I have always detested exercise, except for the twelve years I played tennis. In 2001, when I could no longer play due to a skin condition, I became a lazy, food junkie, adding 5 pounds or more each year to my small frame. At 5’4” I should weigh 125 pounds, but two weeks ago at the doctor's office, to my horror, I nearly broke the scale. Even being nine months pregnant did not put this kind of weight on me. The next day I began eating healthier and I've already lost 7 pounds. I’m going in the right direction; I just need to add exercise to the equation.
Yesterday, I decided to push aside my intense aversion for the dusty black machine and get down to business. I reasoned that I would walk at a slow pace for at least 5 minutes. Simple enough, right? One would think so, but the thought of putting on a pair of tennis shoes seemed too big a chore. Even I thought this reaction was absurd. Nevertheless, I began to whine internally. ‘Craaaap. I don’t want to put on shoo-ooes!’ which was instantly followed by, ‘Good God, woman. Are you going to let a trivial task such as placing shoes on your feet stop you from getting healthy?!
After guilting myself into locating the !%#@!! tennis shoes, I was ready. Slip on and go – so easy, see?! It’ll be OH-KAY, I told myself. I walked into the newly painted room which housed the gigantic apparatus and saw that it wasn’t plugged in, AND it had an old comforter sitting on top of it. ‘Craaaap! I’ll have to bend down and retrieve the cord which is way underneath the machine and tangled up with the power strip. And where will I put the comforter? Lawdy, lawdy Miss Claudy. It’s hopeless’, I whined again.
I started to walk away; in fact I half turned to head toward the door when my brain started arguing with itself again. ‘Really, Gail, this is ridiculous. Just move the comforter to the floor, bend down and plug the thing in. It’s not that difficult.’ The other side of my brain quickly chimed in, ‘Oh, forget this [expletive]. It’s too much trouble. I give up'.
Seriously, I could not believe the exchange going on inside my head, as though there were two people taking up residence in that fuzzy, addled space known as my brain. One entity was acting in my best interest and the other clearly wasn’t. I finally succumbed to the more sensible voice and reached down to fling the comforter across the room, albeit angrily. After finagling with the cord/power strip and getting that untangled, there was no turning back. Power for the treadmill and more power to me. Victory!
Or was it?
After 2 minutes of walking on level 2 I began to think I couldn’t go another step. Pathetic, right? I kept going though, because the deal I struck was to walk for ONLY 5 minutes. Thirty seconds later I bravely bumped it up another level to slightly jogging. That lasted about 10 seconds and I was certain Double D would have to call an ambulance, but finally I was able to focus back on the #2 button for a more leisurely walk. Whew, okay, I can do this. Around the 3 minute mark, I thought I could try jogging again. WRONG! At 4 minutes I began cursing and feeling sick. Dismal, I know, but I pressed on. At 4:59 my finger was poised over the beautiful red STOP key. I did it!
They say it is supposed to get easier each day. I’ll let you know - if I live to tell the tale. Maybe Sparky will team up with me. Nah.