In the beginning, you make physical fitness tests. After that, you set yourself a goal to improve your test results with training. In the end, you make the same tests again to see how much progress you’ve made. Finally, you’re either satisfied with yourself, or not.
That’s how it pretty much goes. That’s how I also planned that my Working Mom’s 6 Week Health Challenge would go.
However, in reality, I learned that something else was much more important than the test results.
My first training week was honeymoon week even though I did part of my trainings in the rain. Christmas holiday had just begun and I had a good chance to concentrate on my challenge.
During my first week, I noticed how much I had missed exercising during the baby years. That feeling gave me a perfect start and plenty of energy and good mood to continue my challenge.
But the next week I needed to take a step back. I loved training outdoors but my back disagreed. I wanted to do more and harder but I needed to accept that in reality I needed to do less and lighter.
We reshaped my training program to include more gentle exercises. I started to pay more attention to technique, stretch more and listen to my body more carefully.
The third week was a great week. This is what I wrote on Facebook:
“Like I’ve told you I haven’t had a single day without some kind of a pain in my lower back during the past 6 months. Actually, the story of my hip is longer; it’s been more or less “locked” since last January. First I wasn’t able to do some yoga movements, then I had to quit yoga totally, then I couldn’t do jogging anymore and in autumn also walking caused pain. I tried to move but I felt that I could do less and less. In the beginning of November, I started physiotherapy. First it was hard for the physiotherapist to find any stretching movement that I could do. She taught me small things to do at home. Then I started massages and my health challenge with Urban Jane. THIS WEEK SOMETHING GOOD HAPPENED IN MY HIP AND BACK; some kind of “muscular lock” or something opened!! And when it happened I was able to move my hip and lower back in a way they I had not been able to move for a looooong time!!! And I felt NO PAIN at all. The feeling was amazing. My hip and back are not yet totally ok, but I feel that “bad” development is stopped now and “good” development has started! A life without pain is my main goal for this challenge and if I’m able to achieve it, I’m more than happy. After all, it’s the base for feeling good both mentally and physically.”
Lighter training worked. What a pleasure it was for me to do snow work without a constant pain! Our family was able to see totally different kind of a mother at home.
The fourth week brought setbacks again. Flu bug made our family cranky and tired. Freezing winter weather meant too much time indoors. And my work week was full, too full.
I managed to do my trainings by the fireplace but I was about to quit my challenge. It just felt too difficult to find time and energy to do everything I needed. “Cherry on the cake” was that stress brought back my hip and back pain.
The fifth week was all about realizing that there’s really no point stressing over my challenge. I went back to basics again and prioritized resting and getting rid of the flu for good. My strategy worked.
When I had slept more, I felt more relaxed. And that helped me to find the joy of exercising again.
The week ended for perfectly relaxing weekend full of cross country skiing, carrying firewood, baking bread and just spending time together as a family without any hurry.
Then on the sixth week, on Friday evening, it happened. It was cold and dark outside but I decided to go for a walk anyway. I opened the door, put on the music and started walking.
Soon my walking turned into dancing. And dancing turned into running.
It was something that had never before happened to me. But there I was; dancing alone in the forest in total darkness. Just because I felt so good.
And when I danced I knew it; there would be no need for me to do the final physical fitness test. Me walking, dancing, running and smiling in the forest was much bigger and better result to show me that my health challenge had been successful.
THIS is a feeling I want to hold on to! I thought when I went back home.
I’m so grateful for my personal trainer Kersten Kimura that she helped me to find the joy of exercising again. If you’re interested in to do the same, I recommend you to start by reading Kersten’s post “How To Find A Workout That You Really Enjoy And Why It’s Important.
After my last training I sat down to sunbathe. I decided that from now on I would not stress over exercising. Instead, I’d think how I could make it more fun. Something that would make me feel like dancing.When you do something that feels good, you want to do it again! Click To Tweet
Now you can find all my Health Challenge videos on YouTube too. Feel free to watch them and get inspired to train outdoors!