Photo Courtesy: Christopher Campbell via Unsplash.com

I keep saying it: I need to exercise. It’s something I really don’t enjoy. (The word “loathing” comes to mind.) I need to stop surfing the Internet and surf into an exercise routine. I need help with it. I need someone knocking me over the head saying, “Hey, let’s do this!” When I’m left to my own devices, I get caught up in so many other things, I never get around to it.

Seven years ago, I hired a personal trainer and we worked well together for five years. Some days we kept things very light because I’d had a difficult day already, but I needed the support he gave me. Talking with him led, eventually, to the inspiration for what became my Red Jade book series. In the beginning, I couldn’t even do a single push up, I was so out of shape. By the time he moved away, I was capable of 80 within an hour. Oh, I hated them (and lunges!) but I could do them.

Two years after he moved, I had only had some sporadic moments of exercise. I bought things like Zumba DVDs, Wii Fit, Just Dance, tried YouTube videos, iPhone apps, fitness trackers, and so on. And here and there I would try to motivate myself to get something done. I just couldn’t stay motivated.

It doesn’t help that I feel so clunky that I don’t want to be seen flopping around. So going to the Y or a gym isn’t an option for me. I had done LA Fitness for a few months an eternity ago and even though no one ever really looked my way, I felt totally out of my element and eventually stopped.

This past summer, my immobile self was trying to mobilize and I found another trainer. The sessions were good and we also talked a bit about nutrition. I’m not a big snacker but I do love bread and pasta. I also have a number of food allergies and disinterests that make food choices a bit limited, but I still made an effort. For various reasons, the sessions lasted only through the summer and then the school year began.

It has been a busy school year and of course the first thing to go by the wayside is any form of exercise. I get about 5,000 steps daily just from teaching but it isn’t enough and I know it. At long last, I caved in again and asked my friend for a helping hand. He came over Thursday and we worked for an hour through things I’ve done before. But it’s been a while.

And I am sore.

I had forgotten how sore I would be after starting anew. Sure, I pushed a little hard but I was careful not to strain anything and this is all just soreness from using muscles in ways they haven’t been used in a while. Stairs have been a funny challenge as I slowly stagger downward clutching the wall as I go. I do have to remember to keep stretching, though. That’s one thing I’ve been forgetting and I’m sure that’s part of why I’m still so sore today.

But I feel good about it. And that’s also what I’m trying to focus on. I like that I’m trying to do better for myself. I feel good about it after the fact. It doesn’t work as motivation to get started, though. I only wish I was able to put the horse before the cart on that one. Instead, I need someone else to be the stablemaster and lead me on.

I’m not one to really track my weight. The Wii Fit does that and it always irked me when the weight wouldn’t go down for a time because I was on a plateau. Instead, I just want to keep positive about the whole thing. I want to lose some weight, sure, but I can’t track it so much. 

I want to look better. I want to feel better. I would love if it would help me to sleep better too, but that’s never been a benefit for me before, so I’m not holding my breath. I want to not feel embarrassed looking at myself sideways in a mirror. And I don’t want to feel like I’d blind people if I took my shirt off at the beach. I would need a lot of self-motivation and drive to earn the physique of any of the guys who’ve helped me to exercise and that’s an unrealistic goal for me. 

But if I can find a way of staying active several times a week for any kind of extended time without really faltering, I know I’d feel better all around. So though exercise has always been my bane, with help I can try to fight back. Like my games and stories where the hero does not quest alone, I need my battle party on my side. And so, it’s time to gear up and get ready…

To battle! 

And squats, push ups, curls, presses, jumping jacks, planks……….. (Fade to Final Fantasy victory fanfare music.)


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