In an effort to keep my exercise routine fresh I’ve started incorporating weekly walks into my schedule. I used to do circuit training workouts. I’ve also done Stairmaster; did that for several years…to the point that the sight of a Stairmaster makes me want to vomit. I’ve done yoga, running, weights, Jillian Michaels DVDs, etc. I’ve never done Zumba. I’ve watched it. I’m sure it’s effective, but I’m afraid that I’d be laughing too hard at myself and never effectively complete the workout. When I was in the 6th grade my mom used to get me up at 6 am to do this utterly, ridiculous video that had aerobics exercise set to gospel music. No. Freaking. Joke.
Suffice to say, exercise has always been a constant in my routine and I’ve developed a love/hate relationship for it. However, recently I’ve noticed my body won’t let me keep the pace I used to keep. (MS sucks) I’ve spent the last 4 to 5 months trying to scale back and find different routines. It’s been frustrating. Running is, hands down, my most favorite form of activity. I can sustain it for about a week but then my body starts to fatigue. It is to that end I’ve started walking.
It’s been insanely cold where I live. (I live in the south and when the temp drops below 40, it feels freezing) I do so hate being cold. So, I bundle up. Long underwear, sweat pants on top of the long underwear, sweat pants on top of the other sweat pants, two pair of long sleeve shirts, ski jacket, hat, mittens, hood up…ready to go.
I went for my walk this week looking like Nanook of the North. (I think it was only in the upper 30s/low40s) I very much enjoyed the crisp air, jamming to my iPod, beautiful scenery. I was happy. Until I spot a runner coming towards me. She is visibly younger than I. She is wearing running tights and a long sleeve shirt. That’s it. No coat. No multi layers. Not even a hat. The first thought in my mind is…she’s got to be freezing. The second thought (which occurred almost simultaneously to the first)…wow, I’m getting old. In response to the feeling of looking old, I think to myself, “Better take my hood off. That’ll make me look more hip.” Why? For reasons inexplicable wearing the hood on my coat, I’m convinced, makes me look old.
I say all of this because I personally find the situation humorous. That’s it. Does the hood on my coat make me look older? Duh!?! And why I’m dressed for sub zero weather when its in the low 40s outside, I’ll not know. It makes me sad that I can’t sustain some of the activities I used to do. However, life becomes stagnant when we focus on the failures and shortcomings. Humor is a wonderful gift from above. It allows us to laugh at ourselves in the middle of struggle or disappointment. It provides perspective. Perspective is grace.
“Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born. Sarah said, God has blessed me with laughter and all who get the news will laugh with me!” (Genesis 21:5-6 MSG)