Since I'm one whisker away from official middle age, I've decided it's time to get serious about my health. Since I will never quit chocolate or french fries, this means I need to get serious about exercise. Knox isn't getting any lighter and I can't afford to get any weaker. It's time to shake it like my arse is on fire. I need to get strong.
Like most things in life, though, the saying is easier than the doing. And it's the doing that is tripping me up.
For those of you who haven't been following along over the years, in order to get fit I need to overcome the obstacles of anxiety, depression, an impressively damaged spine, bad hips, weak knees, lungs that are still black from the five years I sucked back as many cigarettes as I could get my hands on, a sausage casing of fat around my middle and arse dimples so deep you could lose a finger if you poked at them.
I am a sexy beastie.
Last year I started running. And by running, I mean cursing loudly when I had enough oxygen in my lungs to do so and trying to wipe away my sweat before I was blinded by the volume of it. I was as graceful as a three-legged elephant trying to do hopscotch, but with persistence and stubbornness it got better.
I now look like a three-legged hippopotamus trying to hop but I get the job done.
I've learned something about myself in my quest to become a runner.
I've learned I hate running. I hate running on treadmills. I hate running on asphalt. I hate running on gravel. I hate hills, I hate straight stretches; I hate it all. There isn't much I like about running except for that sweet, sweet moment of when I stop.
And still, I run. Never fast and never really far because I start having visions of jumping in front of moving vehicles to end the dreariness, but still, I run.
Yet I hate running. I would stop entirely, but since I started running, my back pain is under control. It's been the best pain management I have found. I'm never stopping. Even though I hate it.
But it occurred to me the other day, as I was cussing and huffing my way to the end of yet another run, that I am a grown-arse woman and I can totally find an exercise that I like to do. It doesn't have to be all pain and hardship and hate.
I've heard good things about yoga. Well, mostly. I once attended a church service where the pastor proselytized about the dangers of yoga, while shaking his fist and invoking the name of the Lord. I just figured he was bitter about not being able to do the crane pose or something. Everyone else I know, loves yoga.
I decided it was time to discover yoga and see what the fuss was all about. So I did what anyone who is serious about learning something new would do: I downloaded a bunch of apps.
What could go wrong?
With my iPhone in hand, I unfolded the yoga mat that had been collecting dust in my closet, opened up the app and pressed 'Start.'
At first, it was a total breeze. "This is so easy!" I thought to myself. "I'm not even breaking a sweat. How is this even considered a work out?"
A few minutes later, I conceded that it may be getting a bit harder, but that was only after I fell on my face after trying to get into a pose I had no business even attempting to get into.
After stopping, brushing the dust off my nose, restarting the app, this time being sure to use the 'beginner' setting like I should have started with (whoops), I made it through an entire 60 minute workout.
I will be honest. I was feeling a little smug. I totally made that downward dog my bitch.
I rolled my mat back up, stuffed it back into my closet and phoned my husband.
"Ya, I don't think yoga is the work out I was looking for. It was way too easy."
"Um, okay. I've seen you try and tie up your shoes. You can't even touch your toes woman."
"Well sure, I had to make some modifications and I went with the easiest, gentlest level, but still Bruce. I think I need to find something more 'active.' Maybe zoomba. Or one of those boot camp type of classes."
"Or maybe you should join a yoga class and learn it properly. Millions of people swear by it. They can't be all wrong."
Nope. I was done. Yoga was way too easy. I got nothing out of it. I want an activity where I can feel the burn, I argued, proving that running really has ruined me and made me insane.
The next morning, I went to roll out of bed and let the dog out of his crate like I always do and that's when it happened.
The yoga train hit me. Apparently, all that yoga stretching and posing was actually doing something. Something like shredding every single muscle in my body into tiny bits and pieces.
"What's the matter, Mom?" Nash asked as he watched me hobble into the kitchen for my morning coffee.
"Yoga is the matter. I hurt so much. Even my belly fat hurts," I grimaced.
"That's not your belly fat Mom. It's your abdominal muscles under your fat."
Which is really weird, because you know, I thought I got rid of any abdominal muscles I had years ago. Two pregnancies ago at least.
It turns out yoga comes in like a lamb and roars out like a lion. Those yoga apps should all come with a giant flashing warning for amateurs (and stupid people like me.) PROCEED WITH CAUTION. IT LOOKS EASY BUT TOMORROW YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO WIPE YOUR OWN ARSE YOU WILL BE SO SORE.
So I'm going to keep up with the yoga, along with the running. Because I embrace pain and because there is a pose called happy baby that is both slightly obscene and really happy. This is my type of exercise.
But I'm going to find a class so that I can learn yoga safely and properly.
I figure the humiliation of learning yoga in public will be counterbalanced by all the Yogi Bear jokes I'll make in my head as I learn.
Hannah-Barbera will be so proud.
It's been a tough week filled with a sick boy, a teething puppy and a lot of hospital food. I'm glad the week is over.
Don't feed the Bear.
What Abbott does whenever I sing. I kid you not.
Boy sized delusions extend to the size of his wheels, apparently.
Pillow talk at nap time. Little sleeping was done.
Have a great weekend everyone. Here's to getting bendy. Without the pain that follows.