Not to brag or anything, but our house has an entire room devoted to exercise equipment. In there, where once you could find a baby boy’s crib, you can now work out to your heart’s content, using a recumbent bike or an elliptical trainer while you watch a super HD TV on the wall.
Pick your choice of great videos offering to help you stretch or shred, strengthen your core or washboard your abs.
We’ve even got those multi-colored band thingies, hand weights in various poundages, yoga mats and blocks, jump ropes and balls. Finish off with a soothing tilt on the inversion table.
Know how often I use that room?
That’s right. Never.
I hate exercise. HATE it. Inside, on a machine, every mile feels like an endless death march. My daughter used to have hamsters, who frantically rode their Wheel to Nowhere all night, every night. When I’m on a treadmill I know exactly how they felt.
My rejection of the home gym drives His Highness crazy. The great guy single-handedly set up that room, buying the awesome TV as a Valentine’s Day present, the shred video as a Mother’s Day present, the recumbent bike as a “so sorry you broke your foot” present… And, after all, he has to look at my backside more often than I do. A writer’s life can really turn that thing into a cushy lump the approximate size and shape of your desk chair’s seat.
But I can’t help it. I hate indoor exercise. Luckily, I love to walk—and I’m averaging about four-five miles these days. Even when it’s hot. Even when it rains. Outside, everything is different. Walking in the park, by the lake, or just around the neighborhood, doesn’t feel like exercise at all.
It feels like a visit with the best psychiatrist in town. I meet neighbors, and, even better, their dogs. I’m soothed by water and wildlife. I see stately herons in the daytime and mysterious owls at night.
Squirrels whirl around tree trunks, cardinals trapeze between houses, and each season brings a new set of flowers from my green-thumb neighbors. Right now, the crepe myrtles are filled with blooms that look like soft-serve strawberry ice cream cones.
I listen to books on tape, great writing that surely will improve my own pages, right? I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s “The Signature of All Things,” and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” (Note: Don’t listen to “Dracula” at night…even Greg Wise’s gorgeous voice won’t keep that darling retriever on the next street over from looking like an ominous wolf.)
Some nights, I put on my iTunes playlists and let music propel me along. I consider every fast song a challenge to be met. Right now, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is my favorite. To the neighbors who see me during those eight minutes, I apologize. I get a little carried away, and it’s probably not pretty.
In short, I’m having so much fun out there I forget it’s something I should do. And even when my Fitbit (a nifty wristband tracking my steps …which I learned about from one of our own JQs!) buzzes, alerting me I’ve reached my goal for the day, I don’t head for home. One more block. One more mile. One more chapter with Greg Wise whispering in my ear.
How about you? Can you bring yourself to use the exercise equipment in your house? Do you go to a real gym? How do you keep it from being boring?
Inside or out, what do you listen to? Any recommendations for inspiring walking songs, or must-hear audio books? I’d love to hear what works for you!
I’ve been inexcusably slow announcing my winners from my Here Comes The Dress blog–my apologies all around! The winners, chosen at random, are ROCHELLE and ADA. Ladies, if you’ll contact me privately at KOBrien@aol.com and give me your Kindle loading addresses, I’ll send you THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE asap!