I’m putting out there – I don’t like to exercise.
I was not a sports person in school. The only reason that I was able to pass PE in high school was because of the classroom health component. One memorable instance was me failing the volleyball test. The goal of the test was to serve a volleyball to a certain line on the wall about six feet off the floor. I couldn’t even hit ball and get it airborn. And I had a good PE teacher, not some nightmare drill sergeant. We had plenty of tries and easy grading, but I just could not serve the ball.
This doesn’t mean that I was a couch potato – no way – I was a band geek and a theatre kid. I did marching band for five years with gusto. We competed regionally and won often. I was in the low brass section where we were definitely physical. Marching band pushed my body, but it also engaged my intellect so I was able to dive into it and get past my disdain for physical activity. My head was in the music, not the muscles.
And yes, this is my actual marching band during the 1994 season (I’m the little one with the marching trombone) Go Yellow Jackets!
Marching band was an exception. I did theatre for the arts of it and while I dabbled in musical theatre and show choir, the dance part was never something that I felt I was good at or called to.
My body has always done its thing and for the most part I haven’t had to worry about it. I’m blessed with great genes and without a penchant for indulgence in food, so weight wasn’t a problem (in my twenties, the pounds have started to materialize now that I’m in my thirties). For the last ten years I’ve worked out often and I credit that physical fitness with a lot of good things in my life. But it’s nearly ALWAYS a chore. I do it because I know the health benefits and because I feel good on the other end. The doing part is not fun for me.
There’s been mountain climbing and hiking, martial arts and yoga through the years. There’s been a fair amount of running and weight lifting. I consider myself a health conscious and healthy person, but I just don’t like exercising! I do a fair amount of “piddling” as my mother says – walking around the house in circles cleaning up bits and pieces of things and yes, ladies you know that this is exercise. I’ve always chosen the stairs over an elevator when given the opportunity. When we’re out and about I love walking, especially when it’s somewhere that I’m interested in like the zoo or a festival. But man that treadmill (or elliptical or bike) is just a turn off!
My husband and I have lately been doing in INSANITY (you know you’ve seen the infomercials). It is a fantastic program – hard work but well done and the results are there. It’s six days a week and I feel so great after I do it but I struggle with getting started every single time.
How do I keep doing it? I psych myself into it by FAKING IT. That’s right, I fake it. I guess all those acting classes paid off. I lie to myself, pretending that I’m one of the women in the video with a sculpted body who “pushes it.” I lie to my husband, telling him how excited I am to be working out. I lie to my kids, telling them how awesome it feels to exercise. I lie to my friends and acquaintances, both online and off. That’s a lot of lying. But the payoff is totally worth it because over and over again we see the benefits of physical activity. I don’t feel guilty at all – rather that I’m giving a gift to my family. And guess what? I DO feel better after I work out, short term and long term. The key word there is of course “after” because before and during it I’m just loathing the whole process.