5AM Runner

A Deal With The Devil...

photo 13What a life - truly a great time to be alive!  Between all the earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, land-slides and other forms of major calamities, there is hardly ever a day of peaceful rest, a time of tranquility.  But then again, has there ever been a time like that in any generation?

Now that Irene has graced us with her ever-so-powerful presence, we were all reminded of how fragile our reality truly is, how fleeting the present moment can truly be.  As much as I enjoyed not having any electricity for 72 hours, and I actually did! – nevertheless, all these natural attacks have completely destroyed my plans, flipping my already-thin exercise plans upside down and tossing them to the side of the road.

Having missed a few days of my cardio work, I have been nervously pacing around the house, looking to do just about anything to get my body working again, to challenge it one way or another.  Being so one-dimensional – and I am, since running is basically all I know in the world of exercise – I couldn’t come up with a single thing to replace it!  That is, until I saw my lonely dumbbell, languishing deep in the bowels of our basement, which it had been doing for probably a decade or two…. But who’s counting anyway?

The dumbbell couldn’t have been any heavier than 50 lbs, but as I attempted to grab it, I realized just what I did to my body over the last 5 or so years!  Let me explain.  When I set out on my weight-losing journey, I made a pledge to concentrate entirely and exclusively on the cardio aspect of training, letting go of all the other forms, such as weight lifting, pushups, pull-ups, everything and anything.  I wanted to lose weight, and I didn’t really care if I would also end up losing my then-considerable muscle mass along with it.  And so I made a deal with the devil, took my first step outside, and the rest is history, as they say!

Well, it sure as hell worked, and I lost more than just some of my muscles – I nearly lost them all!  At the peak of my cardio madness, I looked like a throwback to the World War II POW camp, losing weight and everything else daily, scaring my entire family, who were beginning to show concern for my health!  When I hit my record low of 185 lbs, I had no choice but to cut back on my running regimen and start eating foods other than broccoli and honey buns.

Having gained about 25 lbs back from those all-time-lows, I have never quite been able to also recover the important and powerful muscle mass, and was painfully reminded of that deficiency as I tried to lift the stupid dumbbell mentioned above!  I discovered that I still had nothing left in that department!  What is it that I need to do?!  Eat raw eggs and run up and down the steps like Rocky?  Eat spinach like Popeye?  Give up running entirely?  Well, as much as I am willing to do all those other things, the latter just ain’t happening – we all know that.  So, I guess I may just have to start from scratch again, as I did back when I was 12 years old or so, a skinny, bullied, chess-playing little kid, and build something cool of my body yet again.

But please don’t let these horrifying running stories hold you back from discovering the real pleasures of outside cardio, and always remember to

Keep it running!