I suffer from chronic back, knee, and hip pain. Even more frightening, it's been getting steadily worse, and increasingly limiting to my day-to-day activities over the past year or so. It's gotten to the point that I can't go to an amusement park or museum, can't go shopping unless there is an electric courtesy cart, can't do SO MANY THINGS. A couple of weeks ago, I reached a crisis point. I was tired of being in pain all the time, terrified of the speed at which it was getting worse, and desperate to figure out what to do about it.
So I dragged my fiance to a local sports equipment shop that carries second-hand and consignment exercise machines. Amazingly, they were far more affordable than I'd thought, and we found one we really liked AND that would fit in the small available corner of our living room. Sold! It was delivered last Tuesday, but with the craziness of getting ready for Turkey Day and then being out of town, today was Day 1.
I've decided to chronicle my efforts, for several reasons. 1) so that I can look back and see how much progress I've made, 2) in hopes that sharing my efforts and getting cheered on by my community will help keep me motivated, and 3) because I believe it's important that we all serve as role models for each other in honoring where we are and celebrating our efforts... even if - perhaps especially if - we're afraid that we'll be judged that our efforts aren't good enough, or afraid of revealing our "shame" at how small our abilities/accomplishments are at first. So, without further ado....
Day 1: I walked on the elliptical for 1 minute, 35 seconds at the lowest resistance and slowest speed I could do while still getting the pedals going in a rhythm. At the end of that time, I was breathing hard enough to be uncomfortable and could definitely "feel the burn" - particularly in the front part of my thighs. Happily, neither my back nor my knees were uncomfortable. When I stepped off the machine, I did feel a little unsteady on my feet and needed to sit down. But recovery was fairly fast. Given that I have little/no experience of exercise since middle school PE torture, I don't feel well calibrated as to how I'm supposed to feel and how far I'm supposed to push myself, so I'm erring on the side of caution. Nothing's more likely to dis-incentivize me to keep up this project than pushing myself too hard and ending up in a bunch of pain.
So there ya go. Day 1. Go me! :)