Most often when I discuss anything related to my attempts to improve my health, the focus tends to be on running. I have never been a fast runner, and at times it is hard to even consider myself a runner. I never run exclusively; most of my miles are interspersed with periods of walking. And yet, running is what I always come back to, no matter how long I have been gone.
I am now going on almost five months of living with foot pain, preventing me from running. All attempts to diagnose my pain have led me to believe it is psychosomatic, and so far I have found nothing to give me relief. As lucky as I am that the pain only manifests itself as I am running or walking, it has cut into my daily activity severely. Between writing for fun and writing for schoolwork, I spend too many hours of my day seated at my desk typing. My daily runs helped to clear my mind, and give me a minimum about of movement needed for my health. In order to get anywhere near the same benefits, I need to walk for three to four times as long, cutting into the time available for other activities in my day.
In trying to battle my pain, both physical and psychological, I have been attempting to find a non-running activity to add to my days. It needs to be something I can do on a regular basis, at least 4 or 5 times a week, something I find enjoyable, and something sustainable. The hope is naturally to help maintain and improve my heath, but also to strengthen any muscles that could contribute to my pain and to give me back the confidence in my physical abilities to break through the mental block creating the pain.
I am fortunate enough to have free access to a gym with both cardio and weight equipment as a part of my husbands job. I used to enjoy going to the gym and committing to weight lifting, and every base has a free gym, making it enjoyable and sustainable. Unfortunately, while the gym is open 24 hours a day, transportation and childcare make it difficult to commit to this on a regular basis.
Another option I have considered, is home videos. There is such a large variety of exercise at home shows, from DVD’s to television shows in all categories, it would seem as though something would appeal to my tastes. I have enjoyed TurboFire occasionally, returning to the program and committing to it for a few weeks at a time. However, not all of the workouts fit within my current fitness and health abilities. It can be very frustrating attempting to stick to a program when you cannot complete many of the workouts. Once you skip or substitute once, it is easy to continue until you are no longer doing the program at all. Unfortunately I have found this to be a problem with many home workouts; no accountability makes sustainability difficult.
I am beginning to wonder what kind of workout would work for me? In all honesty, I know running has only held me for as long as it has because I enjoy racing. Even if I feel like I want to be done running, I want to run another race, and I get back out there. I have yet to find an equivalent workout with other forms of exercise, outside of figure competitions, something I have zero interest in. It’s hard to be forced out of your favorite workout; it’s like having the love of your life sitting next door while you are married to someone who is just alright. You might have been perfectly happy, if you didn’t know something amazing was right there, just out of reach.