Small steps forward

February 3, 2010

Well, this week’s travel has gone well.

Nowhere very exciting – I’m in a suburb of Munich Germany, where I come every 2 weeks or so.  I just wasn’t traveling for 6 months last year while I dealt with my health.  It’s not my favorite spot on earth, but it’s okay.  The hotel where I usually stay (and did this time as well) is nice, clean, small, good restaurant, easy transport to the office & friendly.  They don’t have a gym, but the rooms are decent size. 

Years ago when I did my big weight loss effort I did yoga for a while.  I was terrible at it – I’ve never been very limber – but I really enjoyed it, remember how strong I felt & how relaxing it was.  I have several yoga DVDs and did use them from time to time after moving to Paris, but never regularly.  Two and a half years ago I was frantically trying to lose weight before my wedding & was really pushing myself on exercise & I seriously injured my back.  Herniated disk, acute sciatica, unable to walk, narcotics, sick leave, and about a week after the wedding – surgery (which worked!).  I was told in no uncertain terms by my orthopedic surgeon that I needed to be extremely careful in the future – regarding stretching and any kind of jarring activities (jumping, skiing, running – all OUT), and stregnth training out too. 

As a result, I’ve only done cardio since then, walking, swimming, elliptical, bike.  I can get a very good workout on these and truth be told it’s not like I’ve really missed doing other stuff, but recently I’ve been wondering if I can start to move back to a moderate level of flexibility.  My poor hamstrings are really tight.  I’m not talking about anything that would risk re-rupturing a disk, mind you (when they repair a disk it never completely heals due to the type of tissue). 

So my first week back on the road I tried a few yoga videos which were a great fit because they are VERY beginner (so am I!).  They’re also very short (10 min or 20 min).  It’s not a ‘calorie-torching-workout’, but hey, that’s okay, because a hotel room is maybe not the best ‘calorie-torching’ environment.

One thing I forgot about yoga is how much you have to support your own body weight.  Maybe not so hard for the skinny fit nymphs of yoga lore, but not so easy when you’re my size with a terribly out of shape upper body.  Still, it’s easier to see progress when you’re starting from this low, and this week, two weeks after my first short foray back into yoga, I can already hold certain positions longer.

Babysteps, babysteps, babysteps. 

  • Small sessions of new exercise
  • Starting with really easy levels
  • Doing some exercise in my hotel room instead of doing nothing

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