Day 17 – Fourth Time

    Over the last year, or so, I’ve been “working out” off and on.  A little over 14 months ago I was working out very regularly, and eating very healthy.  Then I became stressed out about a project at the office and then I changed jobs…then I all but stopped working out.  I had just been hired as a new developer (to this company) working from home and felt like I needed to prove that I deserved to work for this company (because I do deserve it and I like the company quite a bit.)  So I slacked off workouts.  Occasionally, I would take 30 minutes here or there and watch a cartoon while on an elliptical, but my workout had become an “occasionally do something more than just sit at my desk” thing.  If any time passes between the end of one of my workouts and when I get inspired to workout again i start a new round…so this is the fourth round…and I’m determined to make it the final round.

    Late on the 15th of July I was inspired to start doing Insanity again… but I did not.  I had planned to start on Monday and I joined a fb group for the sole purpose of doing insanity…instead I did something different – I was stressed out from work.

    Stress from work can push you to your limits a couple of times a year.  It’s not always that work is the stressor, but that there is a whole life that adds stress and the one time I especially need not be stressed out is work.  For me, there are a few times a year that I am pushed to the brink.  I have a very chaotic life that I’m unsure how I manage it.  I can tell (that I’m stressed out) because I have an increase in migraine-like headaches, an increase in depression (just wanting to sit on the couch or take naps at night), and a hatred for all things (meaning I get short-tempered about everything – which I do my best not to take it out on people – and I feel horrible if I do.)

    For 13+ years I’ve worked the same way.  I rarely take a lunch, opting instead to work through lunch so I can get done a little early, which I end up working a little later.  It is only in the last year that I have been forced to set an 730-330 (no lunch) or 730-430 (with lunch) timeframe as I have not had a whole lot of time that I could bill overtime.  I must say that it’s been nice.  I’ve managed to get my days into a 7:30-430 or 8-5 schedule, and take a lunch, and walk/run twice a day (just in the last two weeks.)  I’m very happy with how that’s going.  Back to the stress – I felt like I was so stressed out that if I didn’t step away from the computer I was going to have a stroke or a heart attack…so what did I do instead?  I got workout clothes on, grabbed my phone, headphones, sunglasses, and car keys then drove to the nearby trail around a local campus and started walking.  Disclaimer: If you feel like you’re going to have a stroke or heart attack don’t just go walk like I did, call 911 or go to urgent care.

    I was in a zone – I already felt better stepping away from the computer.  From doing yoga at lunch a few months earlier I knew that once I got started my brain would basically stop focusing on whatever I was doing and “clear out” so-to-speak.  And towards the end of the walk that’s exactly what happened.  I had run/walked this trail with the kids before (they rode bikes) and so I knew about how far it was and what to expect.  As I neared the end of the session my mind had cleared and I felt a bit calmer.  I was still stressed out (I would almost say burnt out,) but I felt better – I didn’t feel constrained…so I did it again later in the day.

    Since starting walking on the 16th of July I have walked an average of about one time a day.  There have been a few days that it’s been rainy or over 90 degrees and I didn’t feel like it was safe; the path I walk winds down by a creek and has steep slopes so rain can flood part of it…and while a lot of the path is shaded by trees 90+ degrees is still quite hot and I didn’t want to have some sort of heat episode and not be in a position to get help (even with my phone right there.)  So, I went out and bought a baby Camelbak – it’s actually a Mini-M.U.L.E. which is a kids Camelbak (though it holds 70oz of water) and I purchased these very nice bicep sleeves that hold my phone (I only need one for my workout obviously) that wick water away from the phone.  These sleeves are fantastic!  I highly recommend them – I don’t even notice that I’m wearing them and they don’t get hot.  They’re a spandex material that is very comfortable.

    I actually look forward to workouts now.  I’d still like to do Insanity and/or P90X2 (I just found out today there’s going to be a P90X3) but for the time being, I’m liking the walk/runs.  I’ll save P90X(2)/Insanity for when the weather gets crappy.  I don’t want to add too much to workouts that I lose this drive.  I’d like to continue wanting to workout for a while.  I like the calm that I get after the sessions are over and they’re bringing a new level of calm to my work.  When I get stressed out I know that I have x amount of time to go until I’m going to stop and take a break to clear my head.  I’ve even gotten to the point that I will stop what I’m doing AND eat luch.

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