let’s get physical

I’ve never been a naturally enthusiastic exerciser. There have been spurts of success in my past, but nothing ever sticks. I know I should want to exercise, for my own health benefits. But, those don’t seem to bring lasting motivation.

I have a bicycle. And I love to ride it downtown or to the grocery store if I’m just picking up a few items. But only if it is less than 75 degrees, and I can be a guaranteed shade along the route.

One season I rode my bike to the trail repeatedly for the sole purpose of turning around. I’d return home completely drenched in sweat. But planning for sweat takes a lot of consideration and extra laundry loads.

Since the pandemic, I did start a jogging routine three times a week. This requires dedicated leggings, proper socks, two bras, a headband, a bandana to mop my face with, and a tank top I’m not too particular about. This morning, dressed to sweat, I slowed down 30 seconds after I started and declared I was done jogging.

Like Forrest Gump, after he’d run across the country a couple of times, I am just finished. My bunions ache and my shins are tight, and even though a shower is inevitable, I just wasn’t in the mood to sweat. I think my hang up is the drip. (See my previous blog about sweating.)

I went to the chiropractor yesterday. As this delightful person made adjustments I asked how I feel to her. She replied, “not that bad.” I boasted about my new routine of daily stretches. And then I confessed, “I’m not sure why I can’t stick to something that is good for me.”

Where does this very reliable desire to poop out come from? My one grandmother used to read me a book in Lithuanian about a dutiful girl and a lazy girl. She’d remind me that I was the lazy girl. Is this a prophecy fulfilled?

I enjoy opera. I’ve always been enamored with old fashioned clothing and stylings. When I was young I believed that in a past life I was an opera star who wore enormously layered dresses with corsets and impossibly beautiful hairstyles. My home was likely a beautifully ornate mansion with extraordinary details and tall ceilings. Such a diva couldn’t be expected to exercise, could she?

My dog is part bulldog. She will drop during a walk in some shady grass and refuse to continue. Perhaps I, too, am part bulldog.

One thing I do know about myself is that I’m not really into lifelong commitments. Want me to exercise for the rest of my life? Huh. Yea. Not likely. I’m good with shorter term goals. Like, rather than being on a board of directors for three years, I’d rather be on a committee that executes an event. When said event is over, so is my obligation.

So, I did train for a half marathon. Checked that off the proverbial list. And when it was over, I jogged for a couple of years at a decreasing pace and distance. Back then, I did think that eight miles felt really good. I thought, if I can maintain 8 miles, that would be great. But meh. It didn’t last.

I grapple to understand my psyche. Why don’t I want a better shape for myself? Why aren’t I interested in working toward what has been proven to enhance longevity? Will I regret this torpor in thirty years?

My mom was a walker. She did her three miles faithfully outside when the weather allowed, and on the treadmill watching a favorite show when it didn’t. Now her knees bother her and she’s going to need her hips replaced. She was told it was from the repetitious movements of her walks. So how can it be that we’re supposed to get in 10,000 steps per day? Is the expectation that we will all end up with replacement parts at some point?

I didn’t turn around and go home after my failed jog this morning. I walked my route at a brisk pace. Then I picked up the dog and walked her. She only plopped down once. Ultimately, I got over 11,000 steps in today. Which I guess is an accomplishment. I’ll wait and see what the morning brings as to what I’ll do tomorrow.

I love words. Words swirl and dance around in my head. I have many deep thoughts. Some thoughts plague me. In order to release them, I have to assign the words. Once the words are strung together, I feel free again.

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