Coming Out of Hibernation

Yes, I’m cold

It’s been about six weeks since I stopped working out regularly. My little corner of Idaho (the whole state, actually) got hit by the worst series of winter storms in almost 35 years. It was cold with plenty ice and snow. Dangerous or at least difficult to drive in. The parking lot of my work turned into a skating rink.

Plus it’s dark at four in the morning. It’s dark at six in the morning.

It’s nice and warm in bed.

So I haven’t worked out regularly in six weeks, and haven’t worked out at all in about three.

Boy, I’m a mess.

Way back in August of 2015, I wrote a blog post called What Happens When You Stop Exercising?.

The first thing you lose is your stamina, your oxygen uptake, your endurance. It doesn’t take as much or as long to get your heart rate high, high, high, but it takes a lot longer to get back down to your resting rate afterward.

The second thing you lose is muscle mass and strength.

Today, I went back to the gym.

Actually, my wife and I motivated each other.

In a few weeks, she has to go to a wedding in Canada and except for her walks, she hasn’t been exercising. No resistance training at all.

So she said she needed to go back to the gym and I said we should go together today.

That was the good news.

We hit the gym around noon. Nice, gray, rainy Saturday.

It felt good until I actually got on the Elliptical. My stamina was gone.

Roman chair back extensions and mat leg lifts told me my strength was gone, too. Maybe not all of it, but a heck of a lot.

I plan on doing squats and overhead presses tomorrow at eight. I mean it.

I’m going to be pathetic.

My wife’s talking to one of our sons about the power of uplifting self-talk. It’s a Jewish value. So calling myself “pathetic” shouldn’t even be on the table.

But my brain remembers what I could do, and that doesn’t jibe with my current physical limitations.

At least some of my excuses are gone.

It’s still really dark in the morning, but it’s warmer and it’s just raining. No snow, no ice, no danger walking across a frozen parking lot.

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

I can tell that my middle has grown significantly. I can feel the roll of ugly fat when I do leg lifts. It sucks.

But the missus is right. No matter how much I’ve lost, I’ll lose even more if I stay stagnant. If I denigrate myself, it will keep me stagnant. I’m not going to walk around telling myself I’m Superman, but if I built myself up once, I can do it again, or I can at least try.

The other motivator is that I don’t workout just for physical health but for mental health, too.

Yesterday, I took a short walk on my lunch hour and I was surprised how good it felt, not just the activity, but my outlook brightened a bit and my stress was reduced (I had a really stressful day at work on Friday).

It’s time to come out of hibernation. It’s time for the old bear to drag himself out of the cave and get moving again.

You are unique. You are the only person in the world who is exactly who you are. The Almighty has not made anyone else like you. Only you have your unique genetic makeup and your unique life circumstances. No one alive now, and no one who ever lived before, and no one who will ever live in the future was, is, or will be just like you. You are the only person in the world with your unique positive qualities and challenges. You are the only person in the world who has your particular life mission.

You, like everyone else alive right now, are a work in progress. You have a multitude of positive choices you can make throughout each and every day. Choose life! Choose positive thoughts, words, and actions. With every positive choice you make, you build yourself. Keep making positive choices.

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin


4 thoughts on “Coming Out of Hibernation

  1. Good to read you’re getting back into the groove. Personally, I’m just cranking back up after a 12-18 month layoff, because I thought I didn’t have time. I’ve decided my time in the gym taking the iron pills is the #1 thing on my daily agenda. After just two workouts and despite some soreness, I’m already feeling positive results: chronic knee pain is less; I have a bit more energy and the resting inertia is starting to leave my mind and body, as today, when the time to leave for the gym came I was fired up and ready to go. Hope things go smoothly for you in the coming days, weeks and months.


    1. Getting ready to go to the gym and lift in about 30 minutes. Starting out light just to see how my body responds. Thanks for the well-wishes and good luck on your own journey.


  2. Glad to see you getting back. I have been pretty consistent for the past 2 years but looking over my logs I haven’t made much progress with the weight lifted. I am 67 and been hearing plenty of ads for Testosterone booster pills. I had asked my dr and he told me if it’s sold OTC it won’t work. I have contacted a T clinic and went for blood work and a physical this weekend. Hoping to be able to be prescribed some injectable Test. In the next few weeks. I never took any PED in my lif, but I have been doing a lot of research and read a write up on SS by Dr. Austin Barnki and it seems it may be something that will work for me.


    1. I hope that works out for you, Jerry. I don’t think I’m at that stage yet.

      Yeah, my squats and overhead presses yesterday were rather poor and I’m feeling the DOMS today. Back in the saddle again.


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