I'm working on improving myself. Who isn't these days? But lately, I've actually made progress. Two days ago, after mowing the lawn, I thought "Screw it, I'm already covered in sweat: I'm going to run around the block." So I started out at a comfortable jog and left. For the first quarter of the run, I felt great. I thought to myself Why don't I do this more often? Then, I hit the incline at the end of the block. By the end of the second quarter of my "run," I was winded. However, I kept it up. I kept it up almost to the end of the third quarter of the run, where I gave up and slowed to a walk. At this point, I immediately felt like my stomach and lungs hated me and one wanted to oust the other from my chest. I walked downhill to my house and was fine.
Later that day, I helped my mother-in-law and her husband (Step-father-in-law?) to move Mama-in-Law's things into their house (she had lived with us until they got married back in February). Stepdadinlaw and I were both needed, as my wife is over 8 months pregnant. We moved a lot of furniture, including a piano. I felt dead.
Yesterday, I felt worse than dead. Death would have been an improvement. Every single part of my body hurt to one degree or another. Fortunately, it was a lazy day and the most strenuous activity I did was pick up a pizza.
This morning, our Three-Year-Old woke us up at 7:30. I felt fine. Not great, I'm still sore in my back and shoulders and my thighs don't love me, but I wasn't dying or wishing for death. As a result, I decided to run around the block again at 8:00 this morning. I did the same run, starting at the same pace, and this time, I made the whole block without slowing to a walk. I still wanted to heave in the bushes, but I hadn't given up partway, so I felt better. I showered, dressed, and was ready for Church by the time I normally wake up to get ready. I felt good (except, you know, for the soreness).
After Church, I came home, had lunch, and did some yoga. There's a routine on a free app I downloaded on my iPhone (though with only one routine, I'm considering replacing it). Then my wife was gone on some errands, so I decided to run the block again. This time, I was terribly out of breath, but felt otherwise normal. No need to hurl, didn't need to slow down. Nothing.
Where does this story go? I now feel only slightly more sore than I usually do, and I have easily done twice the physical labor I've done anytime since my sophomore year of college in the past three days. In three runs I've gone from pathetic to mildly embarrassing, and I feel more pride in my ability than I have in a long while. I'm capable of a lot more than I was aware.
Now, this is no guarantee I'll keep this up. I've learned through other projects that I'm pretty good at keeping up a project for about two weeks with decent motivation, but after that I kind of lose interest. If I feel the urge to stay fit by the time my daughter is born next month, I'll consider it a safe bet I'll keep it up long term.
I had intended to write about a number of other things in this post, but frankly, I feel it's long enough.