Pain and perseverance

Turns out I have a plantar’s wart on the bottom of my foot. It’s not large but since I’ve started doing some running, I feel it with every step. And this past weekend, after bashing my feet into some (not very) high heels, it hurt even more.

This is the kind of thing that would have stopped me in my tracks previously, so I was pretty proud of myself Monday for hitting the gym anyway, and for pushing through the pain.

A caveat: Some pain you should not push through. If you are working out and it feels like you are doing yourself an injury, please stop and reassess. I’m not advocating for anyone, least of all me, to hurt themselves while working out. How counterproductive would that be?

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to explore what happens when I push past the pain and keep moving.

Usually when I go to the gym, I am focused on weight lifting. But I’ve also started training in earnest for running events in the Torrance County 50+ Games in May. So once a week, I’m devoting my whole workout to running as much as I can, and I think that’s what has caused the flare-up of pain on the bottom of my foot.

On Monday, though, it was weights, with some cardio in between to keep my heart rate up. I thought I would only walk because of my foot, but I found that my legs wanted to run. Then I noticed that my legs wanted to quit before I got winded.

I need to repeat that, because I can actually hardly believe it. I spent decades as a smoker and the idea that my lungs were good to go but my legs were wimping out was inconceivable to me. In fact, I was so excited that I really forgot about the pain for a bit.

Not only that, but I’ve been fighting off a head cold for the past few days, and during the day, I felt like whinging off home rather than going to the gym. But the closer it got to time to go, the less I felt like bailing.

Weird, right?

In times past, it took almost nothing for me to quit on a promise I had made to myself to exercise. That is changing, and it’s so exciting I can barely contain myself.

When you put the pieces together, what actually happened was this: I felt kind of crummy and congested, and the bottom of my foot hurt. But then instead of quitting on myself, I went to the gym anyway. Then, instead of taking it easy, I did my regular workout, and found that my legs wanted to run even as my brain thought it would be nice not to.

Incomprehensible!

Can you guess what I did? I ran! Damn right I ran.

Each day I look at myself in a full-length mirror, and I always seem to look the same. But I know that’s not true. For one thing, people tell me I look different everywhere I go. My own cousin didn’t recognize me recently at first glance.

losing it HauteG-5613

Photo courtesy of SarahStella.

I got gussied up and went to a gala over the weekend, and had my picture taken on the way in the door. I’ve shared all kinds of embarrassing photos of myself along with this column, so I thought I would share this one, because I am starting to notice what I can feel: I am stronger, and slimmer than I was before. My posture is better. My balance is better.

The satisfaction of building life-changing habits is amazing.

There has been a bit of a dark side to my program this past week also. The more I delve into the deep-seated reasons I’ve been a mindless and emotional eater, the more my psyche bucks, if you don’t mind a rodeo metaphor. The way that has manifested itself this week has been the dreaded beating myself up.

The closer I get to my goals, the more that angry little voice wants to give me a hard time. It’s paradoxical. My strategy has been to distract myself. That’s fine with some activities but in this case it led to some binge-watching of weird cooking shows, all the while with the mean girl voice in my head berating me for not doing something more productive.

Sigh. You push down here, something pops up over there. I can see why people get discouraged and give up. Fortunately for me, I am a stubborn woman. I will not give up. After all, this is my life we’re talking about.

Last note: On Saturday, I’m heading to Estancia High School, and get into the basketball free throw and 3-point shot competitions that are kicking off the Torrance County 50+ Games. To enter two events costs a whopping eight bucks.

That day there are also soccer and frisbee events and a huachas tournament. For information, contact Jerry Melaragno at 505-847-0402.

What are your strategies for staying with your workout regime? I’d love to hear from you. Contact me at 505-286-1212 or leota@lobo.net, or find my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!” and join the conversation there.