Catch Me If You Can, Buddy

Like probably most of you, I’ve had a love-hate (fine, all-hate) relationship with exercise. Throughout the years I’ve tried aerobics classes, swimming, running, jogging, slogging, creeping, tripping, limping, stumbling. I’ve biked, hiked, rollerbladed, rollerskated, break danced, ‘Sweated to the Oldies’…walked slowly while texting and/or guzzling iced capps topped with whipped cream.

No matter what program I try, I’ve never been able to stick with it for very long. Maybe because after 10 minutes of sweating, huffing and puffing I think to myself, “Dear God, why?! Why am I doing this? It’s pure torture! Oh god! I’m dying here! It hurts! Oh, how it hurts! My legs burn, my lungs are on fire, my heart’s gonna explode!…is this any way to spend my time when I could be sitting on a couch eating nachos? Oh, gawd, make it stop! Please make it stop!”

Once you start hitting midlife though, you notice a few things. Big things. People die.  Friends, relatives, that guy in the obituaries that was the same age as you. When you hit forty this death thing starts to get real, in your face and up in your grill. An unsettling feeling begins to dawn on you as you look nervously around the room.  You scratch your head and think, Hey, wait just a minute…. What on earth is happening here?! That won’t happen to me though. Death. Ha! Right? Right, God? Huh? Death? Fffft. Not me! Never me! Right?

….oh shit…

So I’ve been exercising pretty religiously since New Year’s Day when I made the resolution to not die. I went out and bought a brand new elliptical. Since January, I’ve made sure to get on that torture device every other day and work out until either 45 minutes have passed or I’ve passed out.

On my days off, I do yoga, go for walks and lift weights. I know. Crazy. My mom doesn’t get it. She calls me up and leaves messages on the phone: “Darla? Darla! Are you there?! Are you working out again?! Jeezum Crow! What is it with you and the working out all the time! It’s like you’re obsessed with it or something! Always with the working out and the thing! GAWD! Jeez!” [click]

Back when I was younger, I used to workout for some pretty shallow reasons: either to lose weight so I’d look good or to lose weight so I’d look good. Now? Please! I’m afraid that saggy, wrinkled ship has sailed off across the cellulite ocean. But is my heart going to give out in 10 years? Will I have a stroke?  Will I live a long life and be around for my kids and grandkids? That’s what concerns me.

Death is a great motivator.

My dad died of a massive heart attack brought on by atherosclerosis (he was a smoker) at the age of 53. Fifty-three.  Whenever I think maybe I shouldn’t bother with exercise, that pesky voice in the back of my mind whispers, psst..hey you! Yeah, you with the donut. Just a friendly reminder…you only have 11 more years to live if you die at the same age as your dad. Just something to think about. Carry on.

My mother had congestive heart failure,  quintuple bypass surgery and a mitral valve prolapse at the age of 69. Both my parents had severe heart disease. Yeah, the odds for this chick ain’t lookin’ too good. Reminds me of the scene in Big Bang Theory where Leonard asks Howard,  “Does your family have a history of heart disease?” Howard: “My family is the history of heart disease. There’s a cave painting in France of one of my ancestors doing this:” (mimes a heart attack)

You add all of this up and what does it equal? Me– running from death.

It’s working so far.

Let’s hope he isn’t wearing Sauconys.


If you exercise, what motivates you?  What exercise program works for you? Let me know because I’ve only been at this for eight months and I don’t want to quit now.

(image theblackdeathrun)

139 thoughts on “Catch Me If You Can, Buddy

  1. I’ve been a pretty consistent exerciser since age 13 when I started doing Jane Fonda’s Prime Time workout videotape–without the leg warmers, unfortunately. I don’t really enjoy exercising nor do I look like someone who works out a lot unless a muffin top is the main goal, but i have to do it or else I feel more sluggy than normal.

    1. Whenever I think of Jane Fonda, I picture one of her workout tapes where her legs are up in the air at this weird angle (covered in legwarmers of course) and I think, what the hell kind of workout is THIS? Just the stretches look painful.

