And I hate it. Yes, I will be up front, I hate exercise. Yet it is one of the biggest most awesome mood changers. Little endorphins are set loose on your nervous system and your body loves it. I was a couch potato for years because my body did not give me another choice. As I regained my health, I knew that exercise was important. I had a lovely collection of video tapes that I would watch. My Darling Husband (DH) pointed out that the tapes would work better if I actually got up and did it with them. Nope nope nope. My daughter watched my struggle and took compassion on me. As a gift she gave me free Zumba lessons and she was the instructor. Oh my goodness, I loved dancing. The first time there she announced to the class the importance of honoring your body. I never heard it termed that way before. Honor my body. I could do about half of the exercises. I got better and better. Eventually I could do the entire work out. 1 2 3 Zumba. Then she moved. I tried to stay motivated and did other classes but they were more social club and less exercise. Lost interest rapidly. I also liked hiking. Everyone else liked hiking too. Parking became more and more difficult. Didn’t make sense to me to hang out for 15 to 20 minutes waiting for a parking spot so I could hike for an hour and go home. The cactus on the title page is up on that trail. I was looking for something different to do.
I bought more videos….this time I did more research about them and I actually did them but yea I found something to complain about on those too. Bottom line, I hate exercising. About 5 years ago I read an article on one of the military pages about using martial arts for combating PTSD. My feelings was yea, yea that is great if you were in the army. Now I learned that if I pray for an answer and Heavenly Father gives me one, He is more than willing to use a bit of sarcasm when I pray about it again. Basically I felt, “If you aren’t going to use the answer I gave you, why answer?” Well, I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of a group because I happened to know that hand to hand fighting is one of my biggest triggers. When my kids wanted to take Judo I would take them then sit outside and wait for them to finish. I couldn’t go in and watch. Something I learned about praying for an answer that Heavenly Father has no problem asking me to do the impossible. If you follow Jesus you know what I mean. They are kind of into a no holds bar lets do this attitude. I took a month of private lessons. I now know that I was way over charged. However, he did get me past the point of I knew I could learn without disgracing myself. So I signed up for the parks and recreation karate class for one night a week. I know not much of an exercise program. I was kind of poking at with a stick to see what would happen. Teacher asked me right off the bat why I signed up for the class. I hadn’t planned to be just asked out right as to why I was there. I hadn’t planned on blurting out that I had PTSD and this was a one time experiment. So little faith. The teacher encouraged me that for $20 more I could have two classes a week. I almost backed out but there I was the next Saturday ready for another class. I will not say I was spectacular because I wasn’t. I will not say it was easy because it wasn’t. I will not say it was the best choice I ever made because I didn’t believe it. I will tell you that it is an amazing experience for me. I realize that not every teacher is like mine. He is awesome. He let me work at my own pace but always challenged me to do more. He taught me that there was no fail, simply do it again. He taught me that a complete melt down in front of the whole class is not the end of the world, it wasn’t even noteworthy. I did something that triggered me into one of my worse flashbacks. I sobbed until there was a puddle on the mat. No one said anything. The following lesson I tried to apologize. His simple, “You have nothing to apologize for,” was amazing to hear. By the way, Karate is one of the highest calorie burning exercise you can do. I am working on my Purple belt. I go twice a week and love it. I would say of all the things I tried, karate has done more for myself esteem than any other one thing. Thank you Heavenly Father it was a great answer to my prayer.
Seriously, exercise is one of the best and biggest mood changers. Find something that works for you. I come across several exercise programs that show alternative ways to do exercises until you are strong enough to do the out lined program. Some can cost a lot of money, however, if it works for you, it is worth the investment. My sister struggles with multiple health issues she modifies and works out a program that works for her. Part of our program is Saturday morning sister therapy which is a 2-3 mile walking and talking followed by yummy croissants afterwards. Yes, we are regulars and I don’t worry about calories because in another couple of hours I will burn everyone of those pesky calories in karate.