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I have a really poor track record when it comes to physical fitness. A couple of years ago I bought a bowflex, and my wife and I spent about seven or eight months actually exercising each day. That was probably about as long a stretch of reasonably consistent “fitness” activity as I’ve ever managed. I lost about 20 pounds of fat, gained about 10 pounds of muscle, and still had a bit of a pot belly. The exercising ended, as my previous multi-month efforts have, with me catching a bad cold or hurting myself, and never getting back into the routine. The fat returned with a vengence- my “pregnant toothpick” physique has reached the “when are the twins due” state, which is doubly embarassing since I’m a man. I’m exaggerating, but only a little…

A year ago my wife and I bought a recumbent excerise bike to collect dust next to our bowflex. As usual, we bought a good piece of machinery, but I didn’t even try to fool myself. I knew I wouldn’t be using it consistently, and it was mainly a purchase for Irene. She’s been using it pretty regularly to get in shape for her hip replacement operation. I’m proud of her: 30 minutes, three or four times a week- she’s been at it for months now. I keep thinking “that looks like a good idea”, and now and then I actually get on the bike and run it for a while. But I never stick to it: a week, a month, but never much longer.

I assume there is some sort of magical “zone” physically fit people get into. In this special state of mind, exercising becomes more appealing than not exercising. Their bodies produce natural opiates when they work out, and it makes them feel better than when they don’t. I’ve never achieved this state: exercising has never really made me feel “good”, and not exercising has always been more appealing. More often then not, I exercise and then really want to lay down and have a nap, which seems to me to sort of defeat the purpose. At its best, I’ve reached a point where exercising didn’t totally suck, but I’ve never gotten to that happy place where fit people seem to dwell.

Why am I thinking about this? Well, I had one of my runs on the exercise bike half an hour ago, and I’m wondering how long it will be this time before I do it again…

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