about things getting easier, or not.
(I am not writing about the news. I just… can’t.)
It’s Wednesday night, and I am sitting here sweaty and tired. I have just worked out.
One thing I have learned in the nearly 44 years I have spent being me is that I hate exercise. There has never been a time in the whole of my life where I have done it voluntarily with any sort of regularity beyond, say, three months. Even then, when I have done it, I have hated it. As soon as I’d start whatever exercise I happened to be doing that particular day, my thoughts would be consumed with variations on the theme of “How much longer do I have to do this before I can stop?”
But things happen when you reach certain ages, like the age I am now, where you are not yet old but are no longer young, and you have to be a grown-up about the body you have and do what you need to do to keep it alive and working for as long as you can. Given that I have weighed more than I should for most if not all of my adulthood, I’ve been very lucky in the entire lack of physical health problems to this point. My cholesterol is fine, my blood sugar is fine, all of my internal organs behave as they are supposed to. The only time I have ever spent a night in a hospital was a result of being born.
So. Recognizing that I’m probably now pushing my luck along as far as my health is concerned, and also recognizing that I will never, not ever, exercise unless someone shows up at my door and tells me I have to, last February I hired an in-home trainer.
(Although technically, she’s not an in-home trainer now. She was, for three sessions, until my downstairs neighbor knocked on my door and let me know, very nicely and politely, that this was not working for him, so now she’s an in-the-condo-association-fitness-center trainer, which is way better anyway and I have no idea why I didn’t think of that in the first place.)
Her name is Lauren and she is 25 and a very nice person. She is not a hard-ass, which is great, because I do not think I would respond well to a hard-ass. Which is not to say that she doesn’t push me, or ever lets me off the hook. If we are doing 20 dead-bug crunches (she swears that’s what they’re called), and I stop after 12 and believe in my heart that I am dying, she will sit there and say “Whenever you’re ready” and wait for me to do the last 8. I like that she is cheerful and encouraging and high-fives me when I don’t actually die from the dead-bug crunches.
We generally do three rounds of four different strength exercises, then a few minutes of high-intensity cardio, then three rounds of four new strength excerises, then a few minutes of cardio, and then maybe one more round of all of that and then our hour is up.
My confession is that I’ve been doing this twice a week since February, and the honest truth is that I still pretty much hate it. I like Lauren, the hour goes by pretty quickly, and I’ve definitely made progress in terms of my strength and stamina. I am bench pressing things like a boss now, and ten burpees don’t leave me gasping for air. But whatever it is that makes people look forward to exercising, to feel like they need to do it, has not happened to me. I wish it would, because maybe then I’d actually do it outside of the two hours a week I pay someone to make me. I wish I looked forward to Monday and Wednesday nights, but mostly I just can’t wait for them to be over.
I will say this, though. If a lawyer pisses me off on a Monday or Wednesday, I’ll text Lauren and ask her to bring her boxing mitts, and I punch it out. That, I do like.
I wrote this while listening to…
In case you were worried that all of these were going to be highbrow, I freaking love this album in all its glorious late-80’s cheese. Truth, Sting’s “Gabriel’s Message” is one of my favorite holiday songs of all time. Alison Moyet’s “Coventry Carol” is beautiful, and the Eurythmics’ “Winter Wonderland” is a classic now, and Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” is genius. I imagine Bob Seger emoting his way through “Little Drummer Boy” was not meant to be funny but it really is. And then there’s Bruce and U2 and Bon Jovi and Whitney Houston, and Madonna’s “Santa Baby” which everyone hates but me. I have a couple others in the series – I think they went up to 5? – but this one is special.