Last week I was finally able to get on the treadmill and begin a regular routine of exercise for the first time since my laminectomy and spinal fusion. My doctor has been very cautious about letting me do any walking other than that required for my job in an insurance company and my ministry as a pastor at a local church. So last week was the first time in almost 4 months that I had been to the gym. I arrived at 5:00 am and briefly visited with the usual suspects. It was great to see the guys again – most of them like me, middle-aged men fighting valiantly to stave off the effects of time and maintain as much of a youthful appearance, healthy physique and ability to outrun, outlast and outwork guys half our age. Ah, the male ego. Yes, I’m so vain I thought that song was about me.
My first week of being in the gym was good. But it was different. I was only allowed to set the treadmill at 3 miles per hour with no incline. And I must say I was inclined to go much faster and have the treadmill set at a much steeper angle. But my doctor still doesn’t want me to put any stress or strain on my lower back. He continues to caution me to take it easy and give more time for bone to grow into the metal cage where the disc was removed between my L4 and L5 vertebrae. He doesn’t want me to put any undue stress or strain on the pins and rods holding that level together. I understand, and agree but still, going 3 miles per hour on the treadmill for 20 minutes when I was used to running 8 miles per hour for 35 minutes is almost torturous. It feels SO SLOW! And I have some work to do. I gained 17 pounds in the first 3.5 months by not exercising. Okay, let me rephrase that. I gained 17 pounds in the last 3.5 months by not exercising AND eating a whole lot of ice cream while watching the NBA playoffs! Every year, I do the same thing during the playoffs and I usually run a little faster and a little longer in the month of July to get rid of those extra pounds. I need to work out. Take it easy? I should have taken it easy on the ice cream! I knew what would happen but I kept going down that road. Going into my recovery mode, I knew my ability to excercise would be limited so I made a myself a plan to “Eat more fruit”. But apparently Blue Bell Tutti Frutti and Cherry Vanilla Ice Creams are not considered fruits! SEVENTEEN POUNDS! Whew! Suddenly, I am not so sure that song is about me.
My next checkup is in 3 months. I have set a goal to lose 10 pounds by that appointment. I will do it by walking 3 miles per hour and eating a nutritious well-balanced diet. Besides, the NBA playoffs are not for another year and there could be a strike anyway. Walking 3 miles an hour will make it tougher than it used to be when I could run and lift weights but I know that the bible says in Ecclesiastes 9:11 “the race is not always to the swift”. The bible also says in Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent surely lead to advantage”. I will pray for the patience and persistence to follow my plans.
I don’t know what plans you have for the next 3 months. I don’t know what may have tripped you up in the last 3 months. Perhaps it was something more sinister than Tutti Frutti ice cream. Whatever it was, I know that God can help you to be victorious and to have the patience, persistence and strength to follow your plans as well. May God bless you on your journey.
If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org