For the last two years I’ve been lamenting my loss of motivation. I try, half heartedly, to eat well or to work out. I used to like working out, not love but at least like. For the last two years though I’ve been neglecting the work out, resisting it isn’t exactly accurate as much as neglecting it. It’s not a matter of “finding time” but more that I have felt as though I’m standing at the foot of Mount Everest and what’s necessary is that I climb it, now. I walk three steps forward, put my hands on the rock and I am immediately exhausted.
My first thought in all of this was that it was an extension of aging, the next was that it was a chronic fatigue issue but recently, a diagnosis came through of a thyroid issue and I was relieved, unbelievable relieved. I’m not just lazy, I’m not just getting old, I’m not suffering from some undiagnosable condition that eats away at my energy and my resolve.
The meds are being fleshed out now and it’s a polarizing process of wondering what can be done apart from taking a pill every day for the rest of my life. It’s easy to take the pill and it might help fix the problem but it goes against my nature to take a pill to fix my body. It’s not something I’ve faced before. It’s all new.
In the meantime though, the pill has helped a bit and my energy is slowly finding its way back. The trouble is that I have lost a great deal in those two years. In addition to motivation and energy I’ve lost the good muscle definition I’d enjoyed, I’ve lost stamina and endurance. It still has felt as though I’m standing at the foot of Mount Everest and expected to climb to the top, right now and every day forward, always moving upward.
My two years of trying resulted in a few discoveries of things I’d long suspected but needed confirmed- 1)short-term diets don’t work for long-term results and 2)there is no quick fix.
Then one day I got a “suggested app” on my phone for a 7 minute workout. I’d already known about the “Tabata” method of workouts and had been able to do at least a small amount of work with those over the last two years so I downloaded the app and did 7 minutes. I almost broke down knowing that the 7 minutes of calisthenics at my best intensity was so far from my all time best. I collapsed on the floor when it was done, feeling all the loss and none of the satisfaction I’d had in the past with exercise. Still, it was 7 minutes more than the day before…and that was the point.
The truth is that we’re not climbing Mount Everest. Most of us don’t have to scale the mountain every day, we just need to manage a few hills, a few miles on the long road to fitness. For as long as we see becoming healthy as a climb that only a professional mountaineer would attempt we will always fail. Each of us has our own road to fitness to follow and rarely do the road look completely identical. In some places we will find fellow travelers and in some places also, we will be in uncharted territory, scaling small hills on our own and we do this not because we like to do it but because we have to do it. We have to do it because it’s in the road and there is no other way around. 7 minutes is enough for now but only if I see it as a 7 minutes on the long road back to health and know that it’s just the first of many hills of varying lengths and heights. Everything counts. I’m moving forward and it’s all good.