Tag Archives: exercise

More Treadmill Anger

The treadmill and I have a love/hate relationship. No wait, I said that wrong. The treadmill and I have a hate/hate relationship. There is no love at all. There is barely any like, and the squidgeon of like that sometimes pops up is only there for the first minute and the last minute of any workout.

When people say, “I love working out”, I have a carnal urge to correct them. It’s like saying, “Me and Joe seen a gooder movie than you’s guys.” All the words are wrong!

I do not like working out. I don’t like having difficulty breathing. I don’t like muscles that hurt for days. I don’t like having to change into workout clothes and then change again into normal clothes. I don’t like having to drink so much water. I don’t like sweat that stings my eyes (Why is my sweat saltier than my tears? Is that normal? I think it’s dumb.). And I don’t like all of the minutes when the treadmill is making me go faster or go uphill.

One of my children (for the sake of anonymity, I’ll call her Schmabi) is athletic and often says the words that don’t make sense. Also, when she sees me on the treadmill, she does not say the things that an encouraging person would say (like, “You’re doing great. Keep going. You can do it.”) She says, “Stop leaning on the handles.”

When I have enough breath (and/or enough exercise-induced anger), I answer, “You’re not the boss of me.” But most of the time I keep it simple with “Shut.” Breath. “Up.” Breath.

If I had more breath, I would be able to say, “This is not leaning. This is hanging on lest I die.”

Friends, the result of letting go of those handles is two-fold. First, I will lose my balance. Truly, that moving floor messes me up. The faster it moves, the more I look like Bambi and Phoebe competing in a three-legged roller derby. I am remarkably stable on solid ground and even on a balance beam, but once that tread starts milling, I lose all capability of putting one foot in front of the other in a reliable pattern. The handles do not move, therefore I must remain connected to them in order to remain verticle.

Second, I might just fly off the back of the Contraption of Imminent Death through the window that is forever behind me (deepest apologies for that unfortunate view, oh random passers-by). As that tread keeps milling faster and my legs keep trying to slow down, it is only my vice-grip on the handles that keeps me on this side of the Pearly Gates. My vice-grip does, in fact, add upper-body resistance training as well , so let’s call it multi-tasking and check all the exercise things off the to-do list.

So why am I working so hard at maintaining the insanity? After all, I’m not so overweight that my triumphant and inspirational journey to health will be the stuff of viral videos. The answer is simple: I need to change the trajectory. That is all.

And why am I blogging about it and making fun of myself on the global interwebbings? Because, unlike Schmabi, I want to be an encouragement to other people. If my ineptitude makes you feel more capable, great! If my whiny anger makes you feel less alone, perfect! If my eventual weight loss and forthcoming enviable physique inspire you to be healthier, win-win!

In the meantime, I do not expect to start liking the process…which means there will probably be more blog and Twitter rants coming. Consider yourself forewarned.


Posted by on January 29, 2016 in Humour, Personal Growth


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Writers Don’t Like To Write

“Writers don’t like to write; they like to have written.”

I’ve heard this quote very recently from two unrelated sources, and I initially thought it was deep and profound. Upon further reflection, though, I’ve decided it’s hogwash.

Yes, it’s true that a lot of the joy of writing is found in the accomplishment of having written something.  But the same can be said of any number of things. For example, I like to have weeded my garden. I like to have worked out. I like to have planned a healthy menu for my family, done all the shopping and prepared a delicious and nutritious gourmet meal.

Unfortunately, my garden looks like I’m actually trying to farm dandelions and twitch grass. I am fat. And excuse me while I pop some frozen pizzas into the oven.

Yes, I’m proud of myself when I’ve finished my semi-annual burst of gardening. I love the feeling of shoving my exercise DVD back into the cupboard with a loud “Take that, Jillian Michaels!” And I know that when I put my mind to it, I can make a chicken pot pie that would make the Pioneer Woman weep with envy.  I like to have accomplished those things. But they don’t define who I am. They seem to just consume way too much time that I’d rather spend on way more important things. Like debating about which descriptive words best portray my deepest feelings. (You can see that “hogwash” won out over “baloney” in today’s battle.)

The difference between writing and all the other stuff that I should do is that the other stuff isn’t really on my mind unless I’m actually doing it. I don’t lie awake at night obsessing about which weeds I should pull first. I don’t stand in the shower mentally rehearsing my work-out routine. And I don’t sit and stare at a blank page on my computer just willing the perfect menu plan to formulate in front of my eyes. I can actually (and do frequently) make it until 5 PM before something clicks in my mind that “Oh yeah, it’s my night to make supper for the six of us – just like it is every single day!”

Another difference is that I can easily talk myself out of doing all the other stuff I should be doing. In fact, even when I’ve done all the other stuff I should do, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything that day if I haven’t had any time to sit and write. On the other hand, I can spend a whole day perfecting one page (or even one paragraph!) to the exclusion of all other chores and if I’m satisfied with that page (or paragraph) by bed-time, then I feel like my time was well-spent. Even a well-crafted status update is like Nicorette; it’s enough to take the edge off so I can sleep at night.

And so I submit my modification of the quote: Writers don’t like to write; they need to have written.

P.S. Maybe the Nicorette analogy is a poor one. I don’t know. I’m blatantly ignoring the 10 Commandments for Writers and just assuming that you don’t know any better and therefore can’t correct me.


Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Humour, Writing


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