Tuesday, 21 April 2009

I'm Allowed to be a Couch Potato

As some of you know, I only recently began the journey to publication. Like a lot of authors, I slaved away at a full time job and raised a couple of kids (and a husband) for twenty or so years before deciding to put my fingers to keyboard. As a result, my 'butt in chair' path converged with my 'middle age' path.

In my younger years I was fairly active, running after toddlers or running after sales reps. I crawled under desks to help hook up printers, I walked my kindergarteners to school because we had no bus service. I hacked away at weeds and mowed the lawn. I even hand-sawed a fallen tree because I was deathly afraid of chain saws.

I camped, I canoed, I biked and I hiked. I took horseback riding lessons. I wandered the streets, taking photographs of anything that took my fancy.

And then something happened. Was it the technological age? Was it the fact that my kids were growing into video game-playing homebodies? Was it a feeling of defeat, knowing that the mess would always pile up behind me, the weeds would keep growing, the wood would keep rotting?

I stopped. Stopped walking, riding, schlepping. I spent my free time networking, typing, plotting. At the same time, the dreaded Menopause (I like to call it Mentalpause) reared its head and declared an end to anything resembling metabolism.

Suddenly, I had a gut. Where the Hell did that come from? I didn't eat fried pork chops as a midnight snack. I passed up the drippy, sugary butter tarts my co-worker brought to the office. My family consumed a gallon of ice cream before I even noticed it in the freezer. What was happening?

I decided something had to be done. So last week I joined my fellow Production ladies at the newspaper and suited up for a Lunch Time Power Walk. I thought my leather loafers would be sufficient for the job, but I was mistaken.

We set off to walk around a small lake at a local park. Suzanne set a blazing pace from the start. She's older than me, but she's very fit. She's been hitting the gym for the last year or so. She led the pack, her legs pumping efficiently. Mariella and Rebecca kept up easily. Mariella's been visiting the gym too, and Rebecca is still at that fortunate child-chasing age.

I tried to keep up, really I did. My feeble excuse is my short legs. With each stride they took, I had to take a stride and a half. They had six cylinders and I only had four. Therefore I had to work harder. Old ladies were passing me.

By the time we returned to the office, I had two blisters and a cherry-red face. When I stopped walking, my legs felt six inches shorter.

I was a little sore the next day, but the experience encouraged me to try again today. This time I wore proper footwear. We made good time but I wasn't much faster. Suzanne graciously slowed her pace so I wouldn't have to keep running to catch up. I ate a Lean Cuisine microwave meal afterward, and I'm convinced I burned more calories than I consumed.

So, I'm putting my feet up tonight without a speck of guilt. So there.


writtenwyrdd said...

Yay for you! I used to walk to work and walk during lunch back before moving ot Maine. Since then, not a lot of walking time or places to walk to. It tells on one's rump size!

But the important thing is you'll feel better for moving more.

BernardL said...

Footwear is the key, Sandra. :)

Amber Green said...

My newest whine on the exercise front is that, now that I've found shoes that come close to matching my foot shape, I find the local Wal-Mart does not carry really thick hiking socks in a woman's size. I hit three shoe stores in the mall: No really, really thick hiking socks except in men's sizes (meaning a long bodied, skinny cat could squeeze in there). My feet are very wide, but not a foot long! Where can I go for decent footstuff?

DawnB said...

Good for you, Sandra. It'll get easier every time.