PUMPING IRONY: Exercising Without Exercising

I didn’t do much that would count as actual gym-type exercise this week, but I’m going to say it was pretty productive anyway. An interesting age-related (I think) conundrum surfaced, and I finally made some real progress toward finishing the basement. Day 33, Monday, 10/10 Don’t let anyone tell you that yard work doesn’t qualify… Read more »

I didn’t do much that would count as actual gym-type exercise this week, but I’m going to say it was pretty productive anyway. An interesting age-related (I think) conundrum surfaced, and I finally made some real progress toward finishing the basement.

Day 33, Monday, 10/10

Don’t let anyone tell you that yard work doesn’t qualify as exercise. Yesterday’s digging and hauling left me feeling like I’d been hit with a wheelbarrow full of concrete this morning. My back, my legs, my arms — even my hands — hurt. Had a heckuva time dragging myself out of bed. Still sore at the end of the day. Maybe some stretching tomorrow.

Day 34, Tuesday, 10/11
(Warning: The following item discusses bodily functions that some readers may feel are inappropriate to mention in polite company.) Aging delivers lots of minor annoyances, but none more interesting to me than the connection between my adrenaline levels and my urinary tract. It seems that whenever I find myself in a situation that elicits a major rush of adrenaline, my heart starts beating faster (which is expected) and my poor bladder suddenly shrinks to the size of a tea bag (which is annoying). This can be slightly inconvenient if, for example, you’re sitting in the chair at your dentist, as I was this morning. I don’t really mind going to the dentist, but I think it’s fairly typical for patients to feel slightly on edge when even the most highly skilled technician is scraping and probing around in your mouth. Anyway, I’m reclining there making small talk with the hygienist and listening to my heart thumping in my chest and gradually experiencing that unmistakable urge to visit the men’s room. Is there some dentist office etiquette reserved for these occasions, I wonder? And what exactly is it about adrenaline that would trigger such a reaction? It wasn’t like I’d been quaffing coffee all morning prior to my appointment. Anyway, I was able to excuse myself during a break in the action, and my hygienist didn’t seem at all fazed. Pretty annoying, though.

Day 35, Wednesday, 10/12
I was thinking about yesterday’s adrenaline altercation and made a point today to slow way down and breathe and try to be completely present in everything I do. That means actually paying attention to the computer keys under my fingers and noticing the feel of the pen on paper. This is often a great way to tamp down those nasty stress hormones that can do serious harm to your body. I felt like I was pretty successful until about mid afternoon, when I found myself sliding back into multi-task mode. Interesting experiment.

Day 36, Thursday, 10/13
Did three rounds of my favorite kettlebell circuit this morning before work and made it back to yoga this afternoon after a two-week hiatus. JS, our yogi, is usually pretty easy on us, but today she had us trying to do the bridge pose. I was able to get my butt off the mat without much difficulty, but then she said I needed to lift my head off the ground with my arms arched behind my shoulders. After some rearranging of the concept in my brain, and much grunting and groaning, I was able to get my head off the mat for a couple of seconds. Have I mentioned that yoga is hard?

Day 37, Friday, 10/14
Breakfast meeting made any morning workout impractical, so I’m calling this a recovery day.

Day 38, Saturday, 10/15
Spent the better part of the day putting up insulation and drywall in the basement. Mr. Parkour stopped by to help in the afternoon. Pretty beat by 7 p.m.

Day 39, Sunday, 10/16
A little stiff from yesterday’s labor, but I managed to convince myself that a half-hour kettlebell workout this morning before breakfast would be just the thing. And I was right. Felt great afterwards, and headed back downstairs around noon to finish the work I started yesterday. Finished up around 10 and soaked in a hot bath for a while, hoping that would take the edge off my sore muscles tomorrow.

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