Monday, September 23, 2013

Exercise: Why I Like It, and Why You Don't Gotta

I don’t have an addictive personality, and I’ve never stuck with anything. I like exercise . . . sometimes. Sometimes a lot, sometimes often, sometimes not for several weeks.

I ran a half marathon in May 2011. Today (I began this draft in April) I can’t run a whole mile without walking some. I sign up for adventure runs (5K races with obstacles or other wacky themes) several times a year. But I haven’t run except sporadically in the last 6 months. Because November kept me busy with art and illness, then the holidays were busy, and it was cold, and I was depressed, and my bed was so warm and comforting at 6 AM, and I kept having shin pain when I tried to run again, and I would be hobbled for days after a mere mile because I refuse to ease back into it.

And it’s just plain hard to get back on the wagon. Especially with all the New Year’s weight loss hooplah permeating the air. And I had since given up trying to lose weight or punish my body and didn’t know how to approach exercise from that new viewpoint.

Fitness is not a moral imperative or societal obligation. This important, so I’m saying it twice: fitness is not a moral imperative or societal obligation. You alone are the boss of your own underpants. Fat people are not driving up the costs of healthcare.

Fitness, movement, and exercise are personal choices. Independence and the right to pursue happiness are pretty damn important. Self autonomy is pretty damn important. You do what you want to do. Don’t do things that make you miserable or because you hate your body and yourself. You will fail at hating yourself smaller. So STOP it.

The recommendations for 150 minutes of exercise per week are arbitrary. People reap benefits from any small amount of exercise. I happen to find 30-40 minute workout sessions absolutely torturous, but I can go all out, balls-to-the-wall for 10-15 minutes a day. It’s a more efficient use of my time.

I exercise because:
  • I like to feel strong and prove to myself how strong I am.
  • I’m often impressed with just how much I can achieve.
  • It helps keep my moods balanced.
  • It keeps me from needing/seeking professional help for depression.
  • I like being on top and have to have strong arms to help me do so. *wink, wink*
  • It makes me feel like a fucking badass.
  • I get cool finisher's medals to hang on my wall.
  • I have something to brag about.
  • I like obstacle races/mud runs.
  • It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy the weather.
  • It’s a great way to get outside and spite the weather.
  • It helps me sleep better.
  • It boosts my energy.
  • Shimmies are awesome.
  • Zombies.
  • Fucking raptors, man.
  • I get to eat SO much.
  • It gives me a defensible reason to eschew dieting. (I’m only human.)

Exercise I like:
  • running
  • hiking
  • walking
  • hitting my friends with sticks (aka medieval combat recreation, boffer, LARP, Amtgard)
  • HIIT mixing body-weight weight-training with cardio, no equipment
    (I like Zuzanna, formerly of
  • belly dance
  • poi practice
  • sex
  • squats
  • climbing stairs from the first to the nineteenth floor of my office building

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