“Challenge yourself to be an example of change.”
― Debasish Mridha
Staying active in Wisconsin in the winter, during a pandemic, can be like staying sober after two or three beers. It’s difficult, especially when the fierce NE winds and single digit (F) temps make me shiver at the thought.
Winter often has the effect of invoking hibernation – the desire to sleep and be lazy, along with watching TV from the butt indentation of the couch, writing sparsely and the lack of motivation to exercise. When I retired from work back in September, I prepared for winter by buying a good pair of winter hiking boots, warm mittens, and a set of resistance bands so that I would continue to exercise during the non-biking months. Full intentions and great expectations! I already have a yoga mat and the clothes that make me look like I know what I’m doing, so am good to go in that department – regardless of the fact that I haven’t continued a regular practice since the local yoga studio closed its doors in April of 2020.
Then November came and went and I didn’t do much except read a little, write a little and watch too much TV. Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access…they can all be a cold-weather curse. December arrived and pretty much the same, except I engaged in a “use-up-the-scrapbooking-supplies-to-make-cards” project that ate up a lot of my time for over a month, and I ended up (next time on Hoarders) buying more scrapbooking supplies. Little exercise was to be had other than an occasional walk with the required layers of down and wool.
By the time January rolled around, the bad effects all of this nonsense was reflected in how much my back ached. I hurt most days. I swallowed Advil and used a heating pad far too often, both of which were the impetus for afternoon snoozes. I was not in a good way, physically speaking.
During this time, writing didn’t feel easy either. When the body is down, when my back hurts, it’s even more difficult to sit at a laptop for any length of time and be creative. I continued to blog, but often wasn’t inspired in thought or by the small pandemic radius in which I reside. You may not have noticed a difference, but I felt it.
So, finally, I took off my white glove, slapped myself in the face, and commanded myself to “get going.”
The yoga mat and resistance bands came out of the closet and are being used with a little more determination, but that is not enough. I need an ongoing kick-in-the-butt, so I did two things this week.
- I signed up for an online, worldwide exercise challenge that continues throughout 2021. It starts February 1st and I’m hoping that the exercise program and challenge community keep me focused and on track. I will not go into a gym or yoga studio at this point, and that calls for home or web-based alternatives.
- I signed up for a year’s subscription to Master Class so that I could take a few writing courses. Learn something new and from people who are good at it (David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, etc.), and get the creative juices flowing. The pandemic has made me feel, at times, that I have nothing to write about, but I know that’s in my head and not true. There’s plenty of material if I simply look around, observe and keep writing.
I truly want to find benefit in both the writing class and exercise challenge, but if one or both fail to meet my needs, I have 30 days to cancel. On the other hand, I don’t want to be the lily-livered cowgirl that runs away from a fight. I want this to be an example of personal change – not necessarily for others, but for my own self worth and well-being.
My mind and body tell me they deserve it, that once in awhile, a slap to the face feels good.
Linda G. Hill is the Queen of One-Liners and rules over her kingdom of followers. Check out today’s post and commit yourself to join the Queen’s one-liner army because there’s no fighting or blood, only comradery and fun with words.