If I don't exercise, things go downhill pretty fast physically. The
benefits of exercise aren't cumulative (I wish they were) - that is to
say if I stop exercising, whatever benefits I'd gained previously, fade
fast. With exercise, I'm either moving ahead or I'm falling behind.
There's no staying in the same place and keeping the accrued benefits
if I stop. It's not an option.
best for me to exercise at dawn. It jump-starts my day. My current
regimen is run one day, then
(freestyle mostly, alternating with breaststroke for a cooler
interval), then run, then
etc. I prefer to run on an elliptical. It goes easier on my
ankles and knees. I prefer the elliptical to a treadmill. The
elliptical exercises both upper and lower body.
When I run, I keep a notepad and pen in a slot in the elliptical to
down any ideas I get while running which I'd like to develop later or
incorporate into these
I wrap the notepad and pen in a towel which I place at the end of my
lane on top of a styrofoam kickboard. That way, if I'm inspired by
I'll not only have something dry to
it down on: I'll also have something to dry my hands with before doing
When I began this regimen I set distance and time targets for running
something to aim for which I didn't always reach. Later I noticed not
only was I reaching both running and
targets without thinking too much about them: I was reaching them
effortlessly. They didn't become easier because of repetition.
After running /
my heart pounds and my breath is accelerated. Although I hadn't had my
on it, through trial and error I'd discovered the access to
endurance. And when I noticed how that came about, it
had me reaching for my notepad and pen.
the ability to keep doing something difficult, unpleasant, or
painful for a long time
Along the way to discovering the access to endurance (staying the
course if you will), I first keyed my running /
to distance: determining at the start of each session how far I would
The trouble with keying to distance is when running I have to look down
and focus, from time to time, on the elliptical's odometer - a
I have to count laps - easy to forget and even more of a
Then I abandoned keying to distance entirely, and keyed instead to
time: determining at the start of each session the
duration I would run /
Keying to time is less distracting than keying to distance. You keep
until you've run /
for as long as you said you would. There's a clock on the wall in front
of the elliptical. There's a clock on the wall at the end of the pool
lane. Nothing to remember. Less of a distraction. The preset time has
elapsed - or it hasn't. The session is over - or it isn't.
Here's the incisive
I made about keying exercising either by distance or by time:
who I am
in either of them. Neither distance nor time, as it turns out, is an
who really I am
while exercising. I began to realize the access to endurance isn't
simply a matter of approaching physical limits while exercising, then
pushing through them. Nor is it
the call of distractions like aches, pains, weariness, and / or
occasionally flat out boredom and wanting to do
something else, to go easy, to slow down, or to stop entirely and
end the session prematurely.
I began to realize the access to endurance is a matter of staying
throughout exercising - in other
the access to endurance is a matter of having an exercise session be a
who really I am.
To have an exercise session be a
who really I am,
I have to key exercising, in addition to distance and / or in addition
to time, ... to ... being ...
Keying to being. Only secondarily keying to distance: how far have I
How much further? Only secondarily keying to time: how long has it
been? How much longer? Primarily keying to being: I'm here, and running
is here. I'm here, and there is running /
The distance will be covered - sooner or later. The time will pass -
sooner or later. Being, however, is a broader
than both distance and time, broad enough to include
aches, pains, weariness, and / or flat out boredom without being
distracted, without stopping entirely and ending the session
prematurely. In certain respects, it's the global
within which distance and time (and running and
(and everything else, for that matter) all
Keying exercising to being as the
for keying exercising to distance and / or time, is the access to
endurance. Keying any human endeavor to being, is the
access to endurance.