50/50: Make your life be your workout
We recently bought a lake cabin. Two days after that, we sold our other home in Bismarck.
Rhonda: “I’ll get working here in the kitchen.”
Me: “I’m going to go make sure the movers know what they’re doing.”
Rhonda: “I’m going to start folding all the blankets.”
Me: “I’m going to just rest here for a minute.”
Rhonda: “I’m going to go help the movers move the big cement dolphin coffee table.”
Me: “I’m just going to talk to the neighbor for a minute.”
My lack of muscle tone surprised me. My fatigue bewildered me. My lack of stamina scared me.
As I lifted my 426th tote full of slotted soup spoons, I felt the familiar burn in my teeny little biceps and thought, “Hey! This is just like the stretchy band exercise Andrea has me do at the gym! I bet this could count as a workout!”
I started focusing on taking deep breaths, employing proper form, and even lifting the boxes a couple more times than necessary, just to get in the good workout. I even cocked my head, tucked my chin a little and breathed out a little each time I lifted. I looked good. Gym good. But I wasn’t at the gym.
We drove back to Fargo, and I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. My hips were now frozen, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
We arrived at the lake, and the mover, Justin (we’re all now on a first name basis), parked then pulled up the back door on the moving truck. I saw rugs, dressers, tables and boxes filled to the top and had a little moment of panic.
I wasn’t only lazy; I was tired from working one day. One day. Then it hit me. Maybe life should be my work out. Maybe I can move and walk in my life and not have to go to the gym all the time (OK, so I don’t go to the gym all the time, but I could).
My steps on the treadmill are effectively walking in place. My kettlebell swinging is just that – standing in place and moving a heavy object around my waist. My routine on my Total Gym is just pushing against a board. I’m not actually doing any real activities, but I think I’d gotten it backwards somewhere along the way.
My life can be my workout, not just five hours a week put aside to actually move in a meaningful way that will help my health.
So on Day 2, I decided to try my new theory called “Susie’s Life Workout.” I was already dressed in yoga pants, a T-shirt and tennis, so I thought that was a great start.
I didn’t try to get out of any work, but exuberantly swung my arms as I walked to the truck and asked if I could help unload. I didn’t only take the pillows and cushions; I took a chair or two, even the blue area rug if I’m remembering correctly.
When I bent over, I made sure to stay an extra second to give my hamstrings and back an extra stretch. When I walked up the stairs for the 97th time, I tried to run two at a time (it didn’t work, but I totally tried).
I visualized what my body must be doing while I was walking through these active days, and I liked what I saw. Even though I couldn’t stand up straight for the next few days and had bruises all over my legs (even a mysterious one on the top of my right foot), I felt alive.
So with my puppy sitting right next to me looking at me with her soulful brown eyes, I think she would be very appreciative if I put on my black Converse tennies and took her outside for a long walk.