Insights into Becoming Totally Fit for Life!
I appreciate your patience over the past week and a half. It’s been grueling. The drive between Michigan and Florida is twenty-plus hours, not including stops, so my body hates–yes, HATES–being stuck in a vehicle that long. My muscles are still whimper-whining after being home for a day. Our belongings still sit in our enclosed trailer parked in the hangar. They are begging for a home in our home. As much as I would love to have everything put away, I must rest to recover.
We Aren’t Fit to Move a Household Anymore
My Boaz and I groaned on the way home about how our bodies aren’t in good shape anymore. He was referring to moving boxes and appliances. The truth of the matter is, I not only packed all of the boxes, but I loaded half of them. Oh, including going up and down two flights of steps all day for seven days. My glutes and hammies cried, “You don’t love us anymore!” My lower back, who coordinates activities with them, sniffled along, “Nope! She doesn’t.” I started to pick up a small box of books to take them downstairs for Boaz and our grandson, but my legs quivered. Muscle exhaustion is a sign to stop. I had pressed the muscle fibers to keep going too many times, so they went on strike.
I also found that my blood sugar dropped a few times. Boaz thought I was overeating, but my body needed fuel for the extra work. When you don’t fuel your body to do heavy work or workouts, the consequences can be severe. I almost passed out trying to get in one more box lift and help my hubby with something he asked me to do. My body had enough. I stopped, sat down, and ate a snack of carbs followed by protein. I couldn’t keep pushing myself any longer. Good personal stewardship means listening to your body, which I failed to do. I had no choice but to listen.
As for my Boaz, he tried to get his airplane through its annual inspection, working in an unheated hangar in the temps of teens and twenties. When you add that to moving boxes and appliances, it can be brutal on your body as well. The cold and heavy lifting is hard on someone with a heart condition. It could easily send someone to the ER with chest pains.
So, now we are in physical recovery afterward. In 2014 on www.totallyfit4life.net, I posted “Move It Before You Move Out,” which discusses what it takes to be physically fit enough to move a household’s worth of goods, including a sample workout.
Putting the Past Behind
When we arrived at our Michigan home, it struck me why I felt so depressed in the winter, making me sluggish. It was cold, dreary, and cloudy outside. Essentially we had hibernated over the winters up north. Although, I will say watching a flock of geese in the field behind our house while sipping my coffee was somewhat gratifying. I certainly didn’t miss the arctic winter blast since October. But, I could easily let that slip by and never look back.
What we built there, our memories and even some of our pain flooded back. I miss certain places that were our favorites, like going to Bay City for Friday date nights, Menards (they need to build some in Florida!), my favorite Tiffany lights my Sweetheart bought for me, and my garden. Some of these things will be left behind, but we will find new date night sites, take our Tiffany lights with us, and let go of our favorite places to find new ones. We will build a new garden space here. We’ve even had to lay aside hurt feelings from the first house build and leave them go so our marriage can grow stronger.
As I sorted through belongings, I felt a sense of grief over letting old clothing move on to another life by donating them to Goodwill. I was shocked at how emotional it becomes when looking at a dress I wore for a special occasion or favorite shorts and tank top that fit but must be replaced by UV50+ summer duds. Reducing our stuff is therapy all its own.
Satan Loves to Stir Up Trouble
I had no more than finished my coffee with my breakfast when the power went out. No shower. Yuck! Sump pump concerns. Oh, no! No heat is coming from our registers. Brrrr. No way to recharge my phone except in the car. So Boaz got out our power generator and called the electric company. It put a damper on his day more so than mine. I would just throw on a coat and gloves to keep working. For him, it meant freezing as he tended to unwanted tasks instead of whittling down his to-do list. After his twentieth complaint, It was a smokescreen, popped into my mind and then flowed out of my mouth. “Honey, it’s a smokescreen Satan threw at us to derail what we need to do today.” Indeed it was. He took care of the sump pump and generator while I kept boxing. We knew God set aside a place in Florida for our new home. When my sweetie realized I was right, he felt at peace.
We picked up a stove at Habitat Restore to replace the one we wanted to move to our new home. It looked good, and the handwritten tag boasted that all of the burners passed the “Working” test. But the plug needed to be changed so it would fit the outlet. As my hubby removed the back cover plate, a crispy dead mouse greeted us. Ugh! It had crawled under the panel, making contact with the electrical connections. BZZZT! Toasted mouse. EW! I had to pry it loose while Boaz headed to the local hardware store. Why me? I also noticed the previous owner hadn’t cleaned the oven before donating it. What?!?! Call me crazy, but I was taught to clean the item BEFORE donating it. No one should have to clean my crud from something. I had a hard time thinking through the selfish motives of an individual who never took the stove apart to find out what created the problem in the first place. When we give something to someone, we give it in Jesus’ Name. That’s my motto.
Stress, lack of restful sleep, and frustrations fueled bitiness between us. Wince. Satan flung some firey arrows our way. Heated tempers flung not very Christ-like words between us. At one point, I stopped my packing, looked at him, and said, “This has to stop.” He agreed. We survived two house builds, now to survive this move, too. I hate moves! He agreed. Our shields went up to protect our marriage. Take that, Satan!
