Use it or lose it

I had to get foot surgery about three months ago. Before then, my preferred form of cardiovascular exercise was running. I started running (begrudgingly) when I was seventeen. I had just started at the University of Virginia, where I did ROTC. Running was a requirement. I gradually started enjoying it, and when I got out of the U.S. Army in 2013, I continued to run, up until my surgery. Every other morning, I would pick a direction, run until I got tired, turn around, and run back. Suffice it to say, my cardiovascular abilities were on point, but I haven’t run since my surgery.

Yesterday, I went to the beach. Along with swimming, we brought along a soccer ball. It’s been three months since I’ve been able to kick it around, and I thought I was well enough to be able to manage. After two goals each, I could barely catch my breath. I could not continue and had to ask for a time out. The game proceeded as follows: goal, break, goal, break, etc.

After years and years of running, three months away from it reduced my cardiovascular health to this point. It is both humbling and humorous. If you don’t use it, don’t be surprised when, not if, you lose it.

I’ll be exploring more aerobic activities for the rest of summer. Suggestions are welcome.

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