August has many different meanings for me.
End of sleeping in
End of summer
End of four-week holiday
End of exercise sabbatical
Beginning of a new school year
Beginning of 4:30 a.m. alarms
I’m a devote exerciser. It started right after Bubbles was born. Back then I liked working out. It made me feel good about myself. Besides there wasn’t much else to watch on TV at God-awful early in the morning except Denise Austin’s Daily Workout.
I don’t really know how or when it happened, but at some point exercise switched from something to do when Bubbles woke early to you-must-never-stop-or-die. (Okay it wasn’t that dramatic and I certainly wasn’t going to die if I quit, but that was how I perceived it.)
By the time Bubbles was six months old, I was working out every day. Even when I was sick. Or only had a few hours of sleep because Bubbles didn’t realize until she was five that yes, you are supposed to sleep through the WHOLE night. I exercised on my days off of work. On trips. Even on Christmas and my birthday. (The two most important days of the year, don’t you know? ;)) I worked out in hotels. (Have you ever walked past a hotel work out area? There’s no one in there. EVER. There’s a reason for that.) I used the exercise room on my cruise ship. I ran on the beach in Cancun. (Side note: It doesn’t matter how many miles you can crank out on a treadmill; running on the beach is frickin’ hard!)
As my twenties self slowly moved toward thirty my exercise regime grew harder and more grueling, along with my resentment. Yes, I know. I could’ve quit at any time. I could’ve flipped off Denise Austin (while Bubble’s back was turned) and said, “You know what, Denise. I’m NOT getting off the couch today. I don’t care if you aren’t proud of me. I don’t care I’m letting procrastination win.
But I never did. My exercise routine gave me some sort of crazy control during a time where I wasn’t in control of anything. (I’ll let the doctors decide if that was a healthy obsession or not.)
At twenty-eight, I decided thirty was a good age to quit. I already lost the baby weight. My life seemed to be my own again. I was working at a grown up job. I was dating Husband. Bubbles was finally sleeping through the night. Exercising had changed from a necessity for sanity to a crazy, not fun at all habit. It was time.
Thirty hit and I began to notice eating ice cream five days a week along with copious amounts of chocolate before bed was doing weird things to my thirty-year old body that hadn’t happened to my twenty-year old body.
So I went back to working out, though only exercised five days a week. I slept in when I was sick instead of making myself get up and “sweat” out the illness. I didn’t use hotel exercise rooms anymore. Running on the beach was changed to walking hand in hand with Husband. And I quit working out on my days off. Including the four week vacation I get every July. (Side note: It takes months, and I mean MONTHS, to train muscles to stay where you want them to, but only days, DAYS!, for them to forget and slack off. Bastards!) Which led to all new meanings for August.
Lower back pain
Pulled calf muscles
Every August when my alarm clock buzzed at 4:30 am, a voice in my head whispered, (getting louder each year) quit. Quit. Quit. You don’t need to work out. Just stop eating ice cream and pizza and chocolate. Then you can ssssleep. You’ll be fine. You won’t gain that much weight. What’s five pounds in the grand scheme of things? Wouldn’t you trade an hour and a half of more sleep for five pounds? Any sane person would.
This year’s August voice has been particularly tempting. Maybe because it’s still early and I can easily remember the July mornings where I’d wake when I wanted to, head out to my sky chair, and read the day away.
Maybe because my ab muscles screamed at me every time I rolled over last night. Maybe it’s because I’m so tired. Whatever it is, I’m seriously thinking I’ll quit working out when I’m forty. Despite Husband’s laughing that I’ll never do it. (At first I was offended by his reaction. What does that mean? That you aren’t going to love me if I gain weight? Then stubbornness set in. You can’t tell me what to do! Then tears. Though this normally doesn’t happen until 4:45 am and I’m in the spider-filled basement, hair in a messy pony tail, eyes barely open, and Shaun T is asking me to perform a full minute of Wide Tuck Jumps.)
Then I saw this article: Exercise Joys and Creativity
Followed by this one: Regular Exercise Could Boost Your Creativity
Son. Of. A. Bitch.
Thoughts raced through my head: Just forget that you read it. It’s probably not even true. Google doesn’t know everything.
It certainly doesn’t matter that I drafted over half of this post during one of Shaun T’s workouts. (Hitting the pause button every time a thought popped into my head. A little voice whispering, Wouldn’t a normal, sane person just let the video play on? Writing is just as important in your life as exercising, isn’t it?). And it doesn’t mean anything that I had zero Muse-spottings in July, but managed to complete pages upon pages of pre-writing for Sarid’s Story last week.
. . . Shit.
Well, there’s always fifty. Besides, I’ll probably still want to eat ice cream when I’m forty.