My parents, the hippies, kept my sister and I very physically active as kids. There was all the damn hiking and gathering young dandelion leaves from neighbors’ yards for salads (nothing makes a kid popular like scouring the neighborhood for weeds to eat), but they were also serious athletes.
My father is a life-long All-American swimmer and coach, and so my sister and I spent countless hours in the pool every week while we waited for him to finish his multi-hour workouts. My mother was a serious runner, and so it was standard for us to bike along with her while she ran, and sometimes this meant eighteen mile rides while she trained for a marathon.
We hated it, and I’m glad they gave us those experiences. The hippies set our internal gauges to a level of normal that now makes physical inactivity uncomfortable. Exercising is like brushing my teeth: I love doing it, and I don’t feel right if I don’t.
For the past few months I’ve been working like a crazy woman. Sixty-plus hours a week to build my business and bring in an income, and ignoring all sense of balance. I’m not exercising at all, and at first it bothered me. Then it started to feel a bit more normal not to exercise. And then I started falling apart. I’m slouching. A dozen times a day I notice I have my shoulders pulled up to my neck in a knot; I’m holding onto that stress like a toddler with a security blanket that trips her up every two minutes. I’ve been sick twice, when I hadn’t been sick in years. My arms don’t look like Michele Obama’s anymore, and my ass is disappearing. Genetically, I have serious white-woman ass, and my ass has been hard-earned and I’m disproportionately proud of it. So yes, I’m missing the general sense of well-being that exercise brings, but…….my ass. Where did my ass go? I’m sad about that.
So my ass and I have been making time to exercise everyday, and……oh. I’m starting to feel like Katie again. I love the feeling I get at the end of my super-fast two and a half mile walk. How did I go without that feeling, for months? I love the soreness in my muscles from the fifteen minutes of weights and crunches. I love having a bit of muscle soreness, and it feels normal again. It makes me stand up straighter and remember that my body is one seriously fine machine that can handle just about anything. It makes me remember to stretch, and stretching relaxes me and makes me feel lithe and lean. I have a grin back on my face when I’m out because I’m pretty sure I’m hot stuff, and I’m noticing people smiling back at me. My ass and arms? They are going to take some rebuilding, but exercise gives me the energy to exercise, and so I’ll get there.
Blogosphere? I want you to feel good. Please take care of you; will you go take a walk?