A Door Unopened

A Door Unopened
Knock, knock...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year and See You at the Gym!

It may be bad karma to do this at the start of the year and I may set my self akilter by giving in to a crotchety moment of pet-peevishness. But this is the time of year it all goes down. And because it is what it is, I'm embarking on my once a year tirade. So please excuse me while I mount my soap box and hold forth. You fitness wanna-bees who swarm the gym for the first six weeks after the start of the new year drive me crazy.

Let's get this straight: I want you to be healthy. I want you to be fit. I want you to avoid all the dreadful health issues associated with obesity like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and a myriad of other cardiovascular complications. These are all the things that did in my mother--a major motivating factor for me and why I strive to stay somewhere in the realm of "in shape." I do not and never will be an advocate for "letting yourself go" or embracing your zaftig side. I watched my mother's not so slow slide into morbidity from overeating and under exercising and it was ugly, sad and horrible. I don't wish her fate on anyone. At all times, under any conditions, I urge you to make time for fitness in your life.

I know you want to be healthy and stay committed to a regular exercise regimen. Great. So do it. I'm not being a smart ass. I'm not being smug. I mean no disrespect. And if it makes you feel any better, I confess that I too, have motivation issues that sometimes keep me from doing what's best for myself. Nevertheless, I implore you to be healthy and get moving. 

Exercise. Work out. Run. Walk. Swim. Spin. Ride. Glide. Dance. Prance. Trot. Pilate. Sweat. Get wet. Huff and puff. Jump and pump. Vault. Sommersault. Shake your groove thang, money maker, booty, keister, toosh, derriere, or whatever it is you want to call that junk in your trunk that keeps you glued to your couch. Do not fall victim to inertia of the gluteus maximus. This disease will kill you in the long run or possibly even the short run. Fight it. Beat it. Win.

I write this for you if you're the person who starts the year out with all kinds of good but weak intentions and half-resolved New Year's resolutions. It's meant for you if you're one of the many who gets in everyone's way at the gym for the first 4-6 weeks of the year and then finds you're too busy, tired or bored to come back. I'm talking to you if you and your desire to stay in shape part ways around mid-February, just when your body has come to terms with the fact that you mean it when you get your heart rate up. This is not the time to throw in the towel. It's the time to congratulate yourself on making it through the first grueling six weeks and start reaping the rewards of the sweat and sore muscles you've endured. You've hit the sweet spot so pick that towel back up, wipe the sweat off your brow and keep going.

What I'm suggesting is that this year you do something different. Don't just jump on the exercise bike from January to February and then slack off. Don't imagine we won't notice your absence in conditioning class. Don't let yourself off the hook now that you feel slightly more toned. Don't fall prey to gravity. Go, go, go! Do it! Keep doing it! Do it even when you're not in the mood. I'm convinced it counts even more when you do it when you're not in the mood. Yes. Extra credit for that.

Because if you do it long enough and regularly enough here is what will happen: You'll LIKE it. You may even learn to LOVE it. Your body will start to crave the release of sweat and endorphins. Your spouse, sweetie or self-image (or perhaps all three) will thrill at what happens to your body. You will sleep better. You may want to eat less. You may be able to eat more. You will stand taller. You will walk straighter. You will feel stronger. You may find yourself smiling more, laughing more, feeling sexier, funnier, smarter, faster, lighter. You may find you can leap small fire hydrants in a single bound. You will slouch less, hurt less, stumble less, lean less, and all the while you will breath better and feel tighter--in a good way. If you stick it out and get to three months you may find exercise becomes embedded in your neural nets.

Think of it: Exercise will become less like work and more like enjoyment.

My message to you is this: Regardless of your bad knees, bad back, bad shoulder, bad hip, bad day, bad headache, bad mood, bad hair day, bad fill-in-the-blank, get yourself moving and keep it up. You've got nothing to lose except those lumps, bumps and possible stow-away pounds while you gain muscle, give your heart something to pump about and get healthier.


As Gerry, one of a few fitness gurus I know says, "Take care of your body. If you don't, who will?" In my mom's case, for the last three months of her life, the answer to that question was the caretakers at Pine Ridge Care Center--a nursing home. She had recently turned 70.

Here's to a fit and healthy 2011. I'm off to do some sit-ups.

1 comment:

  1. LOVED THIS, Lyn!!! Thank you for posting your passions, and this is a beautiful one. Care to be my marketer?? How are those abs? I'm off to work mine!......