Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Maintenance

Almost every summer this happens: the time when I have to give up on most hiking, running and gym plans because of my job in wildland fire.  I don't make it to the fireline as much as I used to anymore.  I tend to end up managing helicopters and helibases, a position which could lead to the dreaded "helibutt" if you let it.  I'm not letting that happen but what is a person working 12-16 hour days to do? Enter the maintenance phase.

When at home, fire crews allegedly get an hour a day to work out.  However, it often doesn't happen, because the phone is ringing, pilots are showing up, and fires are lurking.  If I get to exercise, it's more often than not cut short.  Some people just give up, and it would be easy to do.  If you are used to exercising for an hour or more, it's hard to adjust to half an hour or less and feel good about it.

This is where I have to take a step back and look at the big picture.  Sure, a 3 mile run isn't going to burn a lot of calories or improve my fitness at this point.  Lifting weights sporadically instead of on a schedule won't build muscle.  But if fitness is a journey, this is just a little while spent at the station.  As fall approaches and then as winter comes, there will be time to get on the workout train again.

So if you need to, embrace the maintenance phase.  If you can only run for half an hour, really enjoy that half hour.  Look at everything around you (I surprised some bears the other day on my run).  If you can only lift weights once in awhile, try a new exercise.  There will be time to go back to more intense exercise when you can.  Enjoy the break!

8 comments:

  1. I am feeling your advise big time right now with not being able to run. But it will happen soon, and yes - in the meantime, there's other, different things I can do.

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    1. Sometimes I just go for a walk. I'll start out feeling kind of guilty, but then I feel better when I'm done.

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  2. Great post!!! So often we think it’s all or nothing...when in reality there is a LOT of middle ground!!!

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    1. I'm really guilty of the all or nothing thoughts!

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  3. That's how I feel when I step on the scale....good reminder that a little exercise is better than none at all.

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    1. Yes it's hard to do less, but sometimes necessary.

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  4. YES. Even maintenance work makes a difference! Pretty happy that, after the Great SoCal Helibase Tour of '18, including easy access to a lot of fine LA cuisine, my flight weight (for once) did NOT increase!

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