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A letter to my future self who doesn't feel like working out

Sunday, November 04, 2012

As I wrote yesterday in my blog, I am redefining what daily health looks like through the scope of the injuries I currently have. As part of that, I have written a letter to myself for those days in the (hopefully not too distant) future when I don't feel like working out. Right now, I can't imagine ever feeling that way again, but we all know I will at some point. I want to remember the feeling I have today when I don't feel like working out. Enjoy:
Dear Annjie,

I know that you have been working out very hard. I know that you have been hard core and on top of your game recently.
Or maybe it’s the opposite, maybe things have been a little hard in your life; a little stressful. Maybe it just feels like too much to make the decision to work out today. Either way, you feel either like you need a break or you just REALLY don’t feeling like getting out there and pounding out some pounds.

It’s natural and normal to not want to work out. It is perfectly understandable that everything in your mind, body, and heart is telling you it’s OK, just for today, to not work out. What can one day off do, anyway?

I am here to remind you of how desperate you were recently, as you write this letter.

You have not been able to run for 5 months. 5 FREAKING MONTHS!!! Running is your passion, and you have been unable to do it because of your stress fracture and accompanying cyst in your foot.

So you started doing the elliptical trainer instead, but after a few weeks you had to admit that even that was hurting your foot.
Same with biking when you tried that next.

You were left only with swimming which you did (and liked) until you herniated the disc in your back.

During that whole time, you were STing like nobody’s business.

It would have been easy to throw in the towel at any one of the points, but you DIDN'T. You stayed strong and positive and kept trying. People who know you well remarked on your resilience and perseverance. And you felt those things. Do you remember?

Now you have been layed up with a herniated disc for 2 weeks. There has been a lot of couch time, a lot of pain, and icing and stretching, etc.

You got a green light to run and jump and play again regarding your foot, but you are still immobilized by your back pain.

And this is the most important part of this letter---

Today, November 4, 2012, I would do anything....ANYTHING to be able to work out in whatever way I could. I am desperate for it. I would happily put on my running shoes and go, or my suit and swim. Whatever. But I can’t. The severity of feeling I have right now, wanting so badly to be able to do anything, is what I want you to know about and remember.

If you can physically get up and run today (or whatever exercise you have planned), then you are far luckier than me today, so you better get out there and do it.
Not only that, but do it with a SMILE on your face, a SONG in your heart, and GRATITUDE in every cell.
And remember that you were only laid up for 2 weeks. Some people can never run. A lot of people go without food. Certainly most can’t afford the home elliptical and treadmill you have in your house.

So STOP WHINING and realize how lucky you are. And don’t embed gratitude with a bunch of negativity about how could you be so ungrateful, etc. Just shut that negative voice up, put on your workout clothes and go. Because you can. And to not do it when you can feels like you are disrespecting yourself; the you that on November 4th is so desperate.

So do it for her. But do it for you too. Because you know deep down you do, actually want to. And while you do it, with each panting breath, breath in gratitude that you can move your body this way. And breath out compassion for all of those that can not.

Get out there.
You can.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good one! Echoes similar thoughts I've used to help get myself going some days. I recently lost a close friend to pancreatic cancer. He had a quick & painful descent. I would think about him at times when I thought working out was "hard"...sheesh! Perspective can be a wonderful thing! :-)

    1866 days ago
    Great blog, Annjie! I hope you your letter motivates you half as much as it did me. As I was reading, I wanted to go get dressed and put on my sneaks and get out there and run!

    Your time on the couch will be over soon and, hopefully, then you can get back to doing what you love most.

    Sending healing energy your way!

    1867 days ago
    I like the idea of writing a letter to myself. I think I'll try it. I hope that I can be convincing. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1867 days ago
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