Then, God called me back (sure, roll your eyes at the religious reference if you must, but I'm a pastor ... and it's true in my case). You see, yesterday my wife and I helped a member of our congregation move some of her clothes from the apartment she had been living in to her new place. She had to move because the building caught fire and was badly damaged. Fortunately, her things on the third floor were spared the destroying flames and the worst of the smoke. She needs to move her things out quickly as the landlord is looking to rebuild. I'm try to gather a work crew, but in the meantime, after church was finished, we changed into work gear, rolled up our sleeves, took our large van over and got busy.
The apartment was on the third floor. The only access was a winding staircase leading from the basement to the third floor. We "Stairmastered" for hours. I expected to feel crippled up today (lack of regular exercise and all ... or so I thought). Instead I felt limber, the feeling I remembered and welcomed after a good workout.
Not long ago, I discovered I'd actually lost weight on my job (there's a lot of walking involved in ministry). Returning to the gym I discovered I was not short of breath on the machines. Several of them I was better on than I had been last time I'd been there. Some equipment I had to dial back the weight as I had indeed lost muscle mass in my chest and back and arms. Sure, that was to be expected. The rest was not. It was a great workout and a return to old friends. It was a joy.
I'll be back again. I'll try to work in a regular routine as I hope to be in ministry for many years to come and I want to be able to help others as best I can. That means getting this particular aging temple of God repaired and in proper working order once again.
So, back to the gym, back to knocking off the rust, and back a little wiser. I learned an important lesson. It's a journey, this fitness thing. It is not one and done. It is not a situation that if circumstances work against regular workouts you have failed. No, it is an ongoing process and you can pick it up again. Your body will remember what you had done and will fall back into the routine with a lot less grumbling than you might imagine. You'll find joy in that ... and a lot of satisfaction. Just don't let the old ego get in the way. Accept the fact that you're going to have to do shorter routines with less weight than you were doing when you left. Those muscles don't go on pause and maintain while you were away from the gym (home or public gym). You don't have anything to prove to anyone. Don't delay exercise further by hurting yourself the first time back with overexertion.
Enjoy the journey. Maybe I'll see you at the gym.
If you want to catch up with my last post (lamenting lack of ability to keep up a routine, ironically), see: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2014/02/adventures-in-fitness-21-one-guys.html