Thursday, February 10, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

I told myself at the start of the new year (well, the start of last summer... okay, like two - ten - years ago) that I would exercise for at least 10 minutes every day. I would either take a 20 minute walk or I would do 10 minutes of indoor exercise - Wii Fit, yoga, pilates, sit ups, climb up and down the steps, something. I seem to recall looking at my 2lb weights once, but I'm pretty sure that was when Secundo was holding them out to me and saying, "Mom, you're not still using these, are you? Can I take them upstairs so that I can do my arm, wrist, and finger exercises?" (She's strengthening her hand for fencing per her coach's instructions.) I guess her taking them upstairs doesn't really count as exercising... well, not for me, anyway.

I made this goal simple so that it would be easy to do and to maintain. I can find 10-20 minutes per day, right? I seem to find hours to play online, read, sleep, watch movies, and play board games with the kids. How come I can't find 10 minutes to do a couple sit ups or 20 minutes to take a walk? (By. My. Self, I might add.) Well, because:

- I don't like to exercise in front of other people.

- I don't want to have to change my clothes.

- I can't find my exercise clothes.

- I don't want to have to take a shower during the day (I prefer to take them at night).

- There's too much of a mess in front of the TV to get out the Wii balance board.

- I don't want to see my weight displayed on the TV screen (especially if there are other people in the room).

- It's raining.

- It's snowing.

- It's cold out.

- It's hot out.

- Our road has a lot of speeding traffic and there are no sidewalks.

- I woke up late.

- I have other things that need to get done when I was hoping to exercise.

- I have to cart children all over town.

- I'm sick.

You get the idea.

Now, some of these are legitimate reasons. If I'm sick and it's 20 degrees out, I'm not going for a walk. (I've become a wuss after moving to the South, and I've made peace with that.) However, most of them don't hold water. For instance, I have a TV in my room. I could go in there, close the door, and do 10 minutes of a yoga or pilates DVD. I often get up before the kids, so no one would be in the living room when I used the Wii Fit. My road doesn't have that much traffic on it and I live less than a quarter mile from a youth athletic park where I could easily do a couple laps around the parking lots and roads there then come home; I'd be on the main road for less than 5 minutes. (Plus, I can see half a mile in one direction and about two miles in the other, so it's not like it's too dangerous to walk on on its own. Well, except for the fire ant hills. In the summer. There aren't any right now. See how good I am at this excuses thing?) So, most days, I really have no excuse... except that I'm lazy and stuck in a bad habit.

So, today I decided that enough was enough and took a walk. And how did I convince myself to do this? I took one look out the window at the beautiful snow and decided that I needed to go out with my camera. So I did. Easy peesy.

And I didn't set one foot on the busy road! Did I mention that we live on two acres in the middle of the country? Yeah, well... 

I think that I am going to take my camera out with me every day as my motivation to get outside. And when it gets warmer and drier out, I am going to go hunt for a place to walk to each day where I can sit and pray and read. Madeline L'Engle mentions having such a spot in her book A Circle of Quiet. I like the idea of a secret special place that is definitely special but not very secret. It calms the mommy worry that my kids won't be able to find me if they need me while also adding to the place's sanctity by being designated as "Mommy's Place."

Do you have such a place? How do you carve out time for exercise or jump-starting your sanity?