Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just Do It

So I thought I'd write today about one of my absolute least favorite topics -exercise. I know there are people out there who looooove to exercise, and there are also more than a few people obsessed with the topic. We probably all know someone who talks endlessly about how far they ran that day, or how many carbs they did not consume or blah blah blah.  I'm not taking anything away from their sense of discipline or their accomplishments as athletes, but it's just not my favorite thing to talk about.  We all have our little obsessions and I'm sure I could bore you to tears talking about some of mine.  If you read here regularly, perhaps I already have-ha!

Anyway, I've always been a pretty healthy person. I was the girl with the toothpick legs and the concave stomach who could eat anything she wanted any time of the day or night. My mother was and still is a good cook, and I grew up drinking milk, eating breakfast even when I didn't want it, and having a salad for dinner pretty much every night.  I imagine my mom made salad in order to fill up a growing teenage boy (my brother who made himself a milkshake every single night), but I could eat two bites of anything and be full.  Except fruit.  It used to make my dad a little bit nuts when my mom would come home with tangerines or plums and I would eat three right on the spot. I still love fruit, and now all veggies too. No more hiding peas in my napkin.

Hi Mom!

I never 'officially' exercised as a kid, and honestly none of my friends did either. Children didn't participate in a lot of structured exercise 'back in the day' partly because we didn't have the availability of sedentary activities to distract us that kids have now, and mostly because we wanted to play outside.  We wanted to run around our neighborhood organizing big groups of friends into teams for hide and seek or kick the can, to join in spontaneous games of HORSE, and Around the World using a neighbors driveway basketball hoop, to race, swing and play tag . We jumped rope, hopscotched, and rode bicycles for literal miles, and played games like dodgeball and 'chase' during school recess.

Of course we did have organized P.E. and there were units I loved like dance, gymnastics, crab ball...did you play crab ball? A ginormous semi-soft ball was thrown into the middle of two teams and you had to crawl around on the floor like a crab and kick it with your feet trying to score. I'm fairly certain more than one of us took a foot to the mouth in that game, but we loved it all the same.  There were certainly parts I hated too like the dreaded rope climb and the impossible (for me) chin ups required for the yearly fitness test.

Today I still love to swim and hike, but those activities are not available to me on a daily basis. I take advantage of them when I can, but at the age of 53, that isn't good enough. I don't care how healthy your diet is, for most of us in the throws of the dreaded M word, unless you exercise regularly, you are never going to feel the way you want to feel. I'm young. Really. I still feel like there is so much life to be lived, and I want to feel good living it, which is why I decided to give boot camp a try.

Boot camp. Sounds awful, doesn't it? I have a friend who's been going, and then last week when I got my haircut, my stylist mentioned she's been going too. She talked about how great she feels, and how much stronger she's grown since she started. That. I want that.

Hubs has his own little boot camp happening in our basement, and he's always trying to get me to join him, but eh. No.  First of all, he does the Insanity workout, and it truly is insane. Hubs is probably in the best shape of his life right now, and he loves jumping higher, hitting harder, and sweating more with every workout. True story-he recently went through airport security, and the agent tapped his stomach and asked him what he had under his shirt.  He said, 'Those are my abs" and the agent said, 'Wow-good for you!'  Pretty much made hubs year week day.

No agent would be mistaking my abs for anything other than what they are, which is not a six pack.

Also, hubs works out in our basement, and I'm sure it dates back to some unresolved issue from my childhood, but I just do not like basements. Creepy. Even ours which is practically empty, super clean, and has no hidden corners where humongous spiders or the criminal element could be lurking.  Don't tell me you've never had the same thought when you've been down in a basement. My sister and I absolutely hated hearing our mother ask one of us to 'run down in the basement and get xyz from the freezer'.  We always went together.  Hubs thinks it's crazy, but he didn't have a basement growing up so he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Boot camp.  I gave it a try on Monday morning.  6 AM.  To some people that sounds insane, but I'm a morning person and I need my mornings to get things done at home. I was back in my house a couple minutes after 7 so whoohoo! And you know what?  It was a little bit fun. Not all fun, but some fun.

Do you watch The Biggest Loser?  Have you seen them working out using those big ropes, where they have to shake them and make them move?  I did that.  Not as easy as it looks, and I'm sure it wasn't pretty, but I did that and more.  Course I can hardly lift my arms today, and I feel certain it's going to get worse before it gets better, but I sort of, kind of, a little bit, liked it.  Even though the guy beside me probably did 20 reps for every one I managed, it was still okay.

Today I walked/ran three miles because the trainer running boot camp told me walking would be good for my in between days, plus it was supremely gorgeous outside, so not a tough thing to do on a blue sky day in October.  Ask me again when there's two feet of snow on the ground in January.

