Since we are in the month of January, when a lot of people make goals and resolutions, I’m thinking about exercise. Honestly, if it weren’t for my pain levels, I would enjoy exercising a lot more than I do. I have to be cautious with cardio (given breaking a sweat can send me into a reaction, thanks to the MCAS/HIT), but movement can be fun.
I joke around that I have an inner X-games athlete inside of me, but it’s true. I love watching the X-games, the Olympics, parkour videos, and shows like Ultimate Beastmaster (on Netflix). It doesn’t hurt that when I watch extreme athletes I think about my characters and feel validated. If humans can do what some of those people can, my not-so-human characters can fight and run and jump the way they do!
I love to dance—always have ever since I was a little girl. I used to go careening around the house (given my musical tastes you probably won’t believe this but one of my favorite songs when I was a little girl was the theme song to the Battle of the Green Berets).
We have a really nice home gym now, and I like using it. I also love my stationary bicycle but have not been able to use it for some time because of a knee injury. I’m hoping to get back to it this year. I also love yoga.
But…and yes, there is a but…What I find hardest is to just get going in the first place. Once I’m doing it, I enjoy I actually enjoy I actually enjoy it, but I have a lot of emotional baggage left over from childhood.
I was a very chubby little girl, and my stepfather used to make fun of me for it, and he forced me to exercise with him and then pointed out how it was shameful that he could do exercises that I couldn’t. So I fight those memories when it’s time to exercise. I’m working on reclaiming body movement for myself—it’s a process, but I’m determined to, after all these years, cut the memory of his words out of my life. It also makes me want to beg parents to not ridicule their kids, to encourage them in a positive manner, to make exercising fun instead of a chore or a weapon.
My husband is a gym bunny. He may be disabled, but that doesn’t stop him from going to the gym 3-4 times a week, as well as using our home gym (but it only has a weight range of 150 lbs and he uses far more than that on some of his exercises). It keeps his diabetes under control, lets him use less insulin than he would otherwise have to, and he just loves lifting weights. In fact, he’s participating in the Gold’s Gym fitness challenge this month, so he’ll be posting some videos on his Youtube channel about it. And in case you’re wondering, he’s wonderfully supportive of me and my efforts.
So, what’s your relationship with exercise? Most of our bodies need movement. How do you incorporate it into your life? If you have chronic pain, how do you deal with exercise?