Newton’s First Law of Motion: Every body remains in a state of constant velocity unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. This means that in the absence of a non-zero net force, the center of mass of a body either remains at rest, or moves at a constant velocity
A Body at Rest Tends to Remain at Rest: How true this is! In the past I have embarked on a fitness program and something has always thrown me off that path. Injuries, illness, etc… I was doing great when we were in Hawaii, then I let 4 months of bronchitis deter me from continuing. Then more recently, I let pregnancy and miscarriage throw me off course. Once something would give me a reason to stop, it was so, so hard to start again. Sometimes months, sometimes years would pass before I started again.
A Body in Motion Tends to Remain in Motion: This time I may have figured myself out. When the Y’s Biggest Mover program started, I came down with an awful cold. I refused to miss our first meeting; getting up at 4:30 to go meet at the Y, then going home and going back to bed. I had a cough for about the first month, month and a half of the program. I worked out that one cough drop lasted an hour workout. I refused to stop. I knew that if I did, it would be so hard to start again.
Making a commitment to meet the team twice a week, PAYING for the privelage to participate, and knowing that people who wanted to be in the program didn’t make it into it, all kept me motivated into going. Then, after a few weeks, I realized I really rather LIKED the torture. When I could barely walk the day after a workout with our trainer, I knew it was because I had (literally) worked my butt off the day before.
I made my ‘homework’ trips to the gym for cardio at least three more days a week. As the weather got warm, I voluntarily took my bike out! I hiked City Forest in the snow and in the melting of spring.
As a side note (but relative to the subject!), I started a hobby known as geocaching a year or so ago. For those who are wondering, it’s a sort of treasure hunt using a hand held GPS. One person hides a cache, usually something like an ammo box with a sign in log and a few ‘treasures’, then posts the GPS coordinates and maybe a hint on a website like http://www.geocaching.com/. Others go to the site, pick out a cache and use their own GPS to try to find it. It can be well hidden even if you think the GPS takes you straight to it. I find it fun and challenging to look for the caches and have found 45 caches so far.
So to make a long story slightly longer, I took my bike to City Forest on April 15th and decided I would look for some geocaches that I typically have found too far out to hike to. I found the first one, no problem. I found the second one pretty easily too, except for this hole or tree root or something that I slipped in and felt my knee go crunch. I of course found the cache and signed the log before hopping back to the trail using a big stick. I was able to bike back to my car and go to the ER to have it checked.
During this, to my surprise, the thing that upset me most was the possibility that I might not be able to finish the Biggest Mover program. That, like all the other times, I had found something that would ground me to a halt, and I would be come the body that stays at rest again. The thought of losing momentum was enough to make me cry.
Tom was great in assuring me that I would be able to keep at it, even if it meant working on the bit of exercise equipment we have at home. Then I heard from my trainer, and she said “No matter what, I can always modify!” I missed one day of work and one day of training to rest my knee. I did go swim that monday, which helped tremendously, both physically and mentally.
This last week was exhausting. Using crutches and a knee brace, hard work, and not muscles that I had been strengthening in training! Hopping around work was tiring, but I managed. Thursday morning I made my way to the Y for training and true to her word, our trainer modified my workout, which apparently worked, because boy was I sore Friday!
Although I had hit a bit of an uphill battle that threatened to be that opposite force to slow my motion, I had managed to build up enough momentum to keep going after only a slight pause. Having someone who encouraged me at home and at the gym was invaluable. Reaching another point of understanding myself and how I work was priceless.
Don’t give up on your dreams and goals when life throws you a curve ball. Find a way around it. If you’re hiking in the woods and you come across a downed tree, do you throw your hands up and go home and watch TV? Most likely not. You go over or around it, and it adds a bit to the adventure when you tell the story later.
In two weeks, at the end of the Biggest Mover program, I can tell people of my adventure in losing weight despite a bad cold, bronchitis and bum knee! Kind of makes it all seem more interesting, doesn’t it?