Welcome back, Glibertariat. GlibFit has been on hiatus after successful runs by SUPREME OVERLORD Trshmnster and A Leap At The Wheel. You’re all worthless and weak but we are back after a long layoff. Time to get back in shape.
Which brings us to today’s topic. Getting back to exercise after a long layoff. Layoffs can be any length of time and happen for all sorts of reasons. They result in us becoming all sorts of shapes and sizes.
I’ve had to get back to it more than once with varying degrees of success. When I moved to California to attend law school I was entranced by the weather. I can’t say all the women at the beaches were all out of a David Lee Roth video, but it was not uncommon to be hear this running through my head. I was motivated to join a nearby gym and run regularly. Despite putting in long hours during law school, I got into pretty good shape; probably the best shape I had ever been in during my first thirty years on planet earth.
I was far from perfect during law school, but I was consistent. Graduation came and I relocated to a new city for my first job as a lawyer. I found a local gym, but it was a significant step down and the hours were kind of limited. My workouts started slipping. Not too long after starting work I met Mrs. Chafed. Between work I took seriously and a budding romance I no longer had time for the gym.
I sporadically made some effort to find another gym. After we were married, a new gym opened that was terrific. It was also poorly managed. It, and my workouts, lasted about a year. The gym closed, the first baby Chafed came along, Mrs. Chafed stopped working, I was now the only breadwinner and playing Mr. Mom. First Baby Chafed was definitely daddy’s girl so it was almost always me that got up at night when she was crying. The gym, working out, and being trim was fading into memory.
Cut to about eleven years later, we left the garage door open one night and Mrs. Chafed’s car was burglarized. She freaked out. The cop who took the report told her to get a dog. I tell her in no uncertain terms I am at full capacity and cannot handle another responsibility. Also, we were both public defenders and knew first–hand how stupid most cops are. We’ll get a gun I said. Hello Mossberg 590. Despite my vehement, unceasing objections, Mrs. Chafed went to the pound and got us a dog.
We welcomed Moe to the family. My fur child was then (maybe) a one-year old chocolate lab. Mrs. Chafed was surprised by how much energy he had. I groaned, rolled my eyes, ceaselessly reminded her this would happen, and took up running. We ran every weekday morning. Weekends were for the dog park.
Holy shit I was out of shape. Our first run I went about three quarters of a mile and thought I was going to die. Moe still had boundless energy and looked at me like the weak, winded, disappointment I was. I had no choice but to keep running. It was my only hope of getting to sleep through the night.
Run with Moe I did. Bit by bit I got my wind back, kept going a little further, and finally achieved my goal of running far enough that the dog was satisfied. Several daddy-doggy 5Ks also ensued. I was more or less in shape. Necessity called and I answered. My long layoff was over. That lasted about seven years until age and arthritis made Moe consider a somewhat slower lifestyle.
Well, I continued to run. Sort of. It broke my heart to leave without him. Those sad eyes and whimpering also made it hard. Getting another half hour or so of sleep was very appealing. Running fell by the wayside.
A couple of years go by when my wife joined a gym. She kept bugging me to join because “it will be a chance for us to spend time together.” Sure honey. *cough* bullshit *cough* After sufficient nagging I joined. Once again, holy shit I was out of shape. I truly felt worthless and felt genuinely weak. A month later, Mrs. Chafed moved on to private training. I was on my own.
It was decision time. I found a program I like (more about that in a future article) and decided to stay. That was two years ago. I’ve had shorter layoffs since getting back to the gym due to illness, but I’ve consistently made my way back. For me, wanting to go instead of having to go, is the best motivation.
What kept you from exercising? What brought you back? What kept you going once you got back?