Firstly, I must apologise for this hiatus in my blogging as one of the things that never ceases to surprise me is how little time there is in a day when you have a full time job. Nonetheless, I have a proud announcement to make: I’ve been able to make the time to do a couple of thousand words more in the manuscript. But more on that later.
Anyway, there are many things that can be said about writing as an occupation. Sadly, one of the things that can’t be said is that it helps keep you in shape.
Some of you might remember that, at the beginning of this year, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to start running again. Now, that might sound like I was once a committed runner who lost her motivation along the way. I assure you, that is not the case.
I did have the motivation to get up in the morning and go for a run before going to work once, about a year and a half ago, for a few months. But it wore off little by little, as my workload increased little by little, and before I knew what hit me, bye-bye motivation. And I found out that, as it turns out, if you don’t continue to do some form of exercise, the benefits you gained during the time in which you did exercise disappear in front of your eyes, carefully hidden under a layer of muffin top around your waist. Sadly, your appetite doesn’t disappear quite as quickly. There are apparently a few shortcuts that can be taken to help keep your weight at bay when you’re not exercising, but I don’t feel that giving up having wine with dinner would make much of a difference, and I was never a fan of green tea. So I started walking more during the day, and hoped this would make up for not having the time (or the motivation) to start running again. I’d love to tell you that it worked wonders, that I now look like Keira Knightley and that I’ll never have to exercise again, but I’d be lying.
Now, going back to my New Year’s resolution, I feel that I’ve been complaining about the state of affairs of my thighs and love handles for too long without doing anything about it, so starting to exercise again sounded like a good idea. But another obstacle presented itself: I looked outside. It’s cold. It’s wet. Sometimes, there’s snow and ice on the sidewalk. It’s like an indirect invitation to visit the emergency room with a sprained ankle or a broken bone (you hear about plenty of those this time of year). Personally, I’m not going to take the risk and go running when there’s ice on the sidewalk. I’m too clumsy for that, and I might end up breaking something. Of mine or someone else’s.
In light of these circumstances, what was the first thing I did? I spent some money (very little, actually) on a couple of exercise videos. I know, I know, there are loads on YouTube, but that’s too available. Where do you find the best motivation? In my credit card statement, that’s where. Because now, if I don’t do it, then it’ll all be a waste of money. And that would just be silly.
So I was very excited to come home a few days ago and find the two Ballet Beautiful DVDs I ordered the week before waiting for me in my mail box. I came upstairs and popped the first one into my laptop to try a 15-minute exercise sequence.
It was around that time that I found out that, since I stopped running, I have become a Class A wimp. A Wimp with a capital W. These exercises are meant to increase resistance and tone the muscles through ballet-inspired exercises – trust me when I tell you, this sounds easier than it is. I simply couldn’t keep up. I had to take several breaks between the different sets of exercises, while Mary Helen Bowers smiled encouragingly from the screen and said “Good!” from time to time. I’m confident she was only saying that with a smile because she wasn’t witnessing my rather pathetic performance. I almost feel like crying every time she says, “Ok, this is when it starts to get really difficult.”
And the next day… Oh, the pain. The silver lining of muscle pain is that you know the exercises had an effect (as opposed to my morning walk to the office). The negative side if things is that you walk like an old person who was recently in a bar fight. And you sound like one, too.
But after a few days, I started to see a difference. Not in the mirror, obviously. Even a fashion magazine will tell you that it takes at least a month of exercising regularly for you to see the difference. But in terms of resistance, I am proud to say that I can now almost keep up, after about a week and a half of doing the exercises on average once every three days. This is good for many reasons. Mostly because it’s very hard to reach for a muffin when your arm hurts this much.
Thank you for reading and have a good night.