Skinny Daily Post


Those of you who are far more organized than I am can just stop reading right now. You’re the ones who are always prepared for whatever weather or exercise you’re going to do. You always wear the right clothing and shoes, and your equipment is always at hand and well maintained.

So, please go visit another part of the web for a few minutes. OK?

Are the rest of us alone now?

As I attempted to hike yesterday morning in my backless sneaker-type shoes, my feet slipped and slid, I felt all the stones underfoot, and I was wobbly. Then it dawned on me: hiking is easier when I’m wearing, well, HIKING BOOTS! There’s a reason for that. They have thick soles with lots of deep edges for traction. They don’t bend easily, so there’s not as much wobble. And, they support my foot and ankle.

Why didn’t I wear them? I just didn’t stop to think as I ran out of the house. The result: the hike was shorter than it could have been.

Lesson: the right footwear makes a difference. Shoes that give you blisters, or that don’t support your feet as you pound the pavement [or trail!] lead to discomfort or injury. And, you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, and you don’t do it as long.

For me, my hiking shoes are right THERE – I can see them as I write this! They’re not shoved in some dark corner!

Next, equipment maintenance. I love my balance ball, and use it for EVERYTHING. Well, to tell the truth, I WOULD use it for everything if it were pumped up enough instead of all floppy at the moment. Over the past few weeks, I’ve asked a number of people if they could pump it up for me. Unfortunately, the air pumps at gas staions don’t have the right attachment, and neither does the bicycle shop. The pump that came with the ball is useless.

Today’s mission was to figure this out, even if I had to buy another ball that had a better pump. So, off to the sporting goods store I went [after a fabulous brunch of grilled veggies and a bit of rare flank steak with hummus – a new coffee shop has opened in town – YUM!!!!.

And, THERE, hanging on the wall near the basketballs, was a good pump, with the right attachment, AND A PRESSURE GAUGE!! Cost: 10 dollars. Cost of a new ball with yet another useless pump: $25. I was so stunned, I corraled a sales person – who confirmed my suspicions.

I was so thrilled that I bought a 15 pound weight bar, which I’ll use to do abs, triceps, and biceps while sitting on my newly pumped up ball.

Another lesson: if it’s not working right, you won’t use it. So, take a look around you and figure out what has to happen, and, to borrow a phrase from Blue Collar TV: GIT ‘R DONE!

It’s easy enough to derail ourselves – we can all think of so many reasons or excuses not to exercse. Let’s just hope that ‘equipment failure’ isn’t one of them. Who knows? There might come a time when the stars align and you’re both motivated AND have the time, but your shoes don’t have laces or have disappeared altogether, or your favorite exercise toy is broken or not working right.

Check out your stuff. Go ahead. It’s OK. Even if it’s broken, remember that it can’t fix itself.

9 thoughts on “The right stuff

  1. Jessica says:

    Oh, you are so right. Thank you for the reminder. Can’t accomplish the task without the correct tools.

  2. london slimmer says:

    I empathise with you about the balance ball. My husband has resorted to blowing ours up himself, like a giant balloon, going a rather alarming shade of puce as he does so, after experimenting with various expensive and useless pumps. I went a little crazy at a sports equipment shop a few months ago and bought a 7kg medicine ball which I thought I could use to work out. The only workout I’ve been able to have with it so far has been lugging it home, which left my back aching for days: I found it too heavy to do any of my exercises with. There is photographic evidence of me hiking in a pair of flip flops (I won’t try that one again).

    Equipment can be fun – I LOVE my Bosu board/ball – but it can also be useful to have a few workouts up your sleeve that don’t require any equipment whatsoever for when you’re travelling or away from home or just don’t want to carry stuff around with you all day.

  3. Missy says:

    I can’t agree with you more, and emphasize the shoe point!!! I have been wearing the same brand and style of shoe for about 3 years now and when my legs and ankles and hips begin to hurt during my 4mile walks, it is time for new ones. I don’t mess around too long before I haul myself in for a new pair. I walk with a group of ladies and several have gone through numerous pairs of shoes, and still don’t have the right ones. They don’t walk as often or as far and hard as I do. I suggest going to a speciality shoe store and having the storehelp, help you find the shoe for you. The right fit is very important. Without it, you may experience shin splints or aches and pain in other parts, hip, ankles, knees, back and so on. Take care of yourself and you should see and feel better results. Missy – 100 lb loser

  4. Liz says:

    Thank you for the reminder. I’ve been taking strength training classes for several months and have decided to do my strength training on my own for a while. We have a garage full of weights (my husband uses them). All I need is a pair of gloves (the weights are all metal and kind of yucky). And I also have a balance ball that really needs air and the pump is nowhere to be found. Simple to fix, but enough to act as an excuse not to exercise when I find that I have a half hour to do it. Thanks again!! I’ll stop at the store this week.

  5. sherry says:

    C’mon Jane fess up, you’re in my house right?
    The last 2 post you have done are right up my alley….. like you were in my head…. yikes~ MY ball had also gotten a little “wicked looking” and really I just love to use it but hey…. so sat. morning I got the pump out…. the one that I use to pump up the air mattress worked great… so I pumped her back up. That was my workout for today…. but I am going to do some cardio later….Ladies we can do anything we set our mind to…. I needed an alternative to my recent “chipfest”… today… I made baked jicama chips in the oven from scratch…it worked…. I can have a few and salsa… and be happy….
    Thanks Jane for the gentle but serious reminders… we have to work at being our best.

  6. andrea_h says:

    Bravo, jane, for bringing everyone’s attention to the proper fitting shoe and its importance in protecting you and allowing you to have the enjoyable experience you were looking for when you decided to go out there and get moving. i also echo going to a specialty store and getting assistance with selecting the right pedal pushers/lugs/clogs/whatever shoe you need – or, ask your doctor/chiropractor about it. They’ll either give you advice on their own if they’ve had the right training or point you in the right direction (maybe a podatrist). Your feet are your base, and to achieve any of your goals, you need a steady foundation under you. 🙂

  7. london slimmer says:

    One more point about shoes that just occurred to me: my husband suffered from knee pain for years until he went to see a good podiatrist who made him a pair of custom insoles. He was sceptical as to whether insoles alone could solve his problem – but they did. Might be worth trying if you have knee or hip problems.

  8. Liz says:

    I second the note about insoles. I had knee problems (IT Band) when I ran. I saw a physical therapist who set me up with custom insoles and a stretching routine and I have been fine since – ran 8 miles this morning in fact.

  9. Susan says:

    Thanks for the tip Jane. It’s a good reminder.
    Another tip that won’t help you thanks to your new pump, but might help a reader here… I use my vacuum to blow up my ball. It came with an attachment that fits in the hole and is made to blow. So, if you don’t have a pump check your vaccuum first. : )

    Now where is my deflated ball??

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