Thursday, July 14, 2016

Letting My Fear Overwhelm Me

Gentle Readers, do you remember the history of my exercise path on this blog? Here is a quick overview:
  • Zumba — LOVED! But my arthritic knees no longer allow it (I could maybe do Zumba Gold, but the last time I looked I couldn't find a class)
  • Tai Chi — 100% totally completely not for me, not even at all. Oh my.
  • Stationary bike in my basement — not terrible, once I got my fabby Derri-Air cushion . . . but not exactly #1 on the Hit Parade of Fun-ness
  • Deep Water — LOVE! But it's not offered in the summer
So here I am, not exercising and feeling very sluggish. My knees hurt, it is hot, so many challenges!

And I haven't been on that bike since . . . well, I can't even remember when.

But when I thought about it, it sounded so hard. And worky. And potentially hurty.

And in the way that unpleasant-seeming jobs tend to do, it stayed in my subconscious, where it both (1) nagged at me and (2) GREW, to the point where I was actively afraid to get back on the bike. Afraid of the pain, afraid of how confronting how out of shape I am, afraid afraid afraid. And paralyzed.

I hate this feeling. I am a BADASS. I am not afraid of anything except praying mantises, bridges where you can't see the endpoint, grasshoppers, and large parties. And I'm WAY less afraid of bridges than I used to be! In any event: Yesterday I decided that I am an idiot, and I channeled one of my favorite literary heroines:
(Note: Emily of Deep Valley is my least favorite book in the Betsy-Tacy series, I think it's mostly a huge slogfest of gloom, but I adore Emily herself. She is a pistol! And very inspiring, particularly yesterday.)

I didn't even make myself put workout clothes on, because I didn't want anything to derail me. I simply went downstairs in a sundress, almost no underwear, and barefoot. Putting on my sneakers is work! Nothing was going to stop me!

First I lifted weights (I love lifting weights. Why don't I do this more often?), and then I got on my bike, bare feet and sundress and floppy bosoms and all, and I pushed those pedals for exactly one song on my iPod ("Can't Stop the World" by the Go-Go's, if you're interested).

And it was fine. Obviously not ideal, but fine. It was enough to break the ice and get over my fear.

Today, I vowed, if I didn't have any work in my Inbox (I've had editing out the wazoo), I was going to ride the bike proper.

And I didn't, and I did!!

I  rode for 20 minutes, and then a few more, doing a sort of "cool down" to the theme from Dynasty. Four miles, and I am one sweaty kitten! And very happy.

I still don't love riding that bike, but it's okay. It's good to break a sweat by doing something other than just being hot. And there was a moment (when "Come to My Window" by Melissa Etheridge came up on my iPod) that I felt pure joy.

Just that one moment, you understand.  But still.

And no work has shown up yet! Perhaps I have a free day? That would be amazing. The only thing on my docket is a lunch date with a friend I haven't seen in a while. I could get rid of the enormous crap pile that tends to grow in front of my computer, and then spend the day reading library books! Oh bliss, oh joy!

To review: I am a BADASS.

(Hmm, I guess that's really all.)


  1. Okay, I give: How does one have *almost* no underwear. Isn't underwear an either there or not there kind of thing?

    1. Hee! Good point. I guess I think of a standard amount of underwear as a bra and underpants, and I had donned only the latter — so:

      50% of the standard amount = almost none

      Listen, I was a professional Math Practice Guide, don't be questioning me on this.

  2. YAY! Good for you---and perfect timing for me:
    I have to negotiate a book contract for myself this coming week (that sounds very highfalutin, it's really just a matter of a few hundred dollars one way or another), and it terrifies me. Though what's the worst that could happen? They say no. Or I say no.
    Well, OK, that is terrifying, but I CAN DO IT.
    I can stand in my own defense, pretty much almost literally.

    (You know I love "Emily of Deep Valley" best. But I can see why you don't.)

    1. Yay, you! Stand in your own defense, girl! You can totally do it. Sending lots of love and strength your way.

  3. P.S. Lately to get myself back to the YW, I tell myself I just can go and stand there!
    And then I always do do some exercise, but if I don't want to, I don't have to. I have a permission slip, as it were, to truly just walk in and stand there. This is helpful to me.