I am intellectually active. My mind is a hive, incessantly buzzing with colorful thoughts. My carcass, however, just does not like to move. Sitting, reclining, lounging are all agreeable to my body. Running? I don’t think so!
I have never loved exercise. Yes I enjoy taking a forest stroll now and then and swimming on a hot day. But down and dirty hard aerobic workout? I shudder at the very thought!
My kids, however, would like me to stick around for a while. I do love my children and as I get older my excuses for staying sedentary are themselves sounding worn and tired. I am too smart to pretend I haven’t read about exercise. I do understand the value of getting up and getting moving. So let’s tactfully call me a reluctant beginner or a superior procrastinator. I, the very late bloomer, have added a daily walk to my schedule.
That doesn’t sound like much I know. To an accomplished slug it was drastic change. I am only walking a mile or two, not breaking any records. It takes 40 minutes or 20, depending on how far I go. That is not much time. Yet after the last six weeks I have a confession to make: that little bit makes a real difference.
I never, ever thought it was possible. I have actually begun to enjoy the experience. I have more energy and feel better about myself. My sons gave me a Fitbit for Easter ( a loving nudge of support) and better walking shoes for Mother’s Day (continued support). I can walk the two miles easily and once the blisters heal from the new shoes, plan on adding more challenge to the daily routine. Two miles with the blisters seems far enough. The real kicker is that on the few days I haven’t walked, my activity level remains naturally higher. Without even being aware of it I am gradually incorporating more movement into my day.
Now you athletes out there may laugh. To you this is child’s play. As my son comes in from Planet Fitness after his grueling workout, I do understand that I barely qualify as active. But AHA! I do qualify. And that matters. Why should you care? You don’t need to. But I finally do. That is truly surprising, somewhat to my family but especially to myself. Old dogs really can learn new tricks. If anyone had told me I would look forward to a period of physical activity I would have called them a liar, and I would have meant it.
I don’t plan on entering any triathlons and reading remains my favorite sport. But even small improvements at negligible paces are still improvements. I am breaking some lifetime habits. I don’t know if I will ever reach the down and dirty hard aerobics, but anything is possible. I wouldn’t bet against me.