Okay, y'all...this morning I worked out.
I got up, did my Bible study, and found a workout that I could do for free on Prime. It wasn't pretty. I made it a little more than halfway through (35 minutes was halfway...isn't that a whole workout?!?), and then I knew. I knew if I pushed any harder, I was going to be sick. And since all three kids were sitting there watching me, and because who actually likes to throw up, I called it good for the day.
Thirty-five minutes seems like nothing. It seems like it isn't enough time for anything, really. But, I learned a ton in those few minutes. I learned that teaching a kid how to convert fractions from improper to mixed number doesn't use a lot of quad muscles. I learned that going over sight words day after day doesn't do a lot for your core. I learned that reading Curious George over and over again might give your patience a run for its money, but it does nothing for the flexibility in your hamstrings. In other words, homeschooling, my daily reality, doesn't do a lot in the way of keeping my body strong. And, I learned that my body is far from strong these days.
With a lot of blessings from God and hard work and time and effort and prayer, many other parts of my life have become stronger. In the last few years, my faith has grown stronger, my marriage has grown stronger, my relationships with my children and family and friends have all grown stronger. Those things are all so good and healthy and wonderful. But, all the time, I have still been neglecting something very important. My body. The body that allows me to act on my faith, to work for my marriage, and to give to those relationships. I let the care of my own body go, partly because I was overwhelmed by the growth and change in those other areas, but also because it was what I wanted to deal with the least.
I don't like to sweat and feel gross. I don't like to have aching muscles. I don't like to push myself physically. I have some injuries from the past that make it a whole lot of not fun to work my body hard. And, those excuses were all enough to keep me from doing anything. Until today. I'm tired. I'm tired of being tired. And, apparently the way to become less tired is to make yourself more tired. Seriously. Whoever said that exercising can give you more energy was totally lying. Then, the next person (who realized it was a big lie, but didn't want to admit it, because he thought he must have just been doing it wrong) just went along with it. And so on, and so on. Well, I'm not totally sure about it being a full-on lie... I do feel exhausted, don't get me wrong. My weak muscles are still very trembly, and I tweaked some muscle over my rib cage (planks and mountain climbers...who invents these tortures?). But...I do feel more...awake? Alive? Something. Maybe it is just because I am keenly aware of all these muscles that have gone unused for so long. I'm curious to see if this feeling stays with me through the long day ahead.
I have heard two very conflicting things about talking about fitness. Some advise to keep it under wraps in case you fail at meeting your goal. Some say to shout it from the mountaintops so you can have as many people supporting you as you possibly can. I don't know who is right, but since I'm writing this I guess you know what I chose. I know me. I know that if I keep it to myself, I'll let my busy life give me all the excuses I need to quit. If know that if I have someone to ask me about how I'm doing with meeting my goals, someone to push me when I need it, and someone to cheer me on when I miss a beat, then I will do better. I will be more likely to stick with it. I don't need to find those people, so that's not why I'm sharing here. I already have people in my life that can and will do that for me. But, I am first and foremost a writer at heart. So when my heart and my head get so full of something, I feel tremendous relief in just pouring it out. That's what this post is for. That's what this space on the internet is for. It's a place for me to pour out my thoughts, and for unsuspecting victims to be pummeled with those thoughts that just had to find their way out of my brain.
Why am I doing this now? Why am I doing this when my life is full to overflowing and Nutcracker rehearsals are about to start and my husband is working a bunch of extra hours and also getting ready to start his busiest season at work and my boys are going through simultaneous stages of mutant orneriness? Because it's time. It's time to start the long process of taking care of the body that I want to last for a whole lot more decades. And because when the zombie apocalypse comes, I don't want to be the slowest.