Exercise 30 Days Straight: An Update

January 1st came and I started this whole 30-days-of-exercise, life-list thing with enthusiasm. I went for a run and felt alive. And I kept going day after day – I ran, I walked hard, I did yoga. I boot camped. And not once, for nine days straight, did I feel like I didn’t want to get some exercise. I wanted to get out there.

Then came day 10. On that day I was aware of the required exercise, not as a weight or an obligation but a question. What should I do? By all rights that day should have been a day for a “proper” workout, but I wasn’t feeling it. It didn’t happen during the day, and by 9:30 I was sitting down with a cup of tea, having almost forgotten that I still needed to do something. I certainly wasn’t going to break the streak after getting a third of the way through the 30 days, so I put the tea down and chose yoga. Jillian Michaels would have to wait for the next day.

It felt like a bit of a cop out, to be honest. And if I had planned it better I probably would have done some cardio or strength training. But maybe what my body needed — what I needed — was a day of being kind to myself. My hamstrings were still complaining loudly after boot camp on Day 7, and my back has been bothering me. (It’s a recurring thing unrelated to my recent bout of exercise.) I want to make yoga more of a regular practice and not something I just do when I’m signed up for a class, and it’s what felt doable that night. So that’s what I did.

And that’s what this whole thing is really about. It’s not about going hard core and busting my butt for 30 days in a row. It’s about getting out there. It’s about moving. It doesn’t matter how, necessarily. What matters is that I listen to myself.

Compilation of photos from workouts

Compilation of photos I’ve taken during or after workouts

For me, going for a walk every day wouldn’t feel like exercise, but to another it might. I already know I need the harder stuff – the stuff that really makes me sweat. I need to feel the sore muscles and chug the water to feel like I’m really doing something for my body. But I also need the balance. I need a walk in the sunshine, at a quick pace, to get some fresh air and appreciate my surroundings. That’s when I soak in the view. It’s when I really catch the rays of the sunset.

And I need the gentleness of yoga and the mindfulness it brings too. During my Day 10 session I felt my sore muscles giving, just a little. I felt the tension — brought both by boot camp and by life — starting to ease. But, even so, when I got to Shavasana, I felt myself wanting to get up. My tea called, mere seconds away from being warm again, and the quietness of the house suggested bedtime. But I didn’t listen.

Instead I listened to my shoulders and my back. I stayed on the floor and I let go. It was only for a few minutes, but that’s all that mattered.

Sometimes you just have to do it.

On Day 11 I fulfilled my promise to sweat with Jillian.

And so it continues.

 

***
Speaking of goals, one of the things I’m working on this year is getting more writing opportunities. (Related aside: Did you see that I’m now blogging for Huffington Post? SO excited about that.) In exchange for telling you about it, I was given a trial membership to Wealthy Web Writer, which is described as “the writer’s roadmap to making money online.” I’ve explored a few different writers’ sites like this, and the thing I like about this one is that, in addition to the usual tips and job listings, it features some very specific training (like the 3-Minute Guru videos that cover all sorts of things you might want to know how to do) and resources (like a Building Your Business section that addresses the things writers need to know but may not be instinctively good at). There’s a community aspect and they take suggestions for training. They also accept submissions (so, hey, another place you might be able to get paid for your writing).

Overall, I quite like this site and the people behind it seem genuinely helpful. That said, I’m hopeless at using things like this and tend to look for resources as I need them. If I were throwing myself 100% into freelance writing, though, this might be a very handy option.

 


 

Comments

  1. Robin, you are inspiring me with this. I am finally getting back into a routine at the gym. I am trying to listen to my body and not overdo it. I am also trying to push myself when I know I can. I am hoping that my personal trainer can help me with this. Today was our first session, and she challenged me. I did more than I thought I could. Shavasana is my favorite part of my yoga practice. It is the only time I can get my busy mind to be still.

  2. Yoga is SO NOT a cop out!!
    And go you, you’re doing really well, don’t be so hard on yourself.

    (I’m trying Wealthy Web Writers too, haven’t used it as much as I can, so need to get on it too)

    • No, I know. It just felt like a cop out that day. But it is something I want to do more of and more often, so I think this has been really good for that.

  3. You’re such an inspiration! AND blogging for Huffington Post?? Congratulations girl!

  4. Goodness, I like this post for so many reasons. The exercising part and the writing part at the end too. Thanks for sharing all of it!

  5. Oh I hear ya. I’ve started (and struggled) with a few of these myself. But you know what? I think 30 days of exercise is a bit much. I think we ALL need at least one rest day. My goal is 5 days a week.

    I can relate still as I began a 30 day simple green smoothie challenge on the 2nd of Jan. I even needed a day of rest from this challenge a few days ago. So, give yourself a break. It may have been just what your body|mind|soul *needed* :)

    jen

    • I think you’re right – I did need it. And I agree about the rest, although I’m finding I’m able to do something really easy (that I wouldn’t normally consider “exercise”) on days I need to.

      Green smoothie challenge, huh? That sounds like a good one too! But I can see needing a break from that, for sure.

      • actually..the daily green smoothie is NOT that bad. I’m someone who wouldn’t normally eat veggies (at least not EVERY day) but I’m finding that there are so many things that you can add to/change the taste/texture that it is like having a different drink everyday. Plus, loving the energy boost and on days like today when I didn’t get a chance to workout or do anything physical (sick kiddo at home) I at least feel like I got something in me that my body enjoys (you know, rather than a chocolate bar or a half dozen cookies that I might go for). I have a blog and Pinterest board if you are interested or you can search on Facebook for more info too! :)

        • So guess what I’m having with dinner? :)

          I got some stuff to make green smoothies the other day and of course haven’t done it yet. But I did tonight and it’s good! Can’t taste it. I used to eat a lot of fruit but for some reason I don’t much anymore at all, so this is good for me for all sorts of reasons.

          Will definitely check out your blog and Pinterest board – thanks!

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