I try to set goals for a new year. Sometimes I reach them, sometimes I don’t. But I want to get fit. Really, I do. I think about it every day.
Some mornings I wake up and think, the first thing I’m going to do is spend 30 minutes on the treadmill. I am! I tell myself I’m going there now. Then I pad downstairs, say good morning to Derek who’s always up before I am, and head to the kitchen to rustle up some breakfast and coffee.
I do use the treadmill but it’s sporadic. We also have my Mom’s exercise bike in the basement. A lot of good it’s doing us there among the cobwebs and low ceiling.
I grew up in a rather sedentary household. Regular exercise wasn’t part of our family dynamic. But let’s face it, I’m way past the age when I can blame anything on the way I was raised.
There’s a wonderful fitness motivator on Instagram who could whip my ass into shape if I’d let her. But I’ve quit so many gyms and classes over the years, I don’t want to agree to work with her only to have to join the witness protection program when I don’t feel like doing it anymore.
I know I need to be in better shape, say, more like a carrot than an eggplant. It’s clear to me that regular exercise staves off all sorts of maladies. Scientific facts about exercise have permeated my brain. So, what’s my problem? This isn’t pandemic-related. It’s been a lifelong issue.
The only time I stuck to any sort of regular workout routine was when I would go with Erin Davis to the Rogers gym. I rely on the buddy system. It meant more to me to spend time with Erin and keep a promise than to skip out on getting sweaty. Accountability is a big part of what works for me. But I can’t be accountable to just anyone. Even paying for my accountability isn’t always enough.
I have arthritis in my knees but it’s not unbearable. Stairs and any sort of climbing hurts but I can handle walking. If I could, I’d walk somewhere every day. During the 8 months we lived in Wallaceburg, I walked a lot. It’s a walkable town. Out here in the country, there’s nowhere to walk. We live on a gravel road and it would take half a day to walk around the block. The fields surrounding us are furrowed and either quicksand-like mud or moon-surface rocks. The only people who walk across fields are farmers, hunters, or zombies.
When I’m on the treadmill, I can read a book. When I’m outside, I’d love to wear earbuds and listen to music or an audiobook but – and this is no joke – my earholes are too small! Seriously. No earbuds will stay in them. My audiologist has to use infant-sized probes when she tests my hearing. I suppose I could invest in headphones. Another excuse bites the dust.
What’s it going to take to motivate me? I don’t want to be soft in the middle or risking my health. I don’t know the answer but I hope someone does. A new year is coming and a fresh start is always possible.
And as soon as I finish this paragraph I’m getting on the treadmill for real this time. Seriously. Thirty minutes with Mary Trump’s book to keep me company. After all, I’m my own boss and I have given myself the time off work to do it. So, there’s really no excuse.
PS. I did it! Could publicly shaming myself be the solution?