I will start at the beginning or at least where the beginning appears at this moment. What lies in the balance for me right now? What motivates me to move, surround myself with natural beauty, dig into the ground? Why did I name my site Sanity Gained? Easy answer! Because I almost lost it and it is still challenged regularly.
At the forefront is my beautiful, sensitive, fixer, middle son, an addict. Seven years with long periods of not knowing if he is alive, robbed of every valuable, hearing him sob on the phone, hungry, cold, scared, held at knife point, putting him out into that cold dark night, using every dime to pay for innumerable rehabs, driving 14 hours to make a last minute family meeting at yet another detox, countless collect calls from jail, sending him to jail. I can go on and on. The details can be overwhelming and they are not my message.
What I want to share, in order to possibly help another, is dealing with the fear, the panic, insomnia, the obsession, the inability to control, fix and solve. I did not do well initially. Yes I functioned. I went to work, took care of my two other children, kept up with the house… But I made missteps, turned away from my husband, silently fantasized about hiding in an institution so I didn't have to deal. I was so tired. Still am. Exercise saved me. Sometimes it was a walk in the snow on a deserted street in the dark of night, others it was 5 am gym workout before my 7 am shift start. Why did I do this? Why do I continue? Because my life depends on it and my children depend on me. I literally told myself and anyone who asked how I found the time or energy to work my body, "it's how I stay sane, it's how I don’t hurt someone." And I believed it. You have to believe it.
The power of exercise, the power of planning an activity for yourself and carrying through. It is medicine for the soul. Science tells us it is medicine for your body and mind. Medicine without any negative side effects. Has exercise cured my son's illness? No. Has it stopped me from worrying? Not hardly. But it did offer me a reprieve, and for all of you worried about someone you love, a reprieve is priceless. The benefits go on and on. A reprieve is enough gold for now.
I encourage you to write your workouts down, track your progress; it's a great reminder of what you have accomplished and it's a great motivator to push yourself. Since my gym time was limited, I created many time saving workouts for myself. I am going to share one that combines cardio and strength training.
Workout : park yourself near an ergometer (rowing machine) with a mat, two dumbbells (8-20lbs) and a straight bar (20lbs)
0-5 min warm-up row at stroke rate 20-24
5-6 min row at stroke rate 30-34
6-7 min alternate front leg lunge with dumbbells
7-8 min row at stroke rate 30-34
8-9 min yoga boat pose x 30 sec and yoga plank pose x 30 sec
9-10 min row at stroke rate 30-34
10-11 min dumbbell alternate chest press
11-12 min row at stroke rate 30-34
12-13 min straight bar overhead extension.
Repeat 2-3 x
Cool down 3 min row at stroke rate 20-24