Exercise: A Blessing in a Sweaty Disguise?

20 Oct

Isn’t it true that we always want what we can’t, don’t, or shouldn’t have?

For most of my life, I’ve not been a huge fan of exercise.  I know it’s good for me and it’s something I should be doing, but me and sweat have not been great friends through the years.  Besides, I’m tall and within my normal weight range, so I didn’t think I reeeeaaaaally neeeeeeeeded to.  I have exercised occasionally throughout the years – I semi-regularly worked out at a gym for a while and I’ve gone through periods where I would walk quite a bit.  But it’s never been anything consistent and I’ve not done it with much any enthusiasm.

That is, until this year.  I turned 42 this year and decided it was time to take better care of this body if I want it to last.  Little did I know, my body was going to go for the ride of its life in just a few months!

By the way, can someone tell me how in the world I got to be 42???  It is so hard to believe that I graduated from high school 24 years ago.  Mercy.  The time, it sure does fly, doesn’t it?

Source: ThinkStockPhotos.com

In March, Barry and I bought bikes and started riding at a new, fantastic nature park near our house.  It has miles and miles of wide, paved bike paths that are perfect for riding.  Barry was much more into this than I was, but I wanted us to do something together and I hoped I would eventually enjoy it.  And I have to admit, my bike is really pretty!  However, I was not thrilled about the helmets.  It is almost impossible to look cute in a bike helmet, unless you’re 4 years old.  When you add sweat to the mix, you can just forget about it.  No cuteness to be found.

So, we went for our first ride.  And.  I hated it.  I thought he was trying to kill me.  I never dreamed peddling a stupid little bike would be so hard.  I was huffing and puffing and he was barely winded.  That, alone, made me mad.  Then he would talk to me, saying encouraging things like I could do it and to just keep peddling up those hills (there were a lot of hills).  And that would make me mad.  I glared at him an awful lot.  I would have probably said some mean things to him, but I couldn’t catch my breath enough to speak.  We didn’t go very far that first day, maybe a couple of miles.  When we were done and I was able to breathe again, I felt something new.  A little rush of energy.  A sense of accomplishment.  The first hint that this might be something I could do.


Each week after that, we continued riding and I continued glaring at Barry and gasping for breath.  But each week, we would ride farther than the previous week.  And each week, it got a little easier.  Before I knew it, we were riding 12 and 13 miles at a time (and I wasn’t glaring much anymore, just on the last few hills).  Not bad for this exercise-phobe!

We also started walking regularly and I even began to run a bit.  I’m not kidding!!  I was running, or maybe jogging is a better term.  Not long distances by any means, maybe a 1/2 mile at a time.  You gotta start somewhere, right?

Source: ThinkStockPhotos.com

I can’t say that I enjoyed every second of the biking, walking, and running.  What I did enjoy is the way my body was starting to look and the way I felt.  I felt strong, I felt solid – not flabby or jiggly.  You guys know what I’m talking about!  ha ha

For the first time in my life, I was exercising consistently and actually looking forward to doing it.  What had become of me??  :)

Then came the lymphoma possibility which eventually turned into a confirmed diagnosis.  That just made me want to ride, walk and run even more.  It allowed  me to focus on something else for a while and not think about all of the cancer possibilities that were stretching out in front of me.  I also wanted to be as strong as possible heading into whatever kind of treatment I would need and I knew the exercise would help me do that.

My plan was to exercise as much as possible during treatment to keep up my strength.  But Dr. Young and his evil renal stent had other ideas.  This so-called “helpful” device makes physical activity painful.  It makes taking a deep breath painful.  It makes just walking incredibly difficult.  The only relief I get is when I am sitting.  So I sit.  A lot.  And I haven’t exercised since July 1 when I received the stent.  This is not good.

You know what’s so shocking about this? I miss exercise. I can’t wait until this thing (hopefully) comes out next week so that I can start exercising again! I never thought I would feel this way, but I do.  It took no time for me to lose all the progress my body had made through exercising, so I’m a little bummed about having to basically start from scratch.  That’s just more motivation to get back into it so I can catch up to where I was and keep going.

I’m wondering if this might be one of the Blessings in Disguise from this disease – a new appreciation for and desire to exercise!  Who knew??

What are your thoughts on exercise?  Do you do it or do you wish you did?  Leave a comment and let me know if exercise is a part of your life, and if so, what do you do?

♥ Rachel


6 Responses to “Exercise: A Blessing in a Sweaty Disguise?”

  1. Cindy E October 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Rodney and I run 20 miles every night…….not!!!! The only exercise I get is to raise the fork to my mouth!!
    Have a great day.
    Love you,

    • rachturner October 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

      You crack me up! Lately, fork to mouth is the only exercise I’ve been getting, too. But since I’m not as naturally thin and trim as you, I will have to start exercising again soon. Love you!!

  2. Jennifer October 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I am somewhat embarrassed to say at my age I have never seen the inside of a gym and exercise is a dirty word in my opinion. I say somewhat embarrassed because I am also comforted when I hear of an athlete drop dead in the middle of exercising – it just confirms that I should NOT be doing exercise – it is dangerous. Generations before us did not exercise and a lot of them lived to ripe old ages. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
    Love, Jennifer

    • rachturner October 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

      You and Kathy are cracking me up! I may have to challenge you guys to a competition. :)

  3. Kathy October 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    No comment, period !

    • rachturner October 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

      This is your shortest comment yet! Too funny. :)

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