Booted off the Wagon

I didn’t fall off. It wasn’t an accident. I was pushed.
I was on a roll with my lifting routine. For a good while I had settled into a sufficient training schedule. Then commitments other than triathlon racing started throwing their elbows and before I knew it I was off the exercise wagon.

At first it was just a one day decision to sacrifice the workout to the work load. And then another day, and another. Each was a conscious weighed choice. Before long I found myself slightly adrift, too far off my training plan to just step back on. I even backed out of my first triathlon of the season.
Feeling pretty terribly out of shape right now.

This is not the first time this has happened.
I am so good at falling off the wagon that I’ve gotten really good at getting back on. Sometimes it’s a quick hop, more often it’s a flailing crawl.
This is what I’ve learned about getting back on the exercise wagon.

  1.  Bumps are normal. Who said the road was going to be perfectly smooth? So I fell off, who doesn’t? Don’t waste time sputtering baffled, shocked, and guilty. I get back on, enjoy the ride, and be prepared for the next time I get bucked.
  2. Have a tether. Even when I’m off the wagon it can’t get too far away from me. Over time I’ve tethered myself to exercise in a way that even when I let go I can’t lose track of it. Bike commuting is one of the lifestyle lines that make me feel safe from total slothdom.
  3. Renovate the wagon. What do I need to help me hold on right now? Often I need something new. A new race, a new routine, a new skill, a class… Sometimes it’s simply rediscovering what I knew I loved.
  4. It is not ground zero. As much as it feels like starting all over, it’s not. I might have to walk/jog a mile at a time but at one point I ran more so progress will be faster than if I had never ran before. Plus, maintaining can get boring. The progress that comes with rebuilding can be so much fun.

So right now I am not on my game. I am off the wagon. I’m accepting that right now some priorities are higher than racing. It’s ok – I am not a failure. I will not bloat into oblivion. I am still a reasonably healthy person even if it’s not quite where I prefer to be. I’m crafting new goals and plans for when I’m ready to get back on and rebuild.

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6 Responses to Booted off the Wagon

  1. Caroline says:

    Glad to know it is not just me that has this repeating problem! Thanks for normalizing it! 🙂

  2. Mary Jeanne Levitt says:

    Kim, Kudos for writing and sharing *Booted off the Wagon* on your blog. I’m reading and thinking..yes…okay…I can relate so much. Thank you for your insight, practical and positive approach to those bumps/gaps along the training road.

    Mary Jeanne

  3. Just what I needed to hear… er- read. It was a cold that knocked me off. Hoping I’ll know when I can safely get back on without relapsing.

  4. Pingback: Crawling Back On | Midwest With Zest

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