My treadmill. Yes, you heard it right. My trusty treadmill of 16 years is slowly giving up, and I miss it. I know it may be a little weird for someone to dedicate a blog post to a treadmill, but it is amazing how when you finally get into an exercise zone, you can sometimes get a bit attached. Maybe it's just me, I don't know.
It was there when I had back surgery and was only able to go 1 mph for 3 min before I had to sit down. (MN January made walking outside impossible) It was there for me during my knee issues, when doing any other type of exercise made my young, yet sadly arthritic knee swell up. I walked my first 5k and felt like I was on top of the world. I lost 50 pounds on this thing. I can "cross country ski" with it. I have no idea how many miles I have put on this thing, but it numbers in the thousands.
Everyday, even when I didn't want to exercise, I would get on my treadmill and just do it. See, I exercise at least 30 minutes a day, usually 7 days a week, with maybe 1 or 2 days a month used for rest. It may seem crazy to some and awesome to others, but recognize that it is mostly low impact. I had been building myself up to a 10k on my treadmill, but last week, I got on there to walk, and it just quit. I was sadly, pathetically lost.
Sure, I like to do other types of workouts. But as someone that has had injuries and worries that doing the wrong thing will cause them to recur, I need to be able to mix that high intensity with low intensity so that it doesn't bother my injuries as much.
I live in MN, and we have A LOT of snow on the ground, and the walking trails are not suitable for anything. So I knew that was out. I can't afford a gym membership, so that was also off the list. But I refused to NOT do something. I feel awful when I don't exercise. Excercise is not my problem-food is. If I would have eaten healthier, with all the exercise I have done, I'd be much closer to my goal weight.
I started doing steps, using the bottom one on our staircase and going up and down for a solid five minutes. Every day, I try to add time. Then I jogged in place for five-ten minutes ( something I NEVER do, because everyone tells me jogging is bad for your knees, but my knee and back have been fine.) I followed that with Tae-Bo. Sure it was a good workout, and I found that I was in fairly "good" shape, recovering pretty fast even though I have a lot of weight to lose. But I still missed my treadmill. Then it snowed and my workout changed a bit again. 17 inches of snow in one night with 45 mph winds looks like this:
( I got to shovel two of these out)
And after an hour and a half of shoveling, I looked like this:
So after digging my car out for work, I decided to use shoveling as an excuse for a workout and I spent 30 min to an hour shoveling each day for a week, (by the end of the week, it had an ice film over it and was a total bear cat). During this week, we were able to get my treadmill back up and running
, but there' a catch.
It only works on the highest incline.
Suddenly, I don't feel so in shape anymore. I can do half an hour at a high incline, which for me is about 1.3 miles. But I love it. I know I'm not the only one-I love to sweat. I feel so good after a tough workout. It's as if the powers that be have said: you've come so far and now it's time to add to your workout and challenge yourself again. So I get on the treadmill and do those 30-35 minutes until my legs just can't go anymore. I get on that bottom step and workout until my legs are burning so bad I can't hardly stand it. And today, I went out and bought Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.
Now, I can do 50 min of Tae-bo without barely breaking a sweat, even though I don't do it as often. But today was day one of this DVD, and I wanted to see what I could do. 5 minutes in, I thought I was going to die. So much for being in shape! But in the end, somehow I managed to push through those 20 minutes doing everything and only having to take a few little breaks. I haven't had to do jumping jacks for 20 years.
OMG are they hard!
Anyway, as much as I love my treadmill, the last week or so has forced me to recognize that it is time to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. It's a little bit scary sometimes, but really rewarding. I felt so good after finishing that DVD today! I've put over 500 walking miles on my treadmill this year, and I am sure I will put on a few more yet, but it's time to change it up a bit. My goal for next year is Crossfit and getting the Spartan race in MN, and I can't train if I live in fear of an injury (My PT has told me it is totally normal, but not to be afraid to push aside that fear and move on; it sometimes just takes me a while.) So, here I go on the next journey...I'll let you know how it works out in my usual style...probably about a year from now.