Friday, January 21, 2011

Swimming In Dusty Exercise Equipment

I’m approaching this new food and health program as calmly and peacefully as I can. If you read my blog entry called “Attention! I’m Not Paying Attention.” You’ll know that I am purposely putting my attention on fun, creativity with the foods that I am eating now and removing the "Guilt" portion of the program so I won’t get bored and bail on it. I’m adding elements of this new lifestyle one at a time. Maybe I should say old lifestyle that I checked out of but have now checked back into. The food changes were first and now I’m trying to add some new activity back into my routine.

I headed out the door with my dog in her “coat”, ready for a brisk walk. I say brisk not in the race walking sense but in the arctic, blue lips sense in our 9 degree Michigan morning. The neighborhood sidewalk was like an ice rink, and not being Michelle Kwan, the pup and I turned back towards home after the third near miss of kissing the ground only a few blocks out. Even Matilda was not all that upset when she got back into the warm house and headed for her soft place on the sofa with her squeaky toy. I need an indoor activity.

Maybe you’re like me and the Magical Fairy of Good Intentions has guided you, over the years, to purchase exercise equipment to use in the privacy of your home. Curse you Infomercials! And maybe, like me, that equipment was used as often as the “Manual Food Processor” you got as a gift five years ago. Remember? You had to use a knife to chop the food into smaller pieces to fit it into the machine and then hand crank it like an old ice cream churn so it would cut the food up in smaller pieces that you could have used your knife to do in the first place? Yeah. That one.

Right now I have a pilates machine (in the attic), an elliptical that needs repair, a mini trampoline, an Easy Rider thingy, more than ten videos and DVD’s of yoga and aerobics, hand weights, stretchy band sets and a other things I forgot about. It’s pathetic. I just have to pick one, just one and start to use it. Be quiet. I’m thinking…

Actually, I’m thinking about back when my daughter graduated high school. A serape decoration was sitting on the elliptical and jogged a memory. She had waffled around about if or when she should have a party and finally settled on late summer, before leaving for college, which, by the way, is a GENIUS idea for parents of high school seniors. All the other parties were on the same nights in May and June and no one got to all of them. By mid-summer kids start to lose touch with each other. My kid’s Mid August Graduation Procrastination Celebration Fiesta (Mexican food and decoration theme) was attended by most of her graduating class and turned out to be the very last group get together before they all headed out in different directions to their new lives. It was fun and sad and sweet. Sometimes stalling is good.

Not so in the case of the dusty exercise equipment. I need to pick one and start to use it every day. I know that some people are working a food program to get to a class reunion, or to get into a wedding dress. What’s at the end of the fitness quest, for me, isn’t a singular event. It’s the ability to do something comfortably and confidently that I haven’t done in years.

I want to accept the invitation of the long, cool stretch of water waiting at a pool. I swam competitively as a kid. I was good. Not fabulous like some of my teammates and siblings, but good enough to make a small mark in my world. I miss the smell of chlorine, the familiarity of the lane markers and the weightless, other worldly sensation of moving fast through an element as peaceful and powerful and sexy and mysterious as water. At this moment of my life, you could not pay me enough money to get me into a swimsuit at a public pool. Since moving north from Florida, I no longer have my own in my yard where I can slide in and just move day or night whenever I want to. When I get my body to where I am going in my new food lifestyle, I want to pull on a tank suit without hesitation, curl my toes over the edge of the deck, launch myself out into the air and cut through the water again, just for my own pleasure.

Until I get there, I’ll have to choose another weapon for my Battle for Speedo Land. I’ll let you know
how it goes.
Don’t know how to swim? My own coach from back in the day is still out there swimming and doing amazing things. In his 60’s now, he’s still competing and is a World Record Holder and multiple gold medal winner in the Masters Swimming Program. Let him kick your butt for awhile! Here’s his Swim Instruction website:
Dr. Pete Andersen: