I never imagined that cutting out exercise would have such a dramatic effect on my life. I didn’t realise just how active I am on a daily basis. I thought I would be able to cope, but I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t!
The very first morning of the experiment, I woke up with the thought, “I feel like going for a swim at the beach”, and it quickly dawned on me that I couldn’t. I felt sad, but determined to stick to the plan and wait for three months until I entered the ocean again.
The first couple of days were ok, and I was happy to have a lot more time to study and play music. By the end of Day 3, I became quite frustrated, as I had to rearrange everything in my daily activities. It was a huge inconvenience to be “fitless”.
Day 4 was the beginning of the real struggle. My legs started to ache, I think due to the lack circulation, and by Day 6 they were really bothering me. Friends at my workplace started to ask what was wrong with me, as my moods had gone from happy to being quite down.
I started to drink coffee again to pick up my moods, and even had some chocolate in the attempt to feel as happy as I usually do!
I’m embarrassed to say that I just wasn’t coping without my usual amount of physical activity. My whole body and mind felt out of whack, and even my digestion was experiencing issues that it doesn’t usually experience.
On Day 7 I decided that I had to do something to get my circulation and systems moving, as I was beginning to go crazy. I went to the Sauna with the thought of doing a couple of dips into the icy pool (at Icebergs), but my quick dip into the water turned into a quick swim. I was like a sugar addict with a block of chocolate in hand, with the intention of eating just a nibble! Didn’t happen!
I then proceeded to run up a hill, walk up a flight of stairs, and walk to work instead of drive the next morning. I was ashamed, but also relieved at how amazing I felt – both body and mind – with just that small amount of exercise! My circulation and digestion were moving again, and my moods dramatically picked up.
My heart goes out for my mother, and for anyone else who is unable to exercise due to illness. I will never again take physical activity for granted.
The question is – How am I going to get through the next three months?