I’d like to put aside all beautiful, crafty things for a moment, and talk about a very personal battle I’ve dealt with my entire life.
Are you ready?
I hate exercise.
There’s absolutely nothing about it that appeals to me. I detest sweating, being out of breath, moving fast, all of it. Any time in my life I’ve made small attempts to incorporate some kind of daily movement, I dreaded every session from the moment I got up each morning. I would put it off, rationalizing that I didn’t have time in the mornings, there was too much going on, or rationalizing “why exercise when I’m having such a good hair day??” (yes, that is something I would actually tell myself!).
I’ve never had to worry too much about exercising because, by all outward appearances, I didn’t look overweight. (And that’s why we exercise, right???- something else I would tell myself.) Besides the fact that at any point in my life I would have said losing ten pounds would be great, I was willing to accept my body as it was, declaring that physical activity was just not “my thing”. My yearly bloodwork has always been, not only within acceptable levels, but remarkable good. It’s been described as “beautiful” by my doc. I just simply decided that exercise just wasn’t for me. There have been half-hearted attempts at achieving more movement in my life… fitness coach, boot camps, daily walking. But with each one, I became disillusioned, it was always about the people I was with more so than what I was doing. My body felt weak and unaccustomed to the sudden changes, and it didn’t feel natural.
Rationalizing all of this while being married to a man for nearly 20 years who is a competitive cyclist and very fit, was surprisingly easy. Peter spends many hours a week on the bike most of the year, and often gets up very early to do it, often riding through inclement Seattle weather in all but the short, high summer months. From years of hard competitive cycling, he now suffers daily from aches and pains. He requires regular visits to physical therapists, personal trainers, acupuncturists, doctors, and occasionally, yes, the emergency room. It has been astonishingly easy for me to convince myself that I was, indeed, the healthier one. I did not suffer from daily pain, I rarely went to the doctor for anything more than a physical. Besides, in no way did I want to spend hours each day achieving a fitness level that would require even more hours to maintain. Sorry…
Plus, if I am completely honest with myself, I didn’t want to lose a moment to my creative time.
So, why am I writing about this? I am now at an age where it’s time to consider what I’ve done and continue to do to my body through lack of regular physical exercise of some kind. There is a history of osteoperosis in my family, of heavy smoking, and no exercise. While my own habits are far and away much healthier than that, the one component that I hadn’t fully addressed was exercise. Sitting at a computer all day, getting up only to jump in a car to run an errand, or do school pickup, does not make for a healthy lifestyle, no matter how healthy my diet is. Humans were just not meant to be so stationary.
I started to wonder…. What would my life be like in 20 years? Would I have impaired mobility due to years of unused muscles, simply because of the choices I’d made? Would my bones become weakened? Would I be out of breath from doing simple things around the house? Would I be able to take a walk with my husband? Would I need help just walking up a small hill? Would lack of daily movement cause insomnia? Would I start dealing with brittle, breaking bones?
Would all of this come sooner than it should, because of my inactivity?
In part two of this post, I will tell you what came next. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments. What are your feelings about daily movement/exercise? Do you hate it? Feel inspired by it?