Put Money on Me to Place
It wasn’t until I reached the gym today that I realized they changed their hours for this weekend and that it was closed. It being such a gorgeous day out, I decided to supplement the trip by doing some old fashioned push-ups, crunches, and a brisk outdoor run.
Now, as good as I’ve gotten with cardio when using an elliptical or arc-trainer, I still suck at actual running. That wasn’t necessarily a surprise since I know how poor my form is (particularly since I never ran seriously until this past Fall) and I know it’ll take a long time to break my body of bad habits in terms of foot placement and posture.
What I did realize is how much damage I did to myself as a smoker. For those who don’t know, I was a smoker for ten years and had my last cigarette last August. Of those ten years, I was a regular (habitual) smoker for eight years, smoking a minimum of a pack a day. The last couple years I had increased to a pack and a half to two packs a day. Needless to say, it wreaked havoc on my breathing and lung capacity. Now, if I’m using a machine where I focus on resistance and working my entire body, my stamina’s fine. Even today I didn’t feel the strain and exhaustion on my muscles that I used to feel after a run (before I started working out regularly and dropped all the extra weight I used to carry around with me).
But I kept running out of breath. Which was especially frustrating when I realized, while stopping to catch my breath, that I’d barely broken a sweat.
After you quit smoking, it can take a long time for lung capacity to improve. I recall reading that it can take a year – or years – after quitting to truly feel the difference. Now, despite knowing this for some time, the full realization never hit me until today.
Which led to me being the overanalytical ass that I am and thinking about damage. Specifically, I realized that damage is the only thing in my life that’s permanent – physically, emotionally, and otherwise. With my drinking, with the smoking, with the lackadaisical approach to everything in my life before I learned how to make myself a priority and focus on things that were important.
Which is why I always brush off any and all compliments towards improvements in those areas. Because I’ll always be playing catch-up. It doesn’t help that, as of late, I’ve felt like the best I can hope for is second place. But even if that’s the case, I have to make sure that I make a strong showing.
My apologies if none of this makes any sense. I just have a lot of other things on my mind lately.