27 Feb

Rotoroa Island Today was the very first day that ‘Rotoroa Island’ was open for public visitors. Somehow, some friends and I randomly discovered this on the internet yesterday, and managed to be on the first public trip out there.

The island reminded me of a hike Nissa and I once did around Lake Titicaca, on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Walking around Rotoroa Island wasn’t overly difficult. In fact, the island is so small that we probably walked on every possible track that there is!

Niss, I wanted to tell you, how awesome were our hikes around South America?!

But now I feel great. I feel tired with just the right amount of soreness. The usual sensation that my hip bone is rotting (which I’m told comes from my back injury) isn’t with me tonight. Maybe that’s the trick? Building up the exercise slowly and in enjoyable situations, so as to reinforce positive exercise feelings without further aggravating injuries. Sounds so simple and obvious doesn’t it. (Almost like I stole it from a textbook! I didn’t…) Why haven’t I thought of this before!

I think walking in beautiful surroundings definitely gives you more of an endorphin rush than simply walking on a treadmill. But this isn’t something I can do everyday. I’ll keep you posted with how I my positive attitude fluctuates with my attempts to exercise during my more dreary, mundane, everyday life.

 

Re-train for gain?

27 Feb

This blog is about fitness from afar. That is, trying to motivate ourselves to become the fitness-bunnies we once were, despite carrying injuries and living in different countries. Do you think it’s fair to re-interpret this “fitness from afar” as watching others get fit from afar? Or watching others get fit from my couch?

Every weekend my housemate walks in the door covered head to toe in lycra, after a 70km ride, glowing from the effort. Meanwhile, I am sitting on the couch with ice on my knee after walking to the fridge and back. Well, not quite. But having to ice my injury after only a 15 minute “ride” from the supermarket is comparable.

In my head I am the most disciplined, enthusiastic and dedicated of fitness-freaks. In reality, I can “power-walk” for 10minutes without aggravating my knee injury. Sigh. So, what to do? How to stay motivated?

One of my problems is that I have always done exercise for the joy of it. Sad and cliché, I know. I have never exercised when my primary goals were to lose weight or get fit. You might say this is a good thing. But not when you’re injured! This means that because I cannot do strenuous, endorphin-releasing exercise, I do not do exercise at all.  I don’t exercise for my general health and well-being – I do it because I get a kick out of it. It’s like drinking to get drunk – not healthy.

So another part of this “fitness from afar” will be to re-train my brain. Re-wire those hungry, endophin-happy, addiction-fed neurons to neurons that are excited about “the greater good” and “healthy living”. Hmmm…. easier said than done. Ideas, anyone?

The ‘Lack of Motivation’ Monster

21 Feb

I went to a BBQ last night, and ate WAY too much. (Later on, my stomach was on fire, and I lay in bed all night with hot flushes. If this is what menopause is all about then I’m not looking forward to it!)

The conversation turned to exercise and ageing. (Not initiated by me, despite thoughts of this newly created blog lurking in the back of my mind). We remorsed about those days past when a big meal was followed by energetic game of frisbee. When energy was expendable, and not something to be treasured and held onto to.

We sat and ate more dessert.

What is it that makes people lazier over time? Is it hormonal? As you age, does your body just say ‘ok, it’s time to focus on other things now’? Surely it must be that, but maybe it’s a shift in priorities also. I remember just a few years ago, going to the gym was number one on my list of things to do after finishing work. Now I’m (still merely) 26, and already I struggle just to get through my evening routine before I can even contemplate exercise. What hope is there for me in 10 or 30 years time?

Forget my piddly little back injury. Lack Of Motivation (LOM) is my true enemy.

Maybe one day I will summon The Endorphins to fight away the LOM monster..

You have to start somewhere…

20 Feb

Walking.

The most natural of activities. Some people find it kind of boring, but I find it therapeutic. Enforced alone time where you can live inside your own head outside in the open.

Maybe because my ‘exercise threshold’ is so low, I can get a kind of endorphin-like rush simply from walking. Perhaps ‘rush’ is too strong a word though. More like a mild sensation of freedom. My muscles feel like they’re waking up from a long slumber and stretching their toes beneath the end of the blanket.

I definitely don’t get that post-exercise, exhausted happiness, simply from walking. Well, that’s what I thought until yesterday. Perhaps it was a mistake to begin my ‘joint exercise’ regime with such an extensive uphill climb*. But that’s what happens when you don’t plan your journey in advance.

9km, in about 1.5hrs I think. What a snail! Mt Eden (or Maungawhau, if you prefer the Maori word). Tick. Back pain? Mild to unnoticeable. Hips feel a little overstretched but in a good way.

Many joggers passed me on the way, as I attempted to hide my quick breaths from their steady inspirations. Next time, I’ll be right alongside them. haha… sure.

*slight exaggeration.