Everyone knows that exercise helps to promote good health and a longer life. Why then does it always seem to forsake me? Maybe because when it comes to exercise, I'm just a dork.
I am not, have never been, and will never be, a "hard body." I'm fluffy, to say the least. But I have a deep affection for "healthy" stuff, like organic, nutrient-rich foods, meditation and regular soul-searching, and exercise to keep the brain sharp and the body rearing to go. I learned a long time ago that health and body size weren't necessarily synonymous. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a hoard of skinny people holding down all those hospital beds. And movement, for the young or for the old, for the large or for the small, seems to be a pretty important component of avoiding said sick beds.
So I engage. Yet I just seem to bump into the "are you kidding me" side of exercise far too often. I hurt myself. And these aren't itty-bitty boo-boos. I somehow find a way to incapacitate myself on a regular basis. I'm an exercise accident just waiting to happen. But, hey, at least I'm inventive about it.
I've managed to ruin a perfectly good knee on a treadmill and bonked myself in the head with free weights, causing me to see stars and pretty bright lights for a good long while. And I won't even go into detail about what a stationary bike did to my, uh, well... words fail me.
My knee has never recovered, and I can't put weight on its front side, ever. If someday a policeman draws his weapon and tells me to "GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES!" I reckon I will simply have to get shot, since getting down on my knees is no longer an option. So the dastardly treadmill got the boot, and I moved on. To my credit, I persevere in my quest for exercise. To my discredit, I also seem to persevere in my quest for painful surprises.
I developed a relationship with my elliptical machine that seemed to be quite friendly -- nice and smooth, no harsh impact, just move and watch the tube, read a book, or listen to music. How hard can that be? Well, for me, apparently harder than it looks. Somehow I managed to break two toes on the thing. Getting on? Getting off? I don't rightly know. I guess the squealing from the pain clouded my investigative recollection of the sequence of events. And at this point I've accepted that I will never know the "how" of the brutality. I just view it as another of life's little pranks and move forward... again.
After subsequent, less-than-agreeable encounters with a cranky rowing machine and a trampoline that bounced me, slapped me, and tossed me into a crumpled heap of flailing limbs, I finally decided that exercise equipment and I just didn't get along. So I opted for the "daily chores" route of exercise. I do typical exercise movements when doing other things, like marching in place while brushing my teeth, or squats anytime that I find myself standing in place for one chore or another (only in private, of course -- no one needs to see that), or angled pushups against my bathroom sink every morning between moisturizing and the taming of morning hair. Easy peasy, right? Well... not so much.
One bright and sunny morning not so long ago I was downstairs, watering my plants, when I realized that I'd forgotten my push ups. I was in the kitchen, so I decided to do them at the kitchen sink. That sink is naturally taller than a bathroom sink, making the push ups easier, so I reasoned that I would simply do more of them to compensate. I only got to push up number four before disaster whispered in my ear then laughed its backside off as it watched me flounder like, well, a flounder.
In all my dorkiness, I failed to consider that I as I was assuming a forward-slanted, plank position, hands on the tiled edge of the sink, that doing so would place my feet on the pretty, rubber-backed rug that rests in front of the stove. Well fate saw its opportunity to teach me a lesson in underestimating my surroundings, and it gleefully took advantage.
As I was headed downward for push up number four, that evil rug let go of its rubber-induced suction on the floor and just flew out from under my feet. I crashed and burned like a watermelon sailing off the edge of a picnic table, whacking the bottom of my chin on the unforgiving tile and snapping my head back until I'm pretty sure my eyes were able to see my spine as it curved into a sharp, backwards "C." And let's not forget the bad knee that had no option but to hit the floor with a sickening thud. One would have thought that since I had my hands on the edge of the sink that I could have saved myself from a complete collapse, but the apparent and harsh reality is that when the head takes a licking, the fingers quit sticking.
So I spent 20 minutes on the floor trying to decide if I'd lived. My two curious canines tried to lick me into wellness, alternately joyful and fretful that Mom was sprawled in what is essentially "their" domain, a floor space where they'd never before seen Mom in their whole entire lives.
As I finally hauled my battered and bruised body upright, all I could think of was, "Really? Are you kidding me? Again?" Now, here I am, days later, my black and blue chin starting to fade to that wonderful greenish-yellow color that is so "face" attractive, and with a back that screams bloody murder every time I simply try to settle into a chair, or rise from it, or walk by it, or even look at it longingly. The knee? I can't even talk about that poor thing.
Naturally I felt that the rug and the sink needed to be punished, but I'm pretty sure that tossing the kitchen sink is an option I would come to regret. But the rug? Not so lucky. It's sleeping with the fishes, and I'm sleeping better knowing that it paid for its sins.
So yes. Exercise is beneficial. But if one has the dork gene, exercise should no doubt be approached with extreme caution, perhaps while wearing something akin to a marshmallow suit. Misery does love company, so please, all other exercise dorks out there, sound off. It would be comforting to know that I'm not waging a one-woman war against the hideously diabolical exercise demons that seem to ascend from the depths of the dark below anytime I even utter the word "exercise."
So what's my next grand fitness plan? Well, I've decided to focus on swimming. I mean really. What could possibly go wrong in thousands of gallons of cool, blue water?