!
And bonus, my achy left shoulder is less whiny now.
Using a few minutes in a targeted, consistent and most importantly, sustainable way is getting me closer to my goal. The feeling of strength is actually leaking into other areas of my life. Hence, this blog, which has intimidated me for years!
ANYONE ELSE WANT TO SHARE?
Thank you, K