So, I’m terrible about exercising. And when I say I’m terrible, I’m probably being too nice – I’m unbelievably, incredibly, undeniably… really bad. Yeah. Running is boring, walking is boring when done for exercise, showing what a weakling I am at the gym while trying to lift weights in public is just plain embarrassing, and going to an aerobics class is WAY out of the question (public jiggling = ew). Oh yes, and I hate-hate-hate smelling bad. Hate it. And when you sweat, no matter how much perfume and deodorant you wear – eventually, the smell will come.
My husband and I used to go play tennis two to three days a week. I was really bad at the tennis, but the exercise did me good while I was chasing the balls each time I missed. (It was a lot. I did more running than I did hitting the ball! We also lost some – I’m convinced a giant spider ate them. Yes. It couldn’t POSSIBLY be that I hit them somewhere they couldn’t be retrieved. No-siree!) My husband played tennis in high school, so he was actually quite good. I… was terrible. (See a trend yet?) I greatly enjoyed this outing, but see, it eventually had to end. We had children. Once we had children, most outings were cancelled simply because we were so darned exhausted. (Twins, FTW!) Work, school, kids – we were already completely run down.
My children are about to turn seven in June. (Oh man oh man, it makes me feel old.) So that would mean… it’s been nearly eight years since I exercised. I wasn’t really allowed to do much during the pregnancy as it was already high risk with the multiple fetuses, and so I simply… didn’t, even after we had the twins. Right now I’m sitting at a long time of just… not doing it. I’ve tried many things once or twice, then set them aside. I even tried to join the local mini-gym type place, but it wasn’t going to be open when I could go. My husband found, some time ago, that there are some games on Wii that he enjoys. He’s got two exercise games on there, and he plays them on a nearly daily basis. His favorite, at the moment, is an NFL Training Program. I was watching him one day, and the following conversation ensued:
“I probably ought to start exercising.”
“Do you want to do this with me?”
“Uh… no.” I’ll watch football, but I think I’d be terrible at the exercises.
“Well, why don’t you look for something you will like?”
Well, duh. It had never occurred to me that I ought to look for a game I would like! Then again, I rarely think of the one thing that makes sense – I’ve learned to manage as best as possible through the trials and tribulations of life.
So, I started looking. I didn’t have much luck, but then he suggested something called Zumba. I’d heard of it, and some ladies were actually going through a recording of it at the gym when I stopped by to inquire about pricing and operational hours. (I had to walk through the middle of them. It was interesting! I doubt they were thrilled.) Within a week or two, I was picking up the Zumba Dance Party game for the Wii.
It’s scary, but it’s something that I believe I can actually keep up! I’m a terrible dancer, likely, but it’s fun. (It’s a good thing I can’t see myself, hmm?) And I don’t have to be good – I’m all by myself except for the presence of my family, no strangers watching me wiggle my hips badly, and I get my heart rate up. (I’ve always wanted Shakira’s hips. I wonder if she’d give them to me. Maybe if I begged.) I don’t think that these little routines I go through are going to teach me any real sort of dance skills or techniques, but it gets me out of my seat and moving at least for a little while. It’s not the same routine every day, which I really like. The same routine would get… well, “routine” and I would begin to get bored. There are times when I’m staring at the screen for a good thirty seconds to figure out what in the heck the instructor is doing, and I spend quite a lot of my time doing the right step but going the wrong way, or stepping out with the wrong foot, or reaching with the wrong hand. BUT I’M DOING IT. Which is more than I could say a few weeks ago.
I’m pretty determined to keep it up – we’ll see how it goes. I enjoy it, which is likely the first key in me actually keeping up with it. The second key would be MAKING the time. In my classroom, some years ago, I had a phrase on the wall – “You will never find the time for anything, you must MAKE the time for it.” I intend to MAKE the time for this. Through work, through children, through dishes and cooking and baking and reading and playing WoW, I will make the time for this. It’s important for me. I can do my job as a teacher, and as a mother, and as a wife better if I am more healthy. It’s for everyone that I pelt my husband’s ears with the Zumba music as often as I can- at least, that’s my story. And I’m sticking to it!
I also had another phrase on that same wall. “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” Alright ship, make way, ’cause here I come.