Cross country, way back in 2013
The ancient Subaru station wagon is packed with so much snow gear that it looks like a traveling REI store. We are driving tomorrow to British Columbia (Silver Star near Vernon for you ski bums) for a Thanksgiving of eating and skiing.
Just writing that last sentence reminds me of how much I have to be grateful for. But….just as the phrase “All downhill from here” can have a positive or negative meaning, I have been trying to bat off negative thoughts with positive energy.
One negative: Am I still going to be able to ski? My calves and thighs continue to be perennially tight, and I am imagining grimacing with pain as I bend my knee and kick off in the cross country track. I am duly doing my exercises prescribed by my trainer, but they seem to do no good at all.
And that is at the heart of the negativity: exercise is critical to fighting PD, but whatever I do, it seems time consuming and useless. Of course the exercise will literally always be pointless if I have no “point” to aim for. I confess that I’m leery of setting exercise goals because….then you have to achieve them.
Paul and Laura at Brot Trot 5k
What about a 5k as a goal? I signed up for a local 5k (mostly because my husband had signed up) and didn’t embarrass myself too much. I almost felt proud of myself until the trainer asked if I felt out of breath at the end. Well, no, of course not – that’s because I walked more than half of it. The remark made me feel like I was wasting my time. So now the goal is to actually run a whole 5k. However, the longest I’ve been able to “run” (“run” is a very slow jog where I look like the Bride of Frankenstein) has been 1.1 miles. A 5k is about 3.1 miles, and that additional 2 miles seems to me as achievable as running to Australia – especially since, the more times I run this course, I run less mileage, not more.
Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff, “Bride of Frankenstein”, 1935. Love her hair!
So where is the positive energy? I am allowing my whining about exercise to create way too much negative noise. Let’s turn down this negative volume and change the channel to gratitude, this being the season of Thanksgiving. What are some things I am grateful for?
–I can afford to hire a personal trainer and experiment with this approach.
–I have the opportunity to travel to a gorgeous part of British Columbia.
–My husband (aka my Chauffeur For Life) is doing all the driving, including through snow and gnarly mountain passes.
–I am going to a ski area that has all the snow sports that I love: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
–I will be participating in a Thanksgiving dinner with lots of my favorites, notably cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and (just throw the turkey away) STUFFING!