Thursday, July 14, 2011

Walk This Way

Am I already burnt out? Maybe. I've bored you with my thoughts on Facebook, my fading memory, my crazy mind, music, literature, parenting, and now with this boring recap. As I sit here on the almost cool summer morning, I am wondering if that's all I have. 

And if it truly IS all I have, how much space can I fill talking about writer's block? While I'm thinking about it, I'm going to get up and walk a mile. 'Cos that's what I do. When I need to think, or when I get stuck, walking jiggles my brain around so that I can grab hold of my ideas. 

See that? While I was just walking that mile, I had the idea to write about exercise - because I have plenty of thoughts about that.

I grew up a fairly sedentary child, preferring books and movies to running and playing. It didn't help that I was hopeless at sports. And we know what lazing around leads to, right? A lazy, chubby kid.

Later, in my twenties, I became quite the aerobics enthusiast. Okay, I was an addict. Coupled with a wicked eating disorder, I had a fervor for exercise that was rivaled only by... well, my wicked eating disorder. I rotated my whole life around the class schedule at the gym, and if I couldn't go to the gym, I walked a loooooong way or did a video at home.

Someday I'll give my theories about dieting and eating and all, but suffice it to say, I gradually recovered from the horror of the eating disorder - through lots of therapy, love, prayer and, I don't mind telling you, actual miraculous healing. But for a long time, I was still very rigid about my fitness routines. And I always had a routine. Sometimes it involved a gym membership; sometimes it was just me and my videos at home.

And I do love videos, though now they come as DVD's, of course. I faithfully did STEP aerobics, weight lifting, circuit training, yoga, pilates. you name it. I grew to love the women who yelled out the instructions: sweet Kathy Smith, the bouncy Gin Miller, Cathe Friedrich, choreographer of the most grueling workouts I know... even the fem bots who narrate the FIRM workouts.

For some reason after getting married - I think it was just having to order my life around another's, I started to let things slide... I did my best to fit in exercise, but if I didn't manage it, I truly didn't care. I maintained my tough aerobics and weightlifting schedule - but only insofar as it was convenient for me and my husband. In fact, I'd have to say that my husband is more disciplined about his routine than I am.

I kept it up even during pregnancy. I'm pretty sure that's one reason I had such an uneventful time. But... then came baby... which, as you know, changes EVERYTHING. At first it was truly difficult to fit exercise in at all - between changings and feedings and crying and all the other stuff you have to do as a new mom. It took a while, but I finally shoehorned a few workouts in - often with my toddler climbing on me as I attempted a downward dog, or getting under my feet on my STEP.

My current work-at-home status makes it completely easy to get it in... I'm home all day by myself - who's to stop me? My routine involves mostly just walking. I work for a while, walk a mile, work for a while, walk a mile. Sometimes outdoors, sometimes with a Leslie Sansone DVD.  I try for 5 miles a day, 5 days a week. I don't always make it - last week I only walked 3 days, and not for the whole 5 miles. But I honestly don't care. 

Walking helps my body stay alive, keeps my brain oiled, and keeps me warm in our freakishly cold house... I also like stretching. I've always been limber - and I sort of feel that as long as I can still put my leg behind my head, I'll never be old. 

If you know me, you know that I am not skinny. But I am also not huge... and truthfully, being this way is much more fun - much less stressful. My friend Grace recently said, "If I walked five miles a day, I would eat whatever I wanted." And my response was, "Exactly."

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