When I realised I was staring down the barrel at my fiftieth birthday and I was nowhere near the kind of shape I’d planned to be in, I knew I needed to figure out why. So I took at look at what has happened since my last run, the Gold Coast half marathon.
- I had a niggling injury which I’ve allowed to escalate by not taking care of it
- I had a few too many champagnes the night of the half and as I’m intolerant of yeast and fermented products, it knocked me around a bit
- I’ve had a gastric bug
- I’ve had sick children demanding to be looked after
- I’ve had a sick husband looking poorly all weekend
- I’ve been feeling bad as I haven’t seen my aunt who’s in a nursing home, for nearly three weeks now (not to mention my mum, who’s not in a nursing home but likes to see me)
- I’ve been helping my kids with their sport, regular homework, projects, spelling bees, public speaking, table manners, controlling their temper – you name it
The list could go on, but the point is, I haven’t been putting myself first. (Ironically, my first title for this post was “Putting Yourself First”)
The fact is, you need to put yourself first at least some of the time. You are no use to anyone if you are so worn out that you can’t cope. I was fine about putting my interests and running on hold for a couple of weeks after the half marathon. I needed a rest anyway, one of my children had an important sporting event coming up so I was happy to support him, the other one had written in a self assessment that he doesn’t like school because he misses his mum (so I figured I need to be putting a bit of time in there), but all of a sudden that couple of weeks has turned into five weeks, and I’m not feeling at all good physically. My clothes aren’t fitting so well, my joints are a bit achy, I feel like I have a low grade cold, and I’m definitely not getting enough sleep. It’s not only effecting my physically, but mentally as well, which in turn, makes me less able to do all the things that need to be done to maintain relationships with those who are close to me.
So how do I plan to turn it all around? Well, figuring things had to change, I started with a haircut a couple of days ago, I have a doctor’s appointment next week, I will book a massage as soon as I stop writing, and no matter what happens, I am going to the pool and swimming a km this afternoon, followed by some injury specific resistance exercises.
I’ll tell you more about my “get fit quick” plan in my next post. It will probably be more like a “get fit sensibly and safely plan”, but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it does it?
In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you manage to put yourself first – I reckon we should just all do what our husbands do and say “no” a bit more frequently.