I went jogging today for the first time in at least a month – and probably the 4th or 5th time since mid-October. It really sucked.
I used the Jeff Galloway method where you jog/walk in intervals. I jogged 2 minutes and then walked one minute. I did 10 intervals for a total of 30 minutes. It may not sound very difficult, but I really struggled.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised it was hard, it’s not like I am the picture of health and fitness. But it is a little surprising – or more accurately, depressing how fast things can decline. You see, I did a half marathon just six months ago. In October I jogged 13 miles and today I certainly could not even do a mile if I didn’t work in walking. Ugh …
There are a couple lessons here for anyone who desires to be at least a little healthy and have some cardiovascular fitness. In fact these are lessons for anyone who wants to keep a skill or retain some knowledge.
The first lesson is to continue on. It is a lot easier to maintain than it is to regain physical conditioning. I imagine if I had jogged 2-3 times a week, I could have continued to be able to run 3-5 miles. It will take me several weeks to get to that point now. Likewise if you want to retain something you have learned, you need to continue to do something with it, if you learned a language in college and then do nothing with it for years, in all likelihood, you will forget all you have learned.
The second lesson is to look forward. As you look ahead, continue to remind yourself of the impact your retaining that skill or knowledge will have long-term. How can that skill benefit you five years from now? How could better health and fitness make enhance your life looking ahead 10 years?
What skill have you lost through inactivity over the past 10-20 years?