I've been trying harder to do some exercising this week. However, it's pretty chilly outside and I've got young kids. So a quick bike ride or jog in the early morning is not an option. "Sure it is," you say. "Just do it". In sub-40 temperatures? No thanks. I was attempting that (occasionally) in the summer when it was lighter earlier and definitely warmer. Now, fat chance.
That means I have to break out the workout videos. Not entirely a bad option. Over the years I've accumulated a few I actually like (notice, I didn't say "enjoy"). And so I've been huffing and puffing and grunting and groaning to the beat of Kathy Smith's background tunes in my basement. With my kids for company. Yes, my kids like to watch me exercise. Don't ask why. My theory is it has to do with being able to watch TV. Any TV. Even TV of people doing sit-ups and push-ups and bicep curls.
So here I am, in my basement, dutifully trying to do every repetition of every exercise on these videos. But I'm out of shape. So it's tough. And I'm grunting and groaning under the strain of weakened muscles. Then my ever-encouraging daughters pipe up, "you don't have to do all of them. You could just stop". "No, no," I protest. "It's a workout. I've got to keep going." And on I go, until finally my legs or arms or whatever body part I'm working gives out. And I collapse.
"That's okay," my daughters say. "You don't have to do this. Really." Of course my mind is telling me they're right and my muscles are screaming for me to agree. "Quit now," they're all saying. But I keep going, off and on, my motivation all but gone. Somehow I make it to the end of each session without just turning off the TV and pitching the video in the garbage. But each time I go down there the voices of negativity join me. Even today, with only one child accompanying me (and attempting to do the exercises herself - what 5-year-old needs to do an ab workout anyway?), I still got that "you don't have to do this" line. Thanks for the support, kids. Maybe before my next workout I'll coach my girls on the finer points of cheerleading. Like rooting for your team to win (or your mom to finish strong). Or maybe I'll just bundle up in a parka and head on outside where those negative voices will be drowned out by the howling wind.