Agriolimax reticulatus

A not altogether surprising thing happens when one spends a majority of one’s time lying or sitting about, pumping fluid into one’s gut, and napping. After a rather short period of time, physical strength, flexibility and stamina begin to fade. This is particularly true if, as a warm-up, one has been through major surgery and a couple weeks in bed, and has not really gotten back one’s strength in the first place.

All of which is a long way of saying that I feel like a slug.

Luckily, the insane heat wave has gone away, so that I’m able to once again think about exercise. This week I’ve been trying to build up my activity, mainly by doing chores around the house. And today I went crazy: I not only spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, but I went out and weedwhacked our side yard. Yippee!

Past experience has shown me that shedding my molluscoid qualities will take time. It’s particularly tricky because of my heart condition. It’s easy to wear myself out, without actually feeling tired. It’s as if my body invisibly “borrows” energy from the next few days’ accounts, without it seeming, today, as if I’ve gone into debt. So a workout that feels mild to me in the moment may actually be quite sufficient, and doing more will leave me wiped out in the following days. Slow and gentle are the watchwords.

Which is hard when I’m tired of feeling like a slug and want to dive right in. Or when I’m trying to build up, and it doesn’t seem as if I’m making progress. None of the training limits and self-knowledge I used before my heart got bad are appropriate anymore. And it’s hard knowing when I’m tired because I’m tired OUT, or when I’m tired because I need to do MORE.

Anyway, I’ve got to do something, lest someone pour salt on me. I’ll keep you posted.