Today is another beautiful day. Probably even more beautiful than the last one. Yes, we’ve been having a lot of lovely weather here. Which I am thankful for, and which I really like (who doesn’t?). But…my problem is I don’t know how to enjoy it! That probably sounds a little crazy—it does to me too. I mean, I should just go outside, soak up the sun, hear the birds sing, ride my bike, take a walk…seems simple, right? So why isn’t it? Why do I sit inside on pretty days, only feeling the breeze through the windows instead of basking in it? I just have such a hard time with this.
Exercise is such a chore to me, and I am usually too lazy to even do it. There was a period a few months ago, when I walked every day, did about an hour of yoga every Wednesday, and took aerobic and strength training classes a few times a week. But I never really liked it. That’s why I stopped—because I started to hate it. At the beginning, I felt so good about myself and these changes I was making to be healthier…but the initial enthusiasm wore off. I got tired of hearing the chiseled-muscle instructor talking about getting “rid of anything that jiggles”, expounding the evils of saturated fat, throwing oral pop quizzes on the benefits of water, and other fitness topics... all between lunges and bicep curls. Not really my idea of a good time. To their credit, the instructors were really nice. I just would much rather do something creative and expressive. I guess that’s why I kind of liked yoga, because it was more creative and less movement…but it was still rather dull. I’ve always been rather envious of people who enjoyed exercise. I keep hoping that I’ll discover a type of movement that I really enjoy.
The thing is, I kind of like walking; I’m just not patient enough to do it. It bores me. So many things aren’t easy to do but can be very beneficial. I think walking is one of those. That’s why I need to do it! But why do I have such a hard time motivating myself? Is it because in this day of multitasking and instant communication that I’ve lost my ability to be patient and quiet?
But I guess I don’t have to exercise to enjoy a beautiful day. Can’t I just be? Just enjoy the warmth of the sun, feel the grass in my toes, and watch the clouds float by? I don’t need to do anything but be thankful and aware of the beauty that God has given us in nature—the delicate and intricate rhythm of His handiwork. Of course, exercise is very healthy—and I know I should do it—but it’s better to do something than nothing at all, right? It’s better to at least sit outside than sit inside—better for the mind, the spirit, and the body, I think. Still, there’s that guilt. And even if I were to go outside, can you think how weird my family would think I was to sit under a tree with my computer or notebook? This isn’t Anne of Green Gables, after all. My dad would walk by as he does his farm work and think: “Wow, she is so lazy.” You know, once I type that out it actually seems kind of silly. Maybe he wouldn’t think it’s odd. Maybe he would just think: “Gee, it’s great that Audrey is outside instead of staying cooped up in her room.”
When I was younger (gosh, I talk about “when I was younger”a ton, don’t I?) I remember playing outside a lot. I didn’t do it because I felt I needed to; I didn’t feel guilty if I didn’t; it was just what kids do! (Looking back, it’s interesting to note that nearly all of the ways I would enjoy the outdoors involved using my imagination—be it pretending I was in a horse race as I sped down the driveway on my bike, or acting out stories outside by myself or with my brothers.) But even then, though I played soccer for a few seasons, sports were not my thing. I mostly just did AYSO because the rest of my siblings were. I had a tendency to daydream on the field and remember exasperated coaches trying to convince me to stop playing with caterpillars in the grass or counting the geese in the sky.“Hello, there’s a game going on here.” As I grew up and got into reading more, I would rather spend my days with my nose in a book than out skipping down the driveway. I remember my mom asking me sometimes: “Audrey, have you gone outside at all, today?”
As I started developing my eating disorder, exercise was something I felt more or less compelled to do. I talked about this in greater detail in this post, so I don’t want to be repetitive. Could it be that these memories of exercising make me associate the activity with those unpleasant times? I don't really think so; it just seems like I’ve never really liked it. And maybe that’s okay? I don’t know. I do know that I have yet to come to terms with this thing called movement. I think I do better when the excercise is towards a goal—like walking to the store, for example. (Kind of like the people in this study that I mentioned here.) But since it would take me at least half a day to do that from where I live, that’s not really an option. But there are other things…someday I hope to find my happy balance.
I must have ADD, or something, because in the process of writing this post I started two other posts (and almost finished them!). No wonder I have a hard time; I can’t even stick to one post—let alone stick with exercise!
Whew! Okay, I think I’ve exhausted this topic for the time being.
What are your thoughts on exercise? How do you motivate your self to do it? What’s you favorite thing to do outside?
“My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit.” ~Phyllis Diller