Yes, that would have been me during high school many years ago. Exercise came in the form of marching band rehearsals, the Ohio State run-out and carrying my instrument. I played the piccolo so the last was just pretend exercise. In actuality, I was chunky, “thick”, fat and exercise was not something I enjoyed. While I needed exercise, I always found an excuse. In reality, I just didn’t like to sweat.
Jane Fonda inspired a new me; an aerobicized me with leggings moving around to her prompts. Fifty pounds lighter, my videotape broke and I stopped. I can’t find a replacement I lamented. But in all honesty, I wasn’t really an aerobics kind of person. The broken tape was just an excuse not to exercise anymore. In reality, I just didn’t like to sweat.
Then I found yoga. Stretching, muscle building and cardiovascular conditioning packed into 60 minutes. Over 20 years on the mat perfecting the pigeon asana. My body became sleek, supple, limber and I felt better than ever before. But like all good things…
I decided to take a weekend adventure tour to Costa Rica where I would zip line, horseback ride, and rappel my way into the heart of a rain forest then climb my way out. Rappelling felt liberating as I kicked off the side of a mountain bouncing further and further into the ravine. Wildlife, birds and flora filled all of my senses. Wading through the river, hip deep in gentle rapids, my foot lodged between two rocks. I tugged. I pulled. Finally I wrenched, felt intense pain and just hoped that there wasn’t a snap. Three days later, the doctor diagnosed a serious injury: my foot was shattered. Bedridden for six months I wanted more than anything to exercise, to feel my muscles strain as they supported my weight into a handstand. I loved yoga and the way my body felt on and off of the mat. After six months though, the muscles were gone and the surgeon advised me to not push it just yet. The perfect excuse was just handed to me. In reality, I just didn’t want to sweat anymore.
So now I approach a milestone birthday and I have never felt worse. My body aches, dimpled skin now replaces toned muscles and I’m always exhausted. I joined a gym but rarely go. I started the Couch to 5K plan but nor’easters stopped me. I’m running a 5K June 16 to raise money for Special Olympics and I’m scared that I can’t actually complete it. A year of inaction has led to this predicament. And the secret this time isn’t that I don’t like to sweat but rather, I hate to run and am afraid to try.
With approximately 10 weeks to go pride is now driving me off of the couch. Forget the gym, I live by a park with a one mile track, three times around daily with a few sprints along the way to get my heart beating stronger again. I’m still scared and I hate running.
No more excuses. It’s time to reclaim my body.
Here’s to good health!
Did you ever have a year that you knew was the year? 2013 has been a long time coming as every aspect of my life changes from being a single parent to empty nester; from divorcee to newlywed; and metropolitan city girl to rural I’m not sure. But the one thing I do know is that I’ll be writing about it at WE Magazine! I continue to celebrate the launch of my book Slices of Life: The Art and Craft of Memoir Writing, blogging everywhere and writing the Happening Hero column for Bucks Happenings. When not writing, I facilitate writing workshops both in the Pennsylvania area and virtually. Mine is one crazy life but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Visit my website at www.yourbestwritinggroup.com and follow along both there and on WE for some funny and practical advice on making your life a little less stressful.