Exercise seemed impossible when I was sick.
My simple stationary bike taunted me every night after work. Eight hours of sitting at a desk left me too exhausted to cook dinner and do the dishes, but I was supposed to find enough energy to work out. Whenever I’d walk by the bike to sit on the couch, I would hear my doctor’s voice.
You should get thirty minutes of exercise a day. At the very least.
I felt guilty when I didn’t get on the bike; like I wasn’t doing everything I could to get well. So, more often than not, I’d peddle as hard and fast as I could for as long as I could stand it. I usually lasted ten minutes at the lowest tension.
My legs were always heavy as hell about half way through my pathetic attempts at cardio. And by the end, I was winded and red-faced and when I walked to the couch to rest, it felt like industrial mop buckets filled with water were strapped to my feet.
There were nights I resisted the pointless exercise. By the end of the week, when my fatigue had glazed over me and I was more zombie than human, I looked at the bike, heard the voice and replied, fuck it. It can wait. Rest is more important right now.
Working out was torture. Now that I’m well, I look forward to working up a sweat on my treadmill. Not because I’m a fitness freak, but because I can. I feel exhilarated after a forty-five minute stride. It’s amazing.
I have a small, plastic, anatomically correct heart hanging from my treadmill to remind me why I walk. I’m working up to a full on run. I want to put as much distance between the sick me and the well me as possible. I want to run while I can.