Friday, February 19, 2010

I Hate Exercise!

In an effort to de-slug myself, I've very recently started a couple of exercise classes.  Three nights a week I join a group of variously fit people and our instructor Vicky who drills us hard through her paces for an hour.  Two nights a week it's Power Bar, and one night I do Cardio Core.  Let me tell you a little bit about Cardio Core.  I hate it.  I do it, but I hate it.  It's a circuit of stations with alternating weight-resistance and aerobic exercises.  I love the weight resistance exercises.  I can do those until the cows come home.  But the aerobic 2-minute stints in between, I can do without those.  Two minutes of intense aerobic activity are like two minutes in transitional labor.  All you can think is "when will this be over, when can I get a rest?"  Not to equate jumping rope or jumping jacks or even wall jumps for that matter with birthing a 9 lb. baby - but when you're in the midst of it, it's awful.  Time is warped and "30 seconds PEOPLE!" is interpreted as 30 long, suffering, never-ending seconds until you can swill a few gulps of water and move on to the next station! I find myself thinking "I hate this, why did I let myself get SO out of shape to have to suffer through these things that used to be fun.  There was a long period of time in my earliest decades when I considered these torturous activites "play." I actually used to run outside at recess to be the first in line for jump rope. I could easily do perfect jumping jacks, and lots of them, elevating myself off the ground in beautiful form.  Now, I jump but my feet don't seem to leave the floor. I hoist and nothing goes, really.  That all-too-honest wall-length mirror confirms what I already know - every drop of blood is rushing to my head (seeing that, Vicky announced "You must be Irish!") and that I probably won't finish class because I'll die right there in front of everyone when my brain explodes!

There is certainly truth to the commonly held belief about exercise that "You'll be so glad you did it" or "you'll be happy when you're done."  That conviction keeps me coming back.  That, and the knowledge that muscle burns calories for a long time after the exercise is over.  I ask myself what my motivation is, and it's simple.  I want to feel better.  Winter and I are not the best of friends. It plays tricks on me and makes fat deposits when I'm asleep (never mind the Philly Vanilla ice cream).  Winter robs me of energizing sunshine and lulls me into unconciousness with its early-arriving nights.  It has made me a slug.

I like Power Bar.  I'm surprised that I like it, but there it is.  I have to look at Cardio Core as the penance I'm paying for tolerating slugness for too long.  If I can get through Cardio Core one evening a week, I'm a better woman for it.

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