Letting Go to Move Forward
Almost eight years ago, two separate households came together with all of our stuff. Although I sorted through quite a bit of things, he had not. We don’t need two dining tables, two beds, etc. Besides, what worked in this house may not work in our new one, which I discovered when I unboxed our stuff. For example, rugs don’t always fit the floor space or the new intended décor. This house is more open-concept than our old one. Some of our wall art looks small in this space. I hate parting with some of it, but it has to go if it doesn’t work. Whose stuff do we keep, and who makes a sacrifice of love to let go? Our marriage will go through some strains here and there, but we keep reminding ourselves that this home is ours. Ours, not simply his, with me trying to fit into his previously chosen dream. We dreamed this one together; therefore, we must purge and merge. Back off, Satan! Jesus lives in the center of this marriage.
We struggled to stay awake the last two hours of the twenty-hour drive. Then, in the wee dark morning hours, I started bringing up musicals, like Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and The Greatest Showman. He would belt out one of the songs from each one, and I joined in. Our foggy brains recognized the entry gate of our aviation community. Boy, did it feel good to crawl into our bed!
The effects of a long seven-day, eight-hour-a-day workout, painted with streaks of exhaustion, hit us like nothing we’ve ever experienced. At our 10:30 am breakfast, we looked at each other, “We’re too old for this.” Every muscle ached. In fact, a whole week later, my hammies still whimper. When we break down muscle tissue in our workouts, we need twenty-four to forty-eight hours for recovery before lifting again. When you don’t lift for one to two hours but eight hours a day, more muscle tissue gets broken down, and more lactic acid builds up. We need to allow our bodies to recover, yet the necessity to get it done pushed us through. It’s taken us several days before we began to feel ourselves again.
Walking helped circulate some of the toxins out. I rode my good bicycle, not the folding seven-speed, for the first time yesterday. It felt good! 29:56 time, 5.33 miles, and 149 calories burned. This workout felt better than trying to push mow the lawn the day before. On that day, every muscle felt bruised. My hands felt bruised even though I wore work gloves to protect my hands again from the sun and the mower’s handle. Needless to say, fibro and MCV forced me to make the backyard to wait. At least the front yard looked good!
For what it’s worth to you, you will find several takeaways:
- Rest is as important to exercise as it is in music. If you don’t, you damage muscle, dump toxins into your system, and hit exercise burnout.
- You can increase your calorie burn by taking stairs rather than just walking or jogging. About six weeks before you physically move your stuff, begin doing functional training with weighted objects. You will reduce the potential for injury and exhaustion.
- As you reach your fifties and beyond, keep in mind that regular exercise is your “fountain of youth”. Although it will help keep you in good working order, your body will need more recovery time and not heal as quickly.
- Fuel your work, and workouts, with protein and carb combos to prevent blood sugar crashes and rebuild muscle tissue.
- People with heart conditions need to protect their hearts by avoiding breathing in cold air in the winter. A scarf can help warm the air that you breathe in.
- People with Raynauds need to be careful in cold weather to protect all extremities with insulated gloves, a face mask (to warm the air around your nose), and don’t remain outdoors too long. You will be more prone to frostbite.
- You can reduce Seasonal Depression Disorder with a lamp that uses a natural light bulb. Also, check with your doctor to know if you need to supplement with Vitamin D. Don’t take it without your doctor’s approval since Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.
- You can’t bloom where you replant your life without grieving losses. As you work on letting go, write your losses and hurts on slips of paper. Pray over them. As you begin to feel like you can release each one, thank the Lord for helping you give it up, tear it up, and toss it in the trash. Next, write down new blessings as God gives them to you in your new setting.
- Repentance and forgiveness are key to marital bliss.
- Do a move purge every two or three years. You will discover what splurges you don’t need to make anymore and save your money for better things.
- When you donate items to a charity, give them in clean, good condition. Think about what it would be like if you could only afford to shop in thrift stores. Don’t donate anything you wouldn’t be willing to buy again. Don’t keep anything you haven’t used in three to five years, except mementos.
- Satan strikes us in our weakest moments. Think about your words before you speak them. Take a deep breath and mentally edit them to make them more acceptable to your loved ones.
- Remarriages struggle with space, whose stuff to keep, and whose stuff to toss. Err in favor of kindness. Test debated items out in the space for at least a week to see which things you both prefer.
- If it’s difficult to let your stuff go in favor of your Sweetheart’s stuff. Find out if a family member or friend would want it. At least you would see it periodically when you visit them. If not, oh well!
- Learn to appreciate and utilize each other’s strengths to work well together. Expecting your sweetie to work as you will only cause frustration and arguments.
- When you experience something like a power outage or other delay, ask God where it is coming from—Him or Satan. The first answer out of your mouth is usually it. Satan tries to discourage us, whereas God uses delays and other weird circumstances to slow us down for a good purpose. For example, if we had left half an hour earlier on the day of the power outage, we could have been caught up in an accident that caused a truck to catch fire and explode. The driver died in it, the highway sign above was scorched black as was the pavement below.
Many blessings to you!
Used with permission from Charlaine Martin.