fitness · Guest Post · Weekends with Womack

I flew in to Sydney and boy are my arms tired: aches, pains and other messages from my body to me

Hi everyone—last week I had just landed in Sydney Australia and blogged here about how this sabbatical work trip was an opportunity to shake things up. I have the time to focus on exercise and activity of all sorts, some work projects I’ve been wanting to do for months, and pay closer attention to eating the ways I’d like to, with more fruits and vegetables.

Well, it’s one week in, and here is what I have to report: I’m unhappy at the physical shape I’m in. Carrying heavy things (laptop, groceries, etc.) for long distances is super-tiring, and my shoulders hurt.

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My right knee, which is sometimes wonky, is rebelling at going down hills and stairs.

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I’m sweating up a storm whenever the temperature is above 20C/70F. Tracy blogged about sweating just this week, right here.  All this extra activity is sending me to bed at 10pm (I normally stay up until 11:30pm—midnight).

However, some other effects so far include: My general stress level is much lower than usual. I’m meditating in the mornings.

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I’m eating less. I’m eating more of the foods I want to in order to feel like I have a nutritious diet. I have the impression that some of my clothes are a little looser on me (hard to tell, and I have no scale, but we shall see). I’ve started doing some strengthening exercises for my knee and core.

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It will be interesting to see how a couple of month of car-free urban living, cycling, walking, taking public transport, and wandering about as a tourist affects this body of mine, I know, I know—small changes are the ones that we can sustain, the ones that are real.

A real benefit of these aches and pains is that my body is giving me some important information, information that it’s easy for me to ignore in my regular, overscheduled, car-enabled life. It’s telling me to get stronger. It’s telling me to eat healthier for me. It may want me to be lighter—we’ll see about that. It is telling me to go to bed and get more sleep.

Okay, okay, body—you’ve got my attention. I’m listening.

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10 thoughts on “I flew in to Sydney and boy are my arms tired: aches, pains and other messages from my body to me

  1. It would seem that you are working yourself into a frenzy. You’re so concerned about your physical health that you are ignoring your mental well-being. But then I’m 75, got a bum ticker and am obese. What do I know. Tell you what, I’ll pray for us both…


  2. Thanks for the reminder to listen. I need to pay attention to how I feel about my expanding middle and low energy level, which I know I can take care of with more activity. Looking forward to seeing what changes with you.

  3. Welcome to Australia! I highly recommend the purchase of a ‘wheelie trolley’ for the carting of groceries – the Nonnas are on to something – they are gold! I hope you continue to enjoy the Sydney spring (I find Sydney awfully humid myself), it will prepare you for when you come to Adelaide – much drier here.
    When you get your hill/stair climbing legs on recommend a bus out to Rose Bay and a walk up ‘heartbreak hill’ through Vaucluse to Maquaries lighthouse and then North along the clifftops to the gap and Watsons Bay. All the best for your stay!!

    1. Hi there– yes, you make a good point about getting a trollie for hauling groceries. I may have to give in… 🙂 Thanks for the tips on nice walks; will report back. I totally love it here– I am not going to want to go back home in December!

  4. I love that lazy, sleeping bird in the park. 🙂

    Catherine I hope you just do your car-free thing…and no longer, think about it being car-free. It’s just daily living. You know you will have crossed that line in making changes. I don’t think of my life as car-free every week nor every month. It’s just reality I’ve lived for last few decades.

    One thing, is one is required to plan just abit better so making so many free easy short trips by car. Maybe your life is becoming less consumerist.

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