Internal questioning dialogue:
Do I count the full amount of exercise minutes even though I had to sit in a chair, instead of standing up to do all of the exercises?
Am I being a cheater?
I only logged 8 min of a 10 min workout today since my foot cramped up so badly that I had to practically stop, drop and roll to get the cramp out. Seemed logical to only log 8 min since the foot cramps are out of my control. Done. No biggie.
Then my mind wandered to physical activities that kind of physically attack you back. i.e. Mud Runs, Gladiator races and other fun runs which are littered with challenging obstacles.
My life with chronic pain is in fact littered with challenging obstacles!
Some days I have use of my hands. Most days I don't. Some days I can put weight on my toes when I walk. Most days I can't due to blisters and ulcers.
I found myself doing exercises from the Spark video library recently [LOVE those things. Thank you Spark for making them free!], and I was getting frustrated with myself when I could not complete the video I had started. This was becoming a common occurrence.
I questioned whether or not I was being a greedy exercise minute hoarder while logging onto Spark.
Here's my conundrum: if the Spark 10 minute seated arm video involves an exercise that my fingers just cannot comply with (Eeks Coach Nicole, you want me to raise my weights over my head when my fingers don't want to hold onto the measly 1 pound weights? That would be a disaster!). So I decided substitute another exercise that I could do for that minute until the exercise rotation changed (bicep curls).
Am I cutting myself short of truly earned exercise minutes due to the swap? It certainly wasn't a healthy goal to turn myself into a red headed unicorn with a Mt. Fuji sized bump on my forehead. I was fully aware that I would have dropped that weight since my fingers were 'no work-ey' that day. So I did something else.
In the wonderful words of the beloved Bernie Mac: "let me break it down like a fraction":
The potato sack race of an obstacle course dictates that one of your legs is compromised, right? I can totally relate. Some days demand hobbling around on one leg since the other hurts too much.
Carrying your partner over your shoulder or doing a Heavy Haul on a Mud Run slows you down considerably, but builds your endurance and strength, right? I go through seasons of swelling and edema in my body (umm, like now). That's additional weight no one wants to schlep around. But you have to try!
Fighting your way through a mud pit that has a vice-grip of your feet (and running shoes! Duct tape them on people!) can't be done at Flo Jo speed. That obstacle wouldn't be discounted, but rather appreciated for the intensity of it.
Constant edema and pain certainly make me feel as if I'm dragging around cement filled feet, kinda like the mud. Eeew.
Ladder walls can't be done gracefully unless you are a giant octopus. Pretty sure I look clumsy at times during many exercises, but I'm always striving for good form.
I've done fun runs and obstacle course races before my illness surfaced to join the party of my life. I still had to train for them, regardless of how I performed come race day.
I try to never sit still if I come up against an exercise (or two, or eeks, even three!) that Ethel says 'no' to. I'll do some shadow boxing or simple isometric exercises (squeeze baby, SQUEEZE!). Maybe a few stiff legged dead lifts and then try to touch my toes (not actually TOUCHING my angry pain-filled toes though, good grief. The horror!). Catch my drift?
Do I deserve all of the minutes I log, and give myself a generous (gentle) pat on the back for a job well done?
I am doing my best with each workout. I am being actively creative if that's even a term.
Or should I nix any minutes that I am unable to do the exact exercise move on the video, even though I'm modifying?
Something to ponder...
Check her out. Olive is flexing her puppy muscles.