Exercising My Options

Exercise always seems like such a good idea. Medical professionals say it’s vital to our health; beauty magazines tell us it’s vital for our appearance; mental health experts say it boosts our mood; hell, it’s even supposed to improve our sex lives.

So regular exercise is a no-brainer, right? It’ll make me feel look, look good, etc. (No comment on the sex aspect — when everything from powdered rhino horn to chocolate to kale is supposed to make us friskier, I take claims like that with a grain of salt. And a square of chocolate, ’cause why would I not jump on an excuse to eat chocolate?)

Anyhow.

I’m one of those annoying freaks who actually enjoys exercise, but my aging body isn’t quite as enthusiastic. I don’t see why it shouldn’t run and jump and kick and punch just like it used to, but my joints disagree. (So much so that I’ve been sidelined since September with an ankle injury, grrr.)

But my ankle is better now, so I’m back to my regular workouts. That led to my discovery of one of the great ironies of life: After a good arm workout I really need a drink, but I no longer have the strength to raise the glass.

Then there are the ongoing consequences of working out regularly: If I’m doing it right, some part of my body is always a bit tired and sore. So am I actually winning here, or am I only amortizing the pain?

Think about it: If I lie around like a slug most of the time, nothing will hurt until I have to exert myself. But if I exercise regularly I’ll hurt a bit every day. What if it’s like a mortgage, where I end up paying twice as much because I paid in tiny increments?

I guess it doesn’t matter, because I’m not actually capable of lying around like a slug for long — I can only manage it for a few days before I start to twitch. But maybe, like exercise, I have to work up to it. Perhaps short period of sluggery (sluggage?) daily, with gradual increases to build up my tolerance?

It’s just an idea; and probably not a bright one. So the next time I’m straining to lift a glass to my lips with rubbery arms after a workout, I’ll remind myself that I’m actually strengthening my beer-drinking muscles. That’ll put a smile on my face.

Meanwhile, where did I leave that package of drinking straws…?

Book 16 update: I’m on Chapter 34, and Aydan is on the trail of her nemesis… or one of them, anyway.

21 thoughts on “Exercising My Options

    • That first step is always the hardest. In that sense, it was actually better to live in the city because most of my errands were within walking distance and the traffic made it a pain in the butt to drive. Out here in the country, the walking is lovely but there’s no “reason” to go. There’s always something… 😉

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  1. I’m one of those freaks who started jogging years ago to relieve stress (ok actually to quit smoking and actually over 35 years ago)…..early morning….very early morning. It led to two knee replacements and now getting the same workout on an exercise bike. I’m addicted to it, but have to say it does make me feel better and has kept me from gaining weight from either beer or wine. What we don’t do for a drink:)

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    • LOL! Isn’t that the truth? But I guess it’s not much of a sacrifice when you actually enjoy the exercise. My ankle still isn’t letting me go for my usual long walks, and I miss them. But I’m trying to be patient (for once in my life), hoping that if I don’t mess it up again it’ll continue to heal. Patience. Grrr. 😉

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  2. I think you can read my mind sometimes, Diane! So many times you end up writing about something I was thinking just days prior. Of course, you might have been writing this post as I was thinking about exercise, because I’m late reading and commenting to blogs again. Blame my lack of internet. And time.

    Anyway, just a couple of days ago, I said to my husband “I can’t believe that there are actually people who enjoy exercise! I am so not one of them.” To me exercise – as in sweating and making my heart thump too fast for my brain to keep up – is painful. So, I am expanding by the day, especially my belly and thighs. But, I can lift a drink easily! 🙂

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    • Just the other day I read a joke about the “COVID 19”: Those 19 extra pounds caused by spending too much time cooped up in the house near the refrigerator! But hey, as long as we can lift drinks, it’s all good. And after all, don’t all the personal trainers emphasize doing ‘reps’? The more often we lift those drinks, the more reps we’re doing… 😉

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  3. I think if you have managed to want to work out regularly then stick with it. Nothing like a good dose of endorphins to help one get through challenging times. A little soreness, and the need to assistance in shrinking, is likely worth a better mood.

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  4. Exercise? Three words. OH HELL NO!!! Joints wore completely out decades ago! And other true and factual reasons I won’t bore you with. About the only exercise I force myself to partake in is jumping to conclusions. And I have to pace myself even with that. Meanwhile, hand me another beer, would you? 🤪😜

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  5. Sigh.
    My body does NOT think that exercise is a good idea. And reminds me so often. And in the days after I ignore it it has a great deal of fun saying ‘I told you so’. Loudly.
    The body and mind might be connected but mine rarely talk to each other – and when they do it sounds much like sibling rivalry to me.

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    • LOL! That explains everything perfectly. Now I finally understand why my mind wants to convince my body to do things we all know it shouldn’t. I’m not sure whether my body gets any satisfaction out of saying ‘I told you so’ afterward, though. It might be too busy complaining to care. 🙂

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  6. Have you considered getting a hydration pack with one of those tubes you can drink from? You don’t need to raise your arms to get a drink from one of those. Just clip the end to your shirt before the workout and all you have to do is move your head a little to get a drink.

    and yes, sex is the last thing on my mind after a workout – mostly I’m thinking what painkillers I have on hand and whether or not I need to call an ambulance.

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    • A hydration pack sounds like a great idea, as long as I don’t roll on it in the throes of pushups or situps or something. I prefer to take my shower after my workout. But I could suspend it from the ceiling like an IV drip, which could turn out to be convenient when the paramedics arrive. Hey, win-win!

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  7. Let me say from experience that as we age everything takes longer to heal, to stop hurting, to remember, to lose weight, to get in shape, etc. Working out for a few days will no longer cause you to lose weight. It takes weeks, maybe months to shed those few pounds put on over the holidays. The fact that gravity is getting stronger only exacerbates things. Stubbornness and persistence will work in your favor if they don’t kill you outright, but working on strengthening your beer drinking muscles is always a worthwhile activity.

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    • So gravity is getting stronger! I thought so. That explains a whole lotta things. But I guess as long as it never makes my beer too heavy to pick up, everything will be okay… or it won’t be okay, but I’ll be too beer-mellowed to care. 😉

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