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    JINXIFER   15,859
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Exercise Levels

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Awright. So, today's SparkCoach task is to write a blog about my exercise levels, and what changes I need to make. Perhaps (they say), I might even be exercising TOO MUCH?

Considering that I just signed up for Tough Mudder's November 2nd race, "too much" IS my new exercise standard.

I'm sitting here right this moment next to a bulletin board on which I've pinned 3"x5" cards in a rainbow of colors, cut to fit a grid that is my weekly schedule, hour by hour. Hot pink is the card color I've selected to denote "Fitness/Physical Activity." And, right now, there's 17 hours per week on the board which are lit up hot pink.

The biggest block is 0600-0900 in the mornings. For Mondays and Fridays, that block reads: "Run to Bay. Sun Salutations. Tough Mudder Circuit. Taekwondo Kata. Run Home."

So, that's a 2.5-mile run, rewarded by sunrise yoga on the water. Then followed by a 20-minute circuit of 16 exercises buffeted by 15-second rests. I move through three repetitions of one of my old Taekwondo Kata for focus. Then I run home, get on Sparkpeople, and log that completed regimen.

Wednesday is much easier. I just bike my Cyclocross bike up the local keys and back for 3 hours. Then I work out the knots from my exhausted legs on a foam roller. Then I collapse into the bath with a recovery drink for a half hour.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, it's ocean-kayaking across the local bay, then back: 8 miles. Followed by a medicine-ball abs routine at home.

I think just the above schedule would cause quite a high level of nannying dismay from my personal trainer, if I had one.

But, TO this, I am working in: an hour of swimming Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and then yoga and Tribal bellydance DVD's, one hour each, Mondays through Fridays.

Too much? Is that the question?

Well, my counterquestion: who's asking? And, the follow up: Do they know WHY I'm working out at this level?

Do they know I'm:

prediabetic -- a condition mitigated by exercise [http://www.prevention.com/fit
ness/fitness-tips/exercise
-plan-can-reverse-prediabetes]?

genetically alcoholic -- linked now to low serotonin levels -- which are mitigated by exercise? [http://www.brighteyecounselli
ng.co.uk/alcoholic-forum/v
iewtopic.php?f=4&t=685]?

diagnosed as adult-onset ADHD -- a condition mitigated by exercise [http://www.additudemag.com/ad
hd/article/3142.html]?

diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome -- a condition mitigated by exercise [http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/s
tory?section=news/food_coa
ch&id=8507579, http://www.3fatchicks.com/how-
to-exercise-efficiently-wi
th-pcos/]?

diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroid autoimmune disorder -- a condition mitigated by EXTREME exercise [http://www.stopthethyroidmadn
ess.com/hashimotos/, http://www.drtraviselliott.com
/blog/tag/hashimotos/]?

genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's -- a condition mitigated by ENDURANCE exercise [http://well.blogs.nytimes.com
/2013/04/25/ask-well-exerc
ises-to-prevent-dementia/]?

genetically predisposed to Parkinson's -- a condition mitigated by VIGOROUS exercise [http://www.health.harvard.edu
/newsletters/Harvard_Healt
h_Letter/2012/March/anothe
r-reason-to-get-out-there-
and-get-moving]?

...and the list goes on and on.

So, I understand. For most people, the workouts I'm planning are much, much more than is necessary -- perhaps even unsafely more.

But "most people" aren't me. Don't have the needs I have. Haven't gotten the bloodwork done and consulted the experts I have. Haven't undertaken the research I have, on how best to address those needs. (Although I'd wager that most people WOULD have the aversion I have, to paying a different doctor up to monthly to monitor and treat each separate disease or issue, above -- and that's even before the prescription costs.)

In short, being me REQUIRES being extreme. At very least, in the workout sphere. And, as we know, the discipline, self-esteem, and energy that come from a solid workout schedule, leach over into all other spheres of life, and often at the same intensity. That is: work out intensely, and watch that same intensity spread to all the other aspects of your life.

Which is my chance to say that I am very, very fortunate that this intensity has been matched and exceeded by some who comprise the social sphere of my life. You may think the above schedule looks pretty badass. But, let me tell you: it's nothing compared to the mandatory daily 2-hour PT routine of my active-duty Army workout partner. Nothing, also, to my (former) Tactical Coastguardsman new-roommate. Nor to my other, firefighter-certified roommate, whose JOB is hours of strength training/core conditioning per night. Nor to my new Tough Mudder partner, who is supplementing the Tough Mudder Bootcamp circuit with 3 acrobatics classes per week, as well as three weekly rounds of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Which reminds me: maybe it's time for ME to add two or three martial arts classes back into my routine, and boost my weekly fitness hours from 17, to 20...
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