Last year, a pretty good tumble off my bike left me with a soft tissue injury that was taking its sweet time healing, and my frustration was building. With my bike out for repair and my left hip out of commission, cardio became a challenge. Jogging was out, the lateral movements of Zumba caused pain, even the elliptical trainer left me with a hitch in my step. My last resort was to head to the pool for a few laps.
Ten minutes in, I was ready to throw in the towel. Swimming must be the hardest sport known to man. Seriously, I like to breathe during a workout—a lot—not just every so often. My endeavor was anything but rhythmic and appeared to be the antecedent of interval training: swim a lap, STOP COMPLETELY, BREATHE LIKE CRAZY, repeat. So I jogged through the water with the geriatric crowd.
It sucked and felt like a waste of time; I gathered up my gear and went and sat in the sauna to pout. My ego was now more bruised than my body.
The next day though, something unexpected happened: I woke up sore. Hell, I didn’t even know you could get sore from water-bearing exercises! My muscles hurt in that “man that was a good workout” way—something I had not experienced from my other gym endeavors in a long while.
My suckiness was a big motivator. Frankly, I was use to being GOOD at my workout. So I went back, set some goals and voila! I started seeing results. Eventually my injury healed, and I headed back to dry land, but I had learned a valuable lesson.
Unless you are trying to break some kind of land speed record or plan to make a career out of one certain sport, it is a good idea to mix it up. Don’t wait for an injury to motivate you to try something new. Keep it fresh and just keep moving. Try swimming, I dare ya.
Have you met your exercise match? When’s the last time you tried something new? —Karen