So there I was, cruising down Race Track Road in St. Johns, Fla, late one afternoon. And I may have been slightly exceeding the speed limit (if you're going to name a road 'Race Track' for Heaven's sake, expect people to drive fast!). As I casually glanced at my rearview mirror, there it was. A police car. Not just behind me, but right behind me. My stomach sank the way it does when we immediately feel guilty, whether we've done something wrong or not.
Of course I ease off the gas pedal, apply lip gloss, then put my hands at two and ten on the wheel (because the most competent drivers have shiny lips, right?!). Please don't pull me over, please don't pull me over, please don't pull me over. The officer continued to tail me, even though he had room in the neighboring lane to pass. I decided to make a move to determine his intentions. I signaled with my blinker and steadily moved into the right hand lane. Was he going to stay behind me? Please don't stay behind me. I don't have time to be pulled over. I'll be late for work!
Vroom! The officer flew past me. Whew! He was clearly in a hurry, but without his lights flashing, I assumed he wasn't responding to an emergency. Now, I don't know about you, but when I see a police cruiser exceeding the limit without its lights on, I may interpret that as license to keep up with it. So I did. I trailed it for a couple of miles, until I found myself directly behind it...turning into the same destination as I was heading.
One guess where that was. Yep, the gym. I was on my way there to lead a group training session, while he was arriving, with his young child in the back (yes, where they seat criminals), to work out. I have to admit that when I realized he was simply headed to the gym, I was miffed. How dare he ride my tail and make me break into a cold sweat, just so that he could speed to the club (like I was doing :-)?!
But then, I had another train of thought--this dude really wanted to work out. He had prioritized this time to exercise, and he wasn't going to let me and my Honda get in his way. He was even willing to bring his son along for the ride, because Daddy needs to be strong and healthy. Beyond that, as a police officer, he needs to be fit enough to subdue bad guys, a service for which I am eternally grateful.
As my brain kept churning on this, I wondered just how many of my readers are as adamant about making time to exercise. Oh, that's right. You don't have time. You can't afford a gym membership. You're too busy with kids, work, chores, etc. Or you're too tired. Too old. It's too hot. It's too cold. You hate spandex. You hate to sweat. You don't know how to get started or what to do.
Have I covered all of the obvious excuses?
Here's the thing--exercise can be done incrementally. Don't approach it as an arduous, multi-hour event. Got 10 minutes? Alternate every 30 seconds between squats, pushups and jumping jacks or run in place. Build in movement where it seems unlikely (this is a key aspect to the Metabolic Profile action plans I design), such as performing lunges while drying your hair in the morning. Buy yourself a resistance band or two, a jump rope, stability ball or TRX, a couple of pairs of dumbbells and/or a kettlebell, and you've got yourself a home gym that takes up very little space.
Some days, my workouts are done in my driveway while I keep an eye on the kids. Or in the playroom, which also doubles as my exercise studio, where we all get to 'play.' As Theodore Roosevelt so simply stated, "We have to do the best we can, where we are, with what we have."
I'm going to leave you with a challenge: Time how long you spend on social media each day (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), and devote at least that same amount of time to exercise. When you realize how much better you feel, increase the duration and/or intensity of your session!
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Molly is a wife, mom,
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I am not a registered dietitian, nor a medical professional. My blog is a representation of my views and experiences, which are not intended as medical advice. While I am a certified personal trainer, descriptions of things I eat and exercises I perform may not be suitable for everyone. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.