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Eric Douglas: Keep active -- even when you don’t feel like it

Eric Douglas at a recent 5K run. Courtesy photo

By Eric Douglas

A week or so ago, I ran in a 5K race. It had been five months since I had participated in a 5K. Honestly, my head wasn’t in it, and I finished two minutes slower than I did in my first 5K race on essentially the same course.

In general, my fitness regimen has slipped a bit the last few months. I still exercise regularly, but it’s not every day like it was a year ago. I still eat pretty well, but I do “cheat” a bit more than I did a year ago, too. I haven’t put on any weight, but I haven’t lost any more, either. (In early 2016, I was diagnosed with coronary artery blockages and had open heart surgery. I spent the next six to nine months recovering and getting my health back.)

Without justifying too much, I think ebbs and flows are normal. Except for a few select people, I don’t think it’s possible to maintain a level of high intensity forever. That’s true with life, not just fitness routines. The key is to keep going and not quit. Accept that you are going through a low period and muddle through it while making plans to pick up the pace again once you are on the other side of the valley.

Later this month, I’ll hit a milestone birthday. Even the most generous among us have to agree that 50 is past middle age – more and more of us are living well beyond 100, but that is still the exception and not the rule. Crossing the mountain peak and heading down the other side doesn’t mean I’m giving up, though. It just means that I have less than half of my life left, and I need to make it count. To do that, I know I need to take care of myself.

So, it’s time to knuckle down and focus on my exercise and eating again. By the time you read this, I will have completed another 5K race and am planning for a couple more over the next few months. Come on out and join me.

Running isn’t your thing? No worries. There are too many opportunities to get healthy: gyms, yoga, biking, hiking, swimming, stand-up paddleboard -- you name it. It is all about getting moving. And I don’t want to hear any excuses about the summer heat, either. It’s a lot easier to get out and move right now than it is in January.

Eric Douglas, of Pinch, is the author of “Return to Cayman,” “Heart of the Maya,” “Cayman Cowboys,” “River Town” and other novels. He is also a columnist for Scuba Diving Magazine and a former Charleston Newspapers Metro staff writer. For more information, visit www.booksbyeric.com or contact him at Eric@booksbyeric.com


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