15 January 2014

On (Not) Logging Exercise

For years, decades, I kept lists and logs of the exercise I'd done each day: runs, bike rides, trips to the weight room, swims, hikes, in preparation for triathlons, running races, backpacking trips or biking vacations.

A few months ago, I quit.  Quit making notes and deleted all the records from my iPad.

Because for the past several years, this has been a cyclical record of getting sick, too sick to do any exercise, and then recovering slowly, and then working slowly back up to a moderate amount of exercise.

I came to the conclusion that keeping these records wasn't functioning as encouragement to get more exercise, but rather making me feel inadequate for not getting more exercise.  Kind of like keeping records of my periods during the long years of infertility wasn't doing anything to get me pregnant, but just making me attend to each failure to conceive, month after month, year after year.

I like exercise. I feel better if I'm active every day, and the more the better.  I work out to the extent I can, given a full-time job, a relatively high-needs child, and the sometimes disabling demands posed by living with chronic illness.

I don't think I'm getting any more or less exercise than I would be if I were still recording it all.  Yet not keeping these logs feels lighter.  The change feels incremental, and I suspect there's going to be additional evolution that goes with letting that go.  I'm curious about what it might be.