Updated: Nov 5, 2022
Back in 2019 I completed a fitness program which required me to exercise for 100 consecutive days. One of the things I did during that program to break things up a bit was to reward myself at the midway point. I chose more exercise to see how I would do because I was very unfit when I began the program. Ernest and I completed the Air Canada 5 km race. It was exciting to be at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and be able to complete the race on a section of the tarmac.
I'm currently on a new program that's a 13 week commitment. This time I chose to reward myself with a different fitness test as I'm approaching the end of week 4. Since we are in Nordeste in Sao Miguel island, there's a famous lighthouse called the Farol do Arnel. It's so steep that there's a warning sign recommending cars not to drive there. In 2018 we visited the lighthouse and drove down the steep and very winding path in our tiny rental car which was just a little larger than a Smart car. It's a decision we regretted. The car could not go up the dangerously steep hills and there was no one around to help us. It was also a manual transmission. Just imagine the horrific rolling back sensation each time we started the engine. We prayed and eventually Ernest barely managed to drive the car in a zig zag pattern back uphill.
Today we ventured out to the lighthouse. Walking down was easy. My goal was to stop at the lighthouse which I did. Ernest proceeded further down to the rocks. The uphill walk is not for the unfit. It was quite a challenge, but I am proud of how well my body performed. I had no problems breathing, when my feet and calves were tired, I was able to walk up on tip toes to push myself and exercise my toes. We took breaks in between and were excited to see the top of the hill!
I learned something about myself recently. I tend to carry my stress in the form of physical tension all over my body. Now that I've noticed it, I have triggers during the day to remind myself to relax and loosen up. My tense body is responding with gratitude to my exercise program. It releases the tension and takes the fight out of me. With this awareness, exercising became much more enjoyable. I don't have a particular exercise that I absolutely love, but I must say that I really enjoy it every time I do it. My next reward might just be a well deserved massage.