Sunday, May 3, 2009

Work it Out Without Me!

"It's very important to have the right clothing to exercise in. If you throw on an old T-shirt or sweats, it's not inspiring for your workout." ~ Cheryl Tiegs

It's a well-known fact that we writers don't like to break a sweat. Most of our days, when not searching for an excuse to procrastinate are spent at a computer keyboard.

Me? I have never been into any kind of physical exercise unless it is the up and down movement of my mouth while talking or eating, most often in tandem. Although at different times in my life I have felt the need to get with the program, I am no longer intimidated by those urges. I have stopped buying health club memberships just to get a card that too often sits in my billfold until it expires.

The last time I was in a gym, I looked around at all the young, cavorting members and quickly became conscious of my state of under-dress. I was wearing a timeworn University of South Carolina T-shirt, circa 1962, the year I would have graduated had I not majored in fraternity pin collections. The gym shorts I wore that day had at one time belonged to Babe, which is to say that either he was much smaller back then or I am now much larger. Yikes! Lets not go there.

I cringed the minute I stepped inside that oversized den of stinky sweat and throbbing tendons. I could hardly ignore the throng of well-turned-out Barbies all dressed in gymnastically correct leotards and coordinated thongs. A sudden craving for serious chocolate dropped down on top of me quick as you please, as if it had come straight from God. So I high-tailed it out of there and headed for Sweet Mama's Bakery where they don't give a hoot how I'm dressed. If God had intended for me to bend over, I told myself, I'd be growing diamonds in my garden instead of pansies.

That same night, Babe, my good humored, always-hungry husband, lifted the lid on a pan of Southern fried chicken I was cooking for supper. "Hell-ooooo," he exclaimed, "I'm betting another health club bit the dust today!" The look I shot him replaced that of a less than ladylike gesture.

It is true that I have joined too many health clubs in the past thinking I'll regain some resemblance to the size-six I used to be, and Babe usually supports my infrequent urges to eat cabbage and kale for seven days in a row hoping to lose a pound or two. He even claims to like kale, although I'm pretty sure he still wonders what it is. On our last anniversary, the last of the big-time spenders gifted me with a new bicycle instead of the ten days at Canyon Ranch for which I had not so subtly hinted. What a guy.

A humor writer friend of mine once joined a gym as follow-up to a New Year's Resolution and, because he's a quick study, the first question he asked was, "Has anybody ever died in this place?" The trainer assigned to give him the nickel tour wore a mouth full of Chicklet teeth and too much mascara. "I wouldn't be caught dead in any other place," she quipped without batting an eyelash.

His question and her response got me thinking. What was this silly notion of mine all about anyway? Why did I feel the need to heed my nagging inner voice each time it shouted, "No pain, no gain."

Was I trying to stay healthy or just grasping at straws in hopes of reclaiming a portion of my youth? At my age, I've just about run out of portions.

When I am even older and my bones have turned brittle and clack like a bad-fitting set of false teeth, and/or my hair has turned white and wiry and falls out in clumps, I may feel a bit of remorse. I might well regret having spent so much of my life in front of a computer keyboard instead of straddling a stationary bike. But until the dawning of that day, I'll just keep working my jaws up and down and riding my little old lady's bike while I hope for a trickle down result.

The bad news is nothing will ever restore my youth, but the good news is I won't need to wear fashionable workout clothes while bike riding in my neighborhood.


Cappy has a new book out!

On sale now at and the Dew will have a review up during the first part of May.

More information on Cappy and her book can be found HERE.