I'm in no hurry to exercise. Sounds like the words of a fat man eating Doritos, watching golf on the television, but I mean it otherwise. I'm reading headlines about how to exercise in just eight minutes a day. I see things touting the benefits of high intensity workouts done in no time. There's this hurry to get exercise over and done. I understand. Many people feel rushed, overburdened, and that there aren't enough hours in the day. I feel otherwise.
It wasn't always so. Years ago my job was an hour's commute each way. The drive and job sucked the life out of me. By the time I got home, I wouldn't drag my fat ass to any kind of workout. My wife, who thinks about me as much as I do but more effectively, got me a Y membership and I began going there at 5:30 each morning before work. I could work out for a solid hour, shower, and still arrive at the job early.
That hour felt good. Not just the workout, but the luxury of an hour to myself. It damn sure felt better than the job or commute. It was easy to get out of bed in the dark and go to the gym. I wanted that hour.
I'm no longer at that job and my commute is short. The Y costs $1,000 a year and I don't feel like paying. Instead, I run and, as I said at the outset, I'm in no hurry.
The other day I came home tired but thinking, I should go for a run. It wasn't the obligation of getting in shape or keeping some streak. I said "should" because I was feeling lousy and few things are as relaxing and rejuvenating as running by myself. I set off into the hot sun, in no hurry at all.
I'm running according to Phil Maffetone's heart rate plan. I stay between 121 and 131 beats per minute. In the hot sun after a full day of work, I hit 121 within three blocks and, if I'm not careful I go up over 131 even on the smallest of hills. I have to run pretty damn slow. The goal is to burn fat instead of sugar because sugar has to be replaced all the time, but there's enough fat on me to keep going 'til Rapture.
Along with not hurrying the pace, I'm in no hurry to finish the run. Moving slowly, I feel like I can run forever. Going out for that run, I told my wife I'd be back in an hour or so. She accepts that or so likely means I'll be an hour and a half. I went almost seven miles and would have gone longer except I was holding up dinner. I'm running six, seven, sometimes ten miles not because I'm in such great shape, but because being in nor hurry allows me to enjoy time for myself.
It's a bit greedy, but I'm a better man when I've had a run. I'm happier, healthier, and more accepting of a slow pace. Think of it this way: what kind of family man am I if I'm always in a hurry?
I still understand why people rush and think that they have to. I just don't want to hurry right now and have found that I don't have to. Running helps me remember that. My wife's love and support is the foundation of that. And my happiness is the result of that. I don't need high intensity workouts I can finish in eight minutes. I want to feel this happy for much longer.