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Exercise the Black Dog

Posted Jul 01 2008 4:11pm

after runningActually ran 4.5 miles the other night without stopping once. Woo-hoo. So I am officially patting myself on the back. Yes, that’s an ice cold Corona light (with extra limes) in my hand. I’m a believer in rewarding yourself for a job well done. I felt so good afterwards that Cosmo and I went for a drive to get an accurate measurement of the distance.

I’d been doingjust(don’t minimize your efforts!) 2 miles but finally felt energized enough after work that I thought I’d try to go for it. It helped a lot that we had cooler weather and lower humidity too. Still if a 51 year young guy who sits at a desk all day can do it, so can you.

Start small and work up to it. If you don’t like to run then experiment with other activities or sports. Maybe you can walk fast, play tennis, basketball, soccer or dance. You can jump up & down to a Richard Simmons video (just don’t do it in spandex and tape yourself - I guarantee you won’t like it), anything at all. So long as you enjoy it and it gets your heart rate up that’s all that matters.

Want to calculate your heart rate? Here’s a link to atarget heart rate calculator.

A couple of days later I went for it again but the weather was hotter and humidity was up. After a few miles I felt overheated and was sweating like crazy (I usually sweat a lot). I kept pushing on and managed to get to the 3 mile marker before I thought it was crazy to let my pride dictate how I run. It’s one thing to push through discomfort, quite another to endanger your health. A little panic set in too as I felt hotter than normal and I was at about 85 to 90 % of my target heart rate which is around 140-5 beats a minute. The really interesting thing is as I walked along I consciously relaxed and got into the slower rhythm of walking but because I was still a couple of miles from home, had no I.D. (dumb idea) on me, was hot and my heart was pounding - there was some anxiety left but I knew it was unfounded. Every time I’d felt anxious or panicky in the past, nothing had ever come of it, NOTHING, NEVER! 100% of the time. Once I’d told myself that, POOF - it was gone! That’s something to remember. Instead of feeling like I was being chased by a black dog, I felt as though I was rewiring a part of my brain or flipping a switch. I was in control.

When you feel like it’s aBad Day at Black Rock(love that movie) ask yourself, have your worst fears ever come to pass? Probably not. Most of the time all of our anxiety is for naught. Even if something untoward did happen or things fell apart, did your worry help you in any way? No, of course it didn’t. It only made you feel bad.

Why Worry Gets You Nowhere- thanks

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