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Mileposts in the Distance – Paying the Piper

Note from Stacey: Every Thursday we’re thrilled to offer Laura’s Mileposts in the Distance column. You can read more about Laura below.

I didn’t work out with Becca from May 3 until June 11. We’ve been partners in fitness for nearly three years and those five weeks were the longest break we’ve ever had. Part of the time was expected as I was on the road for about 24 days, but the rest was due to her contracting an unexpected, as yet unexplained, virus.

I couldn’t wait to get back into the routine, but I also knew what would be waiting for me after my work out on Monday:  DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) of the worst sort.

It was a “Best of Becca” workout to ease (HA!) me back into twice a week routine.  No weights were heavier than 15 lbs. and I did a variety of lunges and split jumps to get my heart rate up.  No surprises, all work.

And even though I knew it was coming I am sore, everywhere.  I don’t think I was this achy when we first started out together in July 2009, probably because at that time she did ease me into her style as she gauged what she my strength and flexibility.  This go round, Becca pretty much chose a set point, not a starting point, and pointed me to the gym floor and the first set of walking lunges.

I’ve sent a couple of cranky texts to her over the last few days, blaming her for being so sore, but that was mainly meant to make her smile as she still recovers her own strength.  Because, bottom line?  The responsibility for this state of pain is all mine.  I knew I would travel, I know what I can do in a limited space – as Becca always says, give her a little room, some bands and she can work every inch of a client’s body.  And she’s taught me her ways.  We’ve discussed plans to keep my fitness up when I’m away for prolonged periods.

I know this stuff.  Dedicating time every few days to put in multiple sets of jump squats and split jumps would have meant I could move my legs without wincing today.  Sets of pushups every other day would have meant my arms and shoulders would have shrugged off Monday’s workout.  But I chose not to go there.  I picked some great interval walk/runs and walking some hills instead.

I knew what the lack of investing in my own strength would mean come Tuesday, and it was all on me.  I finally took action and wow, the reaction still stings.

I’ve spent the last few weeks being a bemused spectator watching people shrug off their personal responsibility for the situations in which they found themselves.  None of these people were in my immediate family, which would have given me a bit of latitude to says, “Hey, that’s your responsibility either ask for help or accept it.”  But ignoring those responsibilities, like I ignored what I could have done to feel more comfortable, had a ripple effect on people I care a great deal about.

One of the constants in my work with Stacey has been striving to get closer to my center of balance, to accept that only I can control what I do (or do not).  And if I accept the control and the responsibility, the situation inevitably shrinks to manageable proportions.

Combine the bemused people watching with my own achy body and I’ve had an excellent reminder that life is a daily proposition of taking responsibility for myself and my actions.  That knowledge doesn’t mitigate the fact that I will see Becca tomorrow and I’ve added to the DOMS with two terrific cardio intervals since Monday.  In fact, I’m not quite sure that my quadriceps actually function correctly right now.  My legs seems to be separate and distinct from the rest of my body.

But that knowledge is an excellent reminder that there’s more travel to come, there are at-home routines I will leave behind for weeks at a time and that the best, most important thing I can do is to take responsibility now and have my plan in place for then.

And I will, once I can sit down comfortably.

Laura Reeth lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with the man of her dreams. With kids off at college, she no longer plays the role of active, day-to-day parent, and has moved into the complex understanding-parent-of-nearly-adult-children role. The main difference is she gets more sleep now.

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