Ok...Ok... I am sure for those that already exercise on a regular basis you know this little well-known secret: exercising is more than just good for the physical part of you body; it feeds your mind as well. However, for someone who is just starting out exercising again after ten years of daily physical exercise, I am truly blown away by how much this has impacted my life.
I started working with a wonderful trainer, Paula Hendricks, http://www.physiquebypaula.net/ , in July. We started working together the middle of the month. Then, Kevin and I went on vacation. I still did workouts while we were gone. I started back with her and then my sister got married. The day of her wedding, I fell off of the stage (my shoe got stuck in the carpet) down three steps. I had a hideous bruise, rug burn, and pain on myleft leg. That slowed me down, but it didn't deter me. I kept on working out.
That injury started to heal just in time for my next misadventure. Almost two weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon, we had our church picnic at a local park. We were grilling. Our grill has a water jacket in it. We had grilled the first set of hamburgers and were getting it ready to do the next. The grill was running about 450 degrees. My husband started filling up the water jacket again while I was flipping hot dogs. Water shot out of the hole under my arm and burned my entire left arm. I had no choice but to stop working out. I was in a great deal of pain. Thankfully, after almost two weeks, it feels much better.
But I had stopped working out. I could physically do nothing. I started to not care. I was down in the dumps. I wasn't as careful with what I was eating. I felt miserable. I was tired all of the time. I had zero energy. I didn't want to do anything, including going back to see Paula today. I hadn't seen her for 13 days. We had been working out previously three times per week.
I didn't call to cancel. I went today. Kinsley and I marched right in there. I got on the scale. To my utter shock, I had only gained 4 ounces since my last weigh in (Paula credited this to the muscle I had built in the previous weeks burning the fat even though I wasn't actively working out). I was pleasantly surprised as I had been avoiding scales in the last two weeks. Then, I started my workout. At first it was agonizing. I wanted to stop. After I had been on the elliptical for fifteen minutes, it didn't feel so bad. The good feeling I had missed started to creep in. We worked out my arms, legs, and stomach next. Honestly, it was HARD! But, amazingly, it was fun. It was just what I needed.
The crazy thing is: I had more energy and was more upbeat all day. I know it was a direct result of working out again. I got things accomplished today. I have wanted to do things. I haven't thought of going to take a nap all day. I feel better about me! Who knew (well I am sure all of my athletic friends/family did) that exercise could make a mental AND physical contribution to your health!!! It was a lesson that I am glad that I learned!!!