Listen to me telling you how far I walked!  At least I didn't mention the fact that I ate turkey, lettuce, and tomato, hold the bread for lunch-ha!

As an aside, my hubs says as much as I love to think he can't understand why I'm not a marathoner because of all the time and space distance running provides. I tell him that yes I love to think, but when I run the only thing I can think about is how much I dislike running. Truth.

I'm famous for trying lots of somethings (exercise wise) and then giving up before I reap the benefits, but I'm committing to this for the full month, and paying too, which is a little incentive.  My goal is to boot camp three days a week, lose a little around the middle, get stronger, and most of all not hurt myself or anyone around me.

That last bit is ambitious. I told my daughter one of the stations involved grabbing a ring in each hand and then leaning back into a squat, and that I managed it all without falling.

She was impressed.
And relieved.
And probably a little bit surprised.

I was too.


  1. Oh Joyce, I so enjoyed this and ended it with a grin on my face. You will be surprised in the change you will see after of a month of boot camp. Keep it up and keep us posted. Back in 2012 I did a post on exercise. Let me just share a few rules I think are pertinent:
    Don't buy $150 running shoes to spend 30 minutes on a treadmill set at 2 miles per hour.
    Don't buy $100 yoga pants unless you are the instructor and weigh 100 lbs soaking wet and have zero fat.
    Don't wear muscle shirts unless you have muscles
    Don't wear short shorts unless you have two awesome gluteous maximus
    If you are over 20 forget the "Bikini Body in 3 Weeks" workout
    If you are over 50 come to gripes with the fact that there are NO secret weapons to fight cellulite.

  2. Good for you!! It does sound like it might be fun and you will be feeling so good about yourself after a few weeks of discipline. Keep us posted - you provide a little incentive/motivation for some of us to get off our keisters!!

  3. I'd like to try Boot Camp but I've got to find one that isn't full of 20 and 30 something year olds. Meanwhile, I'm going to see how far I can get with my Couch 2 5K...last time I made it one week. Ha! This time- I'm almost through week 2. LOL Wishing us both health and fitness! Keep me posted on how boot camp goes!

  4. I'm sure it won't surprise you when I say I dislike exercise as much as you do, in fact probably more. So when you mentioned you were going to try boot camp I thought ...WHOA. Ha. I need/want to try something but just what, I do not know. I have a sister who is uber obsessed with her new found thin body and it's old already. I have no desire to become that but I would like to feel like I can climb 5 flights of stairs and no be winded. Ha. Anyway, it's good to hear you enjoyed it....but I'm not that motivated quite yet. My treadmill is looking better and better though. Go You!!

  5. Well I am totally impressed and am cheering you on! You did make it sound kind of fun, haha I do have no doubt you won't regret this, and will be feeling FANTASTIC soon! You go girl!!

  6. Kudos to you, Joyce.....boot camp for a month is an ambitious commitment and I bet you will do great. Both of my daughters do a boot camp and once I get past the idea of how early they have to be there I love hearing the stories they tell about it.

  7. Ok, I just have to chime in...I honestly thought my jr hi PE teacher made up Crab Ball to figure out something to do with that giant ball. It is a complete shock that it was a for-real game.

    I don't dis-like exercise...I DO dis-like getting out of bed a single minute before it is absolutely necessary. And early morning is the only time available to me to exercise.

    But I have been slowly coming to grips with the realization that if I don't haul myself out of bed and start exercising...SOON...I'm going to be in for more health problems than I want to deal with.

    Hurray for you finding motivation! ;-)

  8. I joined a gym about a month ago. Actually it was Lindsey's membership and since she is at college - I transferred it. I have been going about 2 months now. I feel stronger than I ever have and I actually enjoy it. I tend to go after dinner - when Kevin is gone that is the time of day I get bored. I can always find something to do in the morning/afternoon but evenings are harder. Tonight I did a body pump class which consists of a bar bell with different weights depending on what we are doing. 800 reps is the total at the end of the class. I have taken that a few times and I like Zumba. Keep us updated on how your doing. I thought you looked fabulous last time we met!

  9. I knew this would be fun to read about!! :)
    I hate exercise too, I don't like to sweat, certainly not on PURPOSE!
    I do hear you about the changing body though, I feel betrayed by my once reliable self.

  10. I go to Zumba every Monday and I love it-for 2 1/2 hrs. When I miss, I feel awful! Proud of you-keep it up.

  11. I go to Zumba every Monday for 2 1/2 hrs. I love it! When I miss going, I feel terrible. Proud of you-keep it up!

  12. Good for you! I'd like to try a boot camp class someday. I don't belong to a gym. So for now it's running and I have all the weights to do weight training, just need to start. The hard part...getting started. Good luck and have fun!