After four successful challenges, which I’m still completing each week, I’ve hit upon the one that broke me. Exercise. UGH. I just don’t LIKE it. I’m too BUSY. I can’t possibly do it ALONE. Does it even really MATTER? Do I HAVE to?
1. Too bad.
2. No I’m not.
3. Yes I can.
4. Yes it does.
5. Yes I do.
I JUST DON’T LIKE IT
This statement is only partially true. I don’t like the idea of having to exercise, but once I get going I actually don’t mind it all that much. There are lots of types of exercise that this body isn’t built for, but I don’t have to do those. I have a bellydance DVD that I enjoy (although it’s murder on the shoulders, but I modify) and I can certainly take a walk in the park. I also have gorgeous pink boxing gloves that are gathering dust. Just putting those on makes me want to get up and move (and maybe jab at something too, just saying). And when the weather gets warmer, I’ll be in the water walking my laps, my favorite exercise of all. So no, I’m not going to be doing burpees or running marathons, but I don’t have to. I just have to move.
I’M TOO BUSY
As if I’m the only person in the world with a full-time job and a family. I could be exercising now, but I’m sitting comfortably on my well cushioned backside instead. I live directly across the street from a lovely park. As in walk to the end of the driveway, look both ways, and cross. It’s RIGHT THERE! A walk around it is about a mile. People walk it all the time. I see them from my house. As far as I can tell the only difference between me and them is that they actually took the time to get to the park, and most of them probably don’t live directly across from it. I can walk after school. I can walk all weekend. No, I’m not like my wonderful colleagues who wake during the dead of night to exercise, but there are certainly enough waking hours for me to find at least twenty minutes to spare. My brain knows this, but my lazy body is in denial.
I CAN’T POSSIBLY DO IT ALONE
This one is really a double lie. First of all, yes, I can. Even if it’s too cold out or too scary out or too anything out, I have a treadmill. It’s in the house. It’s plugged in. It works. I know how to operate it. It doesn’t take two people to get on a treadmill and walk. In fact that would be a problem. It’s hard enough to walk on it with the dog. It’s actually her treadmill and sometimes she wants to join in when I’m on it. I let her once, but I was so concerned with our safety that I didn’t stay on for long. Now we take turns. Although in reality, she gets about ten turns for each one I take.
Now here’s the other part of that lie. I don’t have to do it alone. My son walks the dog every day that he’s here. I can go with them if I choose. Even if he’s not here, my sweetheart will always drop everything to go for a walk with me. He’s also ready, willing, and able to field my jabs and kicks if I happen to want to get on my pink gloves and go all pugilistic on him. I bet he would even go to a gym with me, if I asked him to. The mere thought sends a chill down my spine.
DOES IT EVEN REALLY MATTER?
Well of course it matters. I know that the more sedentary I am the more weight I will continue to carry around, negatively impacting my quality of life. When I move I feel good. I feel powerful and in control, not to mention that I lose weight. When I lose weight, I don’t huff and puff as much, and I feel more comfortable in my own skin, not to mention all the good things that happen inside my body. My doctor confirms these for me with my regular visits. I take medication that requires regular bloodwork, and it’s quite obvious from the results that the effort I put into my body is directly affecting how efficiently my body works. I really want it to work for a long time, so I need to put in the effort. I know this. Now I have to live it.
DO I HAVE TO?
I suppose the answer to this one has to do with the type of life I want to life and how long I want to live it. If I want to keep being sedentary I guess I don’t have to exercise. I could just keep sitting on the couch and allowing time and age to take their toll on me. I can imagine a scenario where it gets more and more difficult to do anything, so I would do less and less. All those minor annoyances of being fat would compound and eventually I would have some really serious health problems. I’m not excited about that prospect. The opposite scenario, the one where I get my butt in gear and get moving, seems far more attractive. In that scenario I have fun being active and do all sorts of neat things. There have been times in my life where I felt great, and moving was a part of it. I’ve never been a real athlete, but just putting in SOME effort makes me feel good. Why is this truth so difficult for me to remember?
THE NEXT STEP
I’m done beating myself up over this “failed” challenge. After all, I did put in one good day of exercise, and that was more than any of the days in the previous week. I’m not giving up. I’m not quitting. I’m going to try again. And again and again and again if that’s what it takes. I have to. I want to live a long and healthy life, and what I’m doing now isn’t working, so here I go again.