Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feel the burn

For much of my life I poo-pooed exercise. My single foray into team sports was in 8th grade when I played basketball for half a season, traveling around rural Vermont in the freezing school bus so that I could sit on the bench and cheer on the astonishingly popular Leah of the long wavy hair.

I hate riding bikes (scary!). I'm not much of a swimmer. In fact, I spent many of my young adult years exhaling cigarette smoke and making fun of people shallow enough to sweat on purpose.

Don't get me wrong, I did a little Jane Fonda back in the day. And I could skate backwards like nobody's business in elementary school. For a while there in middle school I was quite the jazz dancer (I was in a dance troupe called the Kicky Birds). But in total, my athletic life doesn't add up to much.

Which is why my sudden religious-like devotion to the joys and benefits of exercise is so weird. It started about two years ago when I was feeling depressed. Like, the Golden-Gate-Bridge-is-looking-pretty-good depressed. I went to a therapist for a while. She was a tiny Lithuanian who kept saying, "You seem ok to me," and suggesting I get rid of my dog.

Since that wasn't exactly perking me up, I decided to look into antidepressants. But then the idea of going on antidepressants made me so depressed I decided to just suck it up and take the advice of all those annoyingly perky people who bounce around from foot to foot in their wicking fabrics talking about endorphins.

Long story long, I signed up for boot camp, got a free wicking shirt, and felt much better. And although I still don't believe in wearing running shoes unless you are actually running somewhere, and many of my muscles are still hidden under my muffin top, I have been like all gym-y ever since. I have been known to grunt while lifting weights. I've spun. Me!

I mention it only because sometimes the answers are so simple.


Simply Mel said...

There's nothing like a little exercise to get those happy endorphins jumpin'!

krista said...

i feel like i read this on purpose today. to remind myself that the answer is so simple and i can't keep avoiding it. le sigh.

Hilary Belle said...

our urban hikes? don't those count? and you know, i realized there had been a sea-change a couple years back when, during my visits home, i started having to mount a stationary bike at the Y in order to get any quality time in. (i think you insisted because you knew being breathless would prohibit my talking your ear off).

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