Friday, September 15, 2006


Happy little exercise endorphins.

Exercise endorphins. They are so real.. I can feel them right now, buzzing around my body even 5 hours after getting home. An almost tingly feeling, which sends 'I Feel Terrific' messages to my brain, pulling me out of the funk that I tend to wallow around in on an all too regular basis of late. Today I tore myself away from blog land and rode my bike - only 12km, but hey.. that's 12km better than nothing. [I made a pact with myself that I was going to ride to a lunch date.] And at 5.30 I backed up for my swimming squad. And I'm HIGH!

For a 44 year old, I'm managing to keep myself relatively active. Not as active as some, but a truckload more than many women my age. (What a pity I sabotage that with my eating, but I'll leave that issue for another post another day.)

Courtesy of still being a 'stay at home' mum, I have plenty of time in which to schedule exercise - but do I? All too often, no. (Take this week, for example, where I slothed around at home most days.) And I can't understand why I don't. This feeling is good enough to get addicted to - and what's more, it's legal, and, yes, yes, it's actually good for you!

I don't have a problem drinking 5 cups of coffee (or more) a day, and it doesn't make you feel that good for that long. And the beer or wine I convince myself I need most nights doesn't make me feel quite as wonderful either. (Lucky for me I don't have any other harder drug addictions or interests!)

I have been swimming in an Adult fitness squad for nearly 4 years now - mostly two sessions a week. Monday at 1.30, and Friday afternoons at 5.30. Thank god for that, otherwise I'd be a vegetable. (And my swimming wouldn't have improved either.) These days we usually cover around 2.2 km a session, a mix of warm ups/downs, drills, and a variation of aerobic and anaerobic sprint workouts which can leave you gasping for breath. Not the sort of thing you'd make yourself do whilst doing laps down at the local pool.

The swimming has given me the newfound ability to jog a bit, so most Tuesday afternoons I thud around a 2.5 km cross country course with Zoe. (*Thud* being the operative word!) I am not sure my bod is up to it, but I am giving it a whirl... taking now around 17 mins to do the distance. That isn't particularly fast! It's just barely jogging! (As a guide, Alison does that distance in about 12 minutes, and Zoe in about 15.) But I am just chuffed that I can do it without walking. It's something I couldn't do when I was a kid, and I get an endorphin hit (and a few aches and pains!)

I even activate those super cool endorphins if I do a decent paced walk up the beach and back.

And, given our newfound passion for bike riding, I am trying to 'train' myself up a bit, so that the extreme bouts of riding that we set ourselves to do, aren't quite such an Everest. The Big Ride that we did earlier this year (on the tandems) was HUGE by most people's standards. (Doesn't come near something like Le Tour de France, but we are talking normal people here!) Did it, but did it tough in places, so know there is room for fitness improvement. And Marc, bless him, does keep reminding me that I am the weakest link, even if he doesn't use those words.

The other weekend we did an 'extreme' bout of bike riding. 44km on the road tandem, him and me, at some ungodly hour for a Sunday morning; and then 35 km with the girls on the 'old' tank tandem, Marc having to hitch Zoe's trail-a-bike to his single mountain bike because Her Highness, Ms 13, wanted to sloth! And we were STUFFED. Can't imagine why, after 80km in one morning! But, bloody hell, at the same time I felt absolutely wonderful!

So, tell me. Why can't I get myself hooked on doing something endorphin producing like this every day?

Last time I got serious about it (a few weeks ago), I got sick. (Caught the lurgy that was going around.) That knocked me around for a week, and I'm still trying to get back on track. The time before I tore a calf muscle!!

It's hard not to get just a teeny bit disillusioned! And disillusionment leads to 'funk' and wallowing, and sitting on my backside procrastinating, and in a vicious cycle. And not going out and activating those feel-good endorphins.

Still. I am lucky. Body mostly functioning at the moment (although the hip is niggly after jogging last week.) Rain has stopped (wish we could have sent this last lot west - where they really need it.) Marc is on his way to get us a triplet bike! We are going in the Sydney to Gong bike ride. And all is right with the world. (Yeah, right..)

Tonight I feel inspired. I wonder if this time I can get addicted.



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