From June of last year until November 2013, I was an animal at the gym. I was doing our 45 minute work-so-hard-you-pass-out-or-throw-up class at least 3 times a week, and a lot of weeks, I was doing it 5 times. The first month or so was super tough, but as usually the case, it got easier as I got in better shape. By the end of the summer, I was kicking booty and taking names. I rarely had to catch my breath and I was almost always able to complete the full workout without feeling like I was going to die.
My energy level was awesome. My lungs were awesome. My sleep was awesome. My appetite was awesome (probably a bit too awesome). My fitness was awesome. My health was awesome.
Around the beginning of November, I started battling a lingering foot issue that has given me trouble before. I scaled back my workouts as much as I could. I still was at the gym, I just wasn't doing as much at such a high intensity. My foot didn't really get any better, and after 3 weeks of a scaled back workout routine, I was in the Hole.
This is probably a good time to stress again how important exercise is in my life. Would I have ended up in the Hole (hospital) if I was able to continue exercising at a high intensity? Who knows. However, if I was a betting man, I'd say NO. It's happened before and I'm sure it will happen again - When my workouts suffer, my lungs suffer.
Anyway, after 3 weeks in the Hole and 2 weeks of Christmas and vacation, I was back to the gym on Monday. It sucked. (Usually I'm able to stay somewhat active in the Hole, but due to around the clock IV antibiotics, this stay was a little tougher to do so.)
I was sucking so much wind it was embarrassing. It's amazing to me how out of shape I've become in 5 "short" weeks.
Today, I helped a woman out who was new to the class. It was only her second time doing the workout. We were sucking wind together. It was almost as if it was my second time in the class ever. I was able to encourage her after class by letting her know what I have written above - consistency is key, if you keep coming, it will get easier.
Now, I know there are times when we can't control if we go to the gym or workout. Injuries happen. Hospital stays happen. But, if you're able to control it, please, do so. Not for me, but for you. Taking time off feels good at the time, but you'll pay for it down the road.
Consistency is key. It will get easier.
*Now I've got to go and take an ice-bath. I hurt :)