Are We Having Fun Yet?

With the beginning of each year, many people have good intentions and high hopes. They make resolutions and jump into ambitious routines to try to achieve any variety of goal.

Did you make any resolutions this year? Yes? Good for you.

Doing something good for myself

I don’t like resolutions, but I made one this year — to try to do something good for myself at least once each day.

Saturday, I accomplished this goal by napping for many hours and allowing my body to catch up on some much needed rest.

Last Tuesday, Rob and I took the time to play cards which was something good for both of us, mind and spirit.

Here’s the the tough one. During the majority of days since January 1, I have ridden my exercise bike with the intent to work my legs and cardiovascular system.

Last year, Rob and I were having a lot of fun going out on our bikes and pedaling miles and miles around the DC area. During the weekdays when the weather was nice, I would go out alone and zoom along the bike path to work up a good sweat. The wind in my face was exhilarating.

Struggling with consistency

Rob and I rode many miles together to prepare for the 2017 Bike MS Chesapeake Challenge. That seems almost a lifetime ago. During the summer and fall, we were swamped with caregiving and life-transitioning duties for a close family member. At the same time, I’ve been very sick. And recently, the weather has just been much too cold to consider biking outside.

Since I’ve become unconditioned due to the lack of cycling, I’ve decided to slowly build up my strength and endurance once again to try to get back outside when the weather warms up. To do this requires dedication and consistency, and time spent on the indoor exercise bike.

Even with a goal in mind — this year’s Bike MS— getting on the bike is harder than you might think. Too many days, I find myself carrying on this dialogue in my head:

Conversation with myself

Reluctant me: “I don’t want to go ride the bike.”
Level-headed me: “It will be good for you.”
Reluctant me: “But I really don’t wanna.”
Optimistic me: “You promised one thing — to do something good for yourself each day.”
Toddler me: “I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna….”
Level-headed me: “Wait a second, you don’t want do something nice for yourself? Are you sure?”
Reluctant me: “Well…no. That’s not quite right.”
Sigh.
Resigned self: “I do want to be kind to myself and riding the bike is one way to do that. OK.”
Level-headed me: “It will actually make you feel better. Your knees will thank you. Your lungs will thank you. You will thank you, eventually.”
Optimistic me: “And just think how much better prepared you’ll be to go have fun outside when the weather gets nice.”

So when I’m done on the bike and I’ve done my at-least-one-good-thing-for-myself-task for the day, I grudgingly admit that I feel fine. I’m okay. Maybe even proud of myself.
But am I having fun yet? Not quite.

Kindness to yourself

Although it might take 21 days to develop a new habit (so I’ve heard said before), it may take much longer to learn to show yourself kindness. Kindness isn’t always fun, but it can be rewarding.

While it’s not exactly fun to ride a stationary bike — in a basement, all by myself, without the thrill of racing downhill or the challenge of climbing a steep slope — it can be rewarding. I can feel satisfied to know that I’m putting myself first during those relatively few minutes out of the day.

You know what you need

So if you’re struggling with keeping those resolutions, try mine. Be kind to yourself and do something good for yourself at least once a day. It’s much easier to accomplish and only you know deep down what you really need.

Remember, you are totally worth it!!

Be well, my friends,
Lisa

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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