Sunday, December 7, 2014

How Do You Deal With Obstacles That Are Out of Your Control?

One of the real challenges I've found in keeping fit is in trying to manage my regime when stuff comes up that I can't do anything about. Let's face it: It's hard enough to find the time, energy and motivation to work out even under the best of circumstances. I'm definitely curious about how everyone deals with these things.

Work or other responsibilities: Occasionally I have to cover for a colleague who begins his workday at around 6:30 a.m. That means no morning run. Sometimes I'm able to sneak one in during the late afternoon/early evening. But often it means a stretch of days where I don't get anything done. And of course, there are all the errands and Back to School Nights and social engagements that come with, you know, being a regular guy.

Weather: If you're a runner like me, weather can be a real issue. I no longer belong to a gym -- which may be a mistake -- so if it's really cold, or it's pouring rain, or it's snowing, I don't get to run. I know some people will run in just about any conditions -- I'm not one of those people. I'm OK down to about 30 degrees or even a smidge under if it's not windy. And I'll go out in a light rain, but if I'm wetter from the weather than from sweating, no thanks. In other words, I'm a regular guy. I can do my body-weight workout as a substitute, but that doesn't always cut it.

Darkness: As we get to the shortest days of the year, it's dark when I'd like to go out in the morning, and even if I try to shift to an afternoon run, it's going to be dark by 4:30 or so. I recently bought a reflective vest for safety, but especially when I take the dog with me, I have my head on a swivel. I stopped wearing earbuds some time ago, too. Also, even if cars can see me, running in the dark means having to take extra care not to lose your footing.

Injuries and illness: Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to work out when everything is in place for you to be able to. I've read that you can run with a head cold but shouldn't work out if it's in your chest. And if you've ever done any serious race training, you know that you have to fight through some minor dings. But sometimes you're too sick, and sometimes you're injured enough that you simply need to rest. Argh! Even worse is not realizing when it's time to take a break and making things worse.

So what trips you up the most? Anything not on my list? And what do you do to work around it? Try to sneak in workouts at odd times? Do quick stuff when you get a chance on the better-than-nothing theory? Alter your workouts to fit your circumstances (like when I do a body-weight circuit in lieu of a run)?

Let's hear it!

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