Monday, March 1, 2010

I Bit the Proverbial Bullet...

...and got onto the treadmill.  It was only for twenty-five minutes, and at a pace that would have embarrassed me not that many years ago, but I did it.

(I can hear the crowds cheering.... "yay, Ruth - knew you could do it - way to go man..." And the crowds go wild.  Take a bow, Ruth)

I don't know what made Saturday morning special, cause I've been procrastinating this event for months, but I got up on Saturday morning and one of my first thoughts was:  today is the day I get onto that d--- treadmill.  So, I did.

Part of what I call procrastinating has actually been cold, hard fear - of pain, and disability.  Almost two years ago, while innocently walking down two steps at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, my foot did something funny and I ended up ripping a bunch of fibres in the achilles tendon of my left foot (at the back, just above my heel).  The pain I experienced with that, and in the many subsequent months, was pretty intense.  I still have a lot of ups and downs with it - just another thing that wakes me up at night sometimes with one or two thirty-second stabs of such sharp pain that I have to hold my breath until it passes.  I still have to be careful how I walk, because it takes very little to aggravate the injury.  I've dealt with plantar fasciitis for about twenty years, and that's been difficult at times, too, but the achilles thing is so easily devastating to my ability to function that I have to be very careful.

But on Saturday, it was as if all the stars had lined up:  amazingly (or perhaps as a result), given how much I've struggled with sleep this month, I slept well on Friday night; furthermore, my achilles seemed ok when I got up and, after some careful testing, I deemed it pretty good; perhaps the two factors combined lent me a cheery optimism (not) to think that I'd like to give the treadmill a try.  I can't say that it felt great - I hate to sweat, and what's so great anyway about clomping along like a big ox and getting nowhere - but it felt good afterwards, and I avoided the temptation to eat more later just because I'd had a bit of a workout beforehand.

So, there.  Another hurdle surmounted.  I'm hoping that, just maybe, it won't be quite as hard a day or two from now to get on the d---- thing again.  Sorry about the almost-terrible language, but that's the way I think about it - I truly have a hard time even thinking the word treadmill without adding a colourful adjective to it, kinda like a prefix.

Thanks for comments and support!
* Darci - that's a good idea re: physio - I saw a podiatrist re: my achilles way back when and got some temporary help, but haven't done physio (which I should have known to do, seeing as how I got physio for years with my plantar fasciitis)
* Shannon - great idea re: books on CD from the library for when/if I'm on the treadmill.  Thanks.
* Gwen - yay - someone else who's starting exercise afresh!  Go girl, and let's keep each other motivated!!
* Kristen - yes, please, I would really appreciate the name of a physio or two.  Now that I've got the idea in mind, I'll act on it as soon as Geoff starts his new job in a few weeks (then we'll have coverage to help cover some of the costs)


  1. good job good job!! one thing to say, and that is PHYSIO! i tore the tendon (the biggie) in the bottom of my said i would never run/jump again-physio, i am as good as new (plus various other aches and pains, of course, :)
    keep up the good work. if you just walk, especially at an incline, that is GREAT!

  2. Ruth
    I am cheering and all these little ( or big ) hurdles do add up.

    I was thinking of what you had said a ways back about not getting to all the books you want, wonder if your library might have good stuff on CD's and you can make this your treadmill book time ?

    I know books on tape have saved me sometimes.

    Great start to the week.

  3. You and me both -- I started working out on Friday, after a veeeeery long sabbatical! I really hate exercising, but I know I feel much better when I'm in shape. Keep up the good work... it will pay off by boosting your energy, health and self esteem! (That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.) We can do it!!!

  4. Good for you! What's so great anyway about clomping along (UN)like a big ox and getting (SOME)where is YOU DID IT. And it felt great after. Way to go.

  5. Way to go Ruth- 25 minutes is great! Even though I'm an avid ski racer, there are many a day when I just don't want to go for a run (I loathe running). Some days I convince myself just to put on my running clothes and that I don't actually have to go for that run. Then once I'm dressed,I convince myself to go outside for a walk, and then, well I'm out already, might as well run for 10 minutes. Usually by this point,I may as well work out. So I know what you mean about getting on that treadmill!
    I know some excellent physios.if you need a suggestion. Seeing someone is highly recommended. (My husband has struggled with his Archilles for years because he tries to ignore it!)