One Thread at a Time

Daily Movement Prompts, Wednesday, July 5, 2017 edition: One Thread at a Time

If you have a well-thought out training plan, all your schedules are set and on the calendar, you have both big goals and the steps to get you there, maybe this topic is less important to you. But if you’ve pondered, “Where do I start?” then I’m talking to you.

What kind of idea do you need? Let’s start there.

Do you need to think big about your dreams and goals? Okay, what activities make your heart soar? Does your heart soar thinking about climbing a mountain? Or when you watch athletes in the Olympics? Or if you imagine bicycling across the country? Or swimming across a channel? Or dancing for a long set? Or running a marathon?

Or do you need ideas about how to go from no-movement to some-movement? Okay, what small movements can you do now? Can you walk up a set of stairs, even if it takes longer than you like? Can you reach a tall shelf? Can you bend your knees to sit on the floor? Can you get back up again?

Let’s think about what your BIG dreams might be. And let’s think about what you current SMALL movements are.

What can you do today that’s just a *little bit more* than your current small movements? If you can run for one minute without stopping, can you add 15 seconds more? If you can climb 15 stairs, can you climb 20? If you can dance for 3 minutes without stopping, can you add 30 seconds more?

When you need an idea about what to start today, start with something you CAN do. Because so far, no one on this list has written me privately to say, “I’m in traction, I’m confined to bed rest for the next 15 months, I am on a breather, I’m in the ICU.” You *do* have some movement available to you. It might not be where you want to be. It might be the lowest you’ve been in years. But you’re not out of this race yet. You woke up on this side of the dirt today.

How will you embrace your abilities today? Did you need to make today a rest and recovery day? That’s okay! When’s your next non-rest day? Is it today? Is today a “let’s get moving, even just a little bit” kind of day?

Small embarrassing story: The first time I started “running” a few years ago, I was frightened of going outside. I know, sounds hard to believe, but it is true. So I decided to put my phone on the stopwatch setting and then I “ran” through our tiny apartment, as much and as fast as I could. Dash into the kitchen, dash through the living room, dash into the bedroom. (Our cat at the time looked at me weird the entire time.) And when I couldn’t take it any more, when I was gasping for breath, I stopped and I checked the stopwatch. And I wrote down the time. And I called it “done” for the day. The following day, my goal was to add one minute, just 60 seconds more to my time. I did that for 5 or 6 days per week, for the next couple of weeks. I got up the nerve to “go running outside,” even if it meant just dashing back and forth on the driveways of my complex for 4 minutes, maybe 5. Eventually, I left the complex. And one day, my goal was something like 20 or 30 minutes… I would let myself “run” until I was too tired, then I could walk for 60 seconds, then run again. I lost count. I ran for about 42 minutes before I realized I had overshot my goal.

You can do the same thing. Start where you are now. Start small. And then just keep adding only what you can handle. After a while, it’s very possible you might add more than you were expecting to.

How did you move today? How will you move tomorrow?