I wake to the sound of my alarm at 6:45am. The distinct sound of rain confuses me as I open my eyes and strain to see through the blurriness that is all around me. I see my dog Crash stretching and yawning at the edge of my bed. In the middle of the night he has somehow wrapped himself up like a little burrito in the bed sheets, leaving me with a corner of the blanket for warmth. His lack of concern for my comfort is somewhat disturbing.
As I slowly roll over and hit the snooze button on the alarm clock with the palm of my hand, the sound of rain continues to fill my bedroom. I begin to slip back into a sweet dream of Ryan Gosling spoon-feeding me frozen yogurt, when the sound of my alarm chirps at me again. Damn! Can’t a girl get a break? I come to the realization that the rain I hear is actually coming from the sound machine next to my bed, which was set to “Summer Rain”. Now if only they made a sound track of Ryan Gosling shoveling Fro-Yo in my face…
This is when the battle begins for me. First I think, “I’m so tired. I’m just going to turn the alarm off and go back to bed.” Then comes the, “just one more hit of the snooze button.” Followed by, “I will exercise an extra 30 minutes tomorrow.” I have a whole list of reasons why I can’t go to my boot camp fitness class that I carefully assess each morning. I know that I have to go exercise. I won’t let Parkinson’s win. But that doesn’t quiet the inner struggle going on in my head. It’s a war against my apathy, which is trying hard to keep me down.
I found that when I say or think, “I have to exercise today” it implies that I am required to workout or that I am obligated to check boot camp class off on my to-do list. But when I think of all the people who only wish that they could get out of bed and exercise… I know how blessed I am.
I remember the days of recovering from my latest surgery… pick one… there are many to choose from. There were times when just getting up and washing my hair or maybe taking a bath seemed like hiking Mt. Everest…. nearly impossible. I would lie in my hospital bed watching TV shows that featured people living normal lives. They would get up, dress and go to work. Then at the end of their day, they would go to the gym, they made it seem effortless.
There was not a moment during my recovery that I wouldn’t have given anything to be able to stand up and exercise. But now here I am, (knowing very well that exercise is the only scientifically proven therapy to slow the progression of Parkinson’s) having a scuffle with my lack of motivation. I needed to have an intervention with my way of thinking.
I stopped using words like, “have to, must, or got to” and switched to, “I GET to exercise today. If you look at exercise in another light… a positive one… you have the chance to recognize that there are people all over the world that can’t do what you have the ability to do today. So check this out… if you wake up in the morning and start to have the self-defeating thoughts, try telling yourself “I get to exercise today.” Now, tell Ryan Gosling goodbye and get out there and move.