I am an exercise junkie, jumping on that bandwagon with other like-minded souls every spare minute I get, anxious to push my body to new limits and exhausting myself almost beyond human endurance.
The truth is I am none of that.
Instead, my natural inclination leads toward falling on the couch after supper, with barely enough strength to hold the remote to flick through the channels looking for a movie or a show that usually doesn’t seem to exist on Netflix.
And then, before I know it, it is tomorrow.
And I am facing another day of exercise avoidance.
But, with Christmas coming up, wrapped in an abundance of candy cane culinary delights, I knew I needed to get moving, however that may look for me.
And so, one dark night when the temperature hovered around the ‘too cold’ mark I shut the TV off and decided I would turn into the new and improved me by exercising above and beyond my usual minimalistic efforts. I would push myself to perform at my absolute best every day.
I look outside. It is pitch black. I tell myself I cannot go for a walk even though I know my heart and lungs will thank me for it
I breathe a sigh of relief. Walking is out!
But then this little voice says, “What about the exercise bike.”
I know the bike is in the bedroom. Sitting there. Silent. Waiting. I groan. The bike is old and rickety, but I am pretty sure it still works.
I climb on try it out.
Yes! It does work. I can hardly contain my excitement.
Actually, I can.
I decide to begin my exercise regime setting the clock on the bike for 30 minutes.
For the first five minutes, I felt really good. Strong. In control. Proud.
For the next five minutes, I felt all of that, but less so.
As the last 15 minutes ticked by and my short little legs continued to pedal, pedal, pedal, the exercise regime turned into something of an endurance test.
I began to sweat profusely in a totally unladylike way. Sweat, sweat, sweat, pedal, pedal, pedal. This has to be good, I told myself.
With 10 minutes left, I was sure the timer thing had quit working and I had actually been on this horrible machine for hours.
I kept pedaling.
“You can do this,” I muttered to myself. “You are woman, you are strong.”
With five minutes left, my son, mercifully, called. I took his call, thinking he would be proud of his mom and the wonder woman, exercise machine into which I had turned myself into.
He said he would call me back when I was not panting and could talk normally.
I finished the 30-minute workout, showered, and rewarded myself by only indulging in a tiny handful of nacho chips that I found lurking in the pantry.
I washed them down with a Diet Coke, proud that I could check off exercise on my ‘to do’ list, except that I didn’t really have such a list.
Unfortunately, the thing about exercise is it is not a one-time deal.
But it has to get easier.
That is what I am hoping for, anyway!
Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.