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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Road to 50 is Paved With Good Intentions


There is no way for me to tell you that I've failed at my own good intentions except to just, well, say it.  "I've failed."  Maybe then it will kick me firmly in the butt and wake me up to my own inadequacies.  Such as exercise.  What is it exactly that makes me dread even the thought of it?  Last April, when I turned 49, I promised myself (and others present at the time) that I was going to take this year and get in shape; to change my woeful ways; to burn the bridges of sitting on my butt with my laptop in hand.  And, rather than pounding the keyboard exercising my fingers, I promised I would move my legs, and my arms, my waist, and my hips - and oh yes - my butt too.


But, as usual, I get up to the same story, different day, and I refuse to change.  I am a victim of my own self-imposed routine. 

Get up (when I'm dang ready)

Brush my teeth and gargle

Stare circumspect into the mirror and growl at the image looking back at me

Brush my hair and put on a headband to get the gray strands out of my face

Shuffle into the kitchen where I pour myself a small glass of orange juice with a dash of sugar

Open the refrigerator where I hope that we are not out of Raisin Bread

Pop 2 slices into the toaster

Close my weary eyes as I grab a small plate from above the toaster

Grab a knife


Wait some more

Burn the tips of my fingers pulling the toast out of the toaster

Butter each slice just so

Rip off a paper towel.

Hobble (no longer shuffling) into the family room with breakfast in hand

Sit on the sofa

Cover up  with a cozy blanket

Turn on my computer

Take a bite of my hot delicious raisin toast


Realize that I'm stuck in a rut 

More like a huge pot hole


So what is it exactly that is keeping me here?  Well, as I sit here I think I might just know the answer.  Comfort.  I'm comfortable.  I'm spoiled.  I'm not a lazy thinker or doer, but I am a lazy butt in all physical sense of the word.  I hate to exercise. 

Every time I'm in the throws of physical pain due to exercise of any kind my brain is at conflict with the rest of me. 


"What the hell are you doing this for?"  I have no fricking idea.  

"This hurts - go take a nap."    Okay

"You'll have to do this 5054 times before you will see the slightest results."  I'm quitting now

"This is a sure way to kill yourself."  I'm gonna stop, just as soon as I collapse

"Cool pillow is 10 steps north of your head"  Hmmmm

"Nobody else in this family is killing themselves for slim, trim tummies"  Where's the pillow?

"I told you it would hurt"  Ah hell, forget it. 

This is time spent killing myself that I could be doing something more productive - like painting or reading, writing or teaching or - napping.

Need I say more?


As I approach the big 5 - 0 in 2.5 months, I realize that changing my comfortable routine is not going to happen unless Bob Greene wakes me up with a whip in the morning.  And since Oprah herself can't stick to her guns even with the guru by her side, how can I?  I'm sorry folks, but I did not grow up in a family that put great value on exercise other than the very basic that is involved in lawn maintenance, cleaning out the garage, carting loads of laundry back and forth from the laundry room and barking orders at the kids. 


I'd rather read.  I'd rather paint.  I'd rather write.  I'd rather learn something new.  I'd much rather take a nap. 

And besides, I'm too dang impatient to see the results of my efforts.  Maybe that is why I love exercising my fingers and my brain so much - because I see immediate results. 


I will say this, though - "Idle minds may be the devil's workshop ... but Idle bodies need a whip and a threat"

In other words - if I don't get off my butt and start movin' soon, I will pay with poor health, lack of muscle tone, big butt syndrome, skinny legs, achy muscles, and chronic fatigue.  Making it more and more difficult every day to get moving.  So why am I still sitting here?


I'm comfortable.  There I said it. 

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