Out of It

on November 15, 2010 in Misc

It’s scary how fast I can get out of shape.

It’s not like I turn into a shapeless blob if I don’t exercise for a few days.  What bothers me is that if I don’t get in some serious workouts at least two to three times a week, plus some stretching/yoga-type stuff in between, I feel kinda stiff and my endurance drops through the floor.

Action movies and books never show their heroes having this problem. They can be held prisoner somewhere for months or even years and suffer death-defying injuries.  Yet when the plot calls for them to rally they leap back into the fray, their strength, endurance, and reflexes as perfect as ever.

Oh please.

This fantasy trait of most action heroes is a big reason why I’m SO glad I decided to give Layla serious injuries in The Compass Master.  She gets bashed up bad enough in a fight that for the rest of the plot she CAN’T run more than a few yards and CAN’T climb like a monkey.  Her sudden physical weakness also makes her feel dangerously vulnerable.

I should know, and not just because I suffered the same injuries Layla did.

Take this last weekend.  On Friday I wasn’t feeling so hot at work, so I skipped my usual half hour exercise in my work building’s very small gym.  Then when I went home I fell asleep at seven o’clock.  On Saturday I was still feeling sick so I merely did some stretches.  By Sunday I had recovered so I tried a full, real work-out.

I lasted half an hour.

What makes me feel worse is that I live in the jock state of the nation, Colorado.  I only have to look out my window to see runners pounding the pavement and cyclists dressed like they’re in the Tour de France.  I have co-workers who complain that they’re “only” participating in an upcoming half marathon because they’re not in good enough shape for a full marathon.   They go on grueling bike rides up mountain trails.

Me?  I run a few blocks and decide I’m good.

On the up side, I can certainly do some things with my body (and in public!) that they can’t do.  And only now am I figuring out what my real physical strengths are along with what might be my permanent “disabilities.”  The irony is, it’s so-called real “superhumans” who have helped to teach me the truth about my own body.

I’ll tell ya all about it next time.

10 Responses to “Out of It”

  1. ann says:

    Every time I take time off from the gym, bike rides, yoga, etc I find that it takes longer to get back up to speed. (I hate to blame my age but my body doesn’t want to stay taut and flexible without significant effort on my part.) And its sometimes difficult to get back in the mode especially with my crazy travel schedule and 10 hour shifts. In fact I should be working out right now instead of responding to your blog, but this is so much more fun.

    I was wondering, how old is Layla in The Compass Master?

  2. Helena says:

    Ann — You’re a braver woman than I, cause personally I’m in permanent denial about my age and how that makes it tougher to stay in shape. I still try to work out like I’m twenty-something.

    Layla — the lucky creature — is twenty-nine. I am so jealous.

  3. Ben says:

    I just realized how out of shape I am. I started doing kickboxing, boxing, and Jiu Jitsu with some of my friends here at college, and holy crap… I can box for about 3-4 minutes before I double over afraid I might vomit all over the floor. It’s crazy. And, kicking… wow. I’ve lost most of my power. I’m going to have to work back up to my full potential. =P

  4. L A N A E says:

    I love your blog. It inspires me to become like Lara Croft (my hero)! Lol I felt so silly because it maps out everything in detail like your plan…learn fluent French in University, Parkour and martial arts and getting a motorcycle, but I’m glad I found this blog. It makes me happy. I’m only 17 I hope I can achieve my dreams and you too…everyone deserves to be happy. ^_^

  5. Hart says:

    Oh, you’re so right! I broke my hand and sprained an ankle a couple years ago in a fall and was SHOCKED how fast things spiraled down. And recently, with my back pain, I’ve realized I need to stretch my leg muscles and have been SHOCKED at how they’ve tightened–I have no flexibility at all!

  6. Helena says:

    Hart – Isn’t it scary how fast muscles can tighten up? I really hope your back pain goes away fast.

  7. Helena says:

    Lanae — How cool that you’re modeling yourself on Lara Croft: an athlete and a scholar! And you’re so smart to be going for all these accomplishments while you’re still young! May you achieve superhero greatness.

  8. Helena says:

    Ben — Happily you’re so young you’ll get back into shape faster than I would. But it’s still discouraging how we have to keep up all aspects of our physical stamina/strength/flexibility or we lose it. (Sigh of Exhaustion!)

  9. Ben says:

    Oh, there is a new TV show that you would love! It’s called Nikita. It’s on the CW channel; I watch it for free on Hulu, though. You should check it out. It’s my new favorite show.

  10. Helena says:

    Ben — You’re right about me loving it. I’ve missed a couple of the episodes but I’m already hooked. And I’m already pretending to be Nikita when I fence — definitely makes me fiercer.