      I have exercised most of my life, too but it’s an off-on thing. I’ll do it for awhile, then give up for awhile. I think maybe this time around, I will stick with it until I die (which hopefully will be pushed much further back on the calendar now)

  2. Yeah, death is a great incentive, isn’t it? My dad died of heart dissease at 45, so I have a similar motivation to exercise. BUT–I HATE it! Truly HATE it! More power to you, dear Darla. May our hearts remain healthy. May we manage well the torture that keeps death at a distance. YIKES!
    Have a great week!

    1. ugh–I know. It is a lot of hard work to keep at it, Kathy. I certainly don’t enjoy it. I do enjoy the rush of the endorphins though. Now I treat it as just something I gotta do, it’s a habit like brushing my teeth.

  3. I waterjog most mornings in a gorgeous outdoor pool – watching the sun come up…dreaming up blog posts which I promptly forget as soon as I am out of the water. I started because my doctor wanted me to rehab a broken ankle and the water exercise was both gentle and reduced the weight-bearing aspect of walking. I can waterjob a lap as fast as many of the lap swimmers. The resistance of the water is really quite a workout – and I don’t know whether I am sweating or not because I’m already soaked. Only downside? I have to put on a swimsuit. Upside – it’s pretty dark and they’ve all seen me and none of them have died or poked out their own eyes as a result (that I know of!!).

    My mom died at 42 from colon cancer – so I understand fully the “fear factor” that pushing one to take steps to prevent history from not only repeating itself, but dragging my ass with it.

    Love your workout wear – you rock. Hopefully his long garmet will get caught in the back roller of that machine and you’ll be safe for a good long time.

    1. Waterjogging sounds right up my alley. I can imagine it’s a great workout. I would like it because I could stay cool. My main problem now is overheating and I have hot flashes now all the time to boot.

      Isn’t it awful to have that nagging fear of premature death because our parents died so young? It’s a good motivator but I don’t want it hanging over me so much (although it does!)

  4. Hi! I really like yoga. A lot.

    But I’ve never been able to find the requisite armor to cage my “girls” properly so that I can actually run. Or jump.

    So yoga is slow and involves using your own body as a weight.

    And we get into some crazy poses.

    But I love it.

    Also, I hate being cold – so the whole steamy room thing works for me.

    Stick with it, Darla! We need you around for a long time!

    1. Oh, man, I LOVE yoga! I’ve been doing that much longer than exercise. I think I like it most for two reason: I can finally get 30 minutes of peace and quiet and I just love deep breathing. It feels so calm and relaxing to me. (Although some of those poses almost kill me)

  5. Well, that’s gotta be the best motivator ever! I don’t know though, people who are perfectly healthy can die too. Wait, that doesn’t sound very positive. I’m gonna go now, but good for you! Keep it up. 😀

  6. Ugh, I hate those lurking milestones in our life. I have a few of those, like you do with 53. What motivates me is my running partner. I am about 99.99999% sure that, without her, I would have given up Day 2. I reallyyyy hated running, and now I can say I almost like it. If death loses it’s motivation factor, please think of your blogging fans!

    1. Good for you! Having a running partner is huge. I got into jogging/running a few years ago (I used to think runners were crazy) I actually got to the point where I looked forward to running three miles at a time. Then my ankle gave out and well, it’s elliptical time now.

  7. notcurrentlyblogging

    I exercise with weights three times a week, yoga once per week, and I walk for one hour every day if weather permits, I have an elliptical that I use on days I can’t go outside. My husband’s brother died at 44 from a heart attack, just 14 months after their Dad died of the same. Both men were in good shape – neither smoked, drank or were overweight. My father-in-law was 68. He played tennis, walked the dog daily, was very active as a volunteer. My husband and I have tried to demonstrate a heathly lifestyle for our boys, It’s a worry. Even if heredity rears its head again, I feel a healthy lifestyle still provides us with a better qualtiy of life, something that can’t be measured in terms of years alone. Good luck Darla. It’s worth the sweat, for you and your kids.

    1. Exactly. I didn’t even touch on the benefits of just simply being healthy. Better sleep, better eating habits, less stress. For me it’s done wonders for my overall mood and well-being. My family has a long history of depression and I’ve found nothing helps me combat that more than exercise. It certainly helps me cope better with everyday stress.

    1. Believe me, I am great at rationalizing NOT exercising. I’ve done it all my life. I still think the same thing as you often. But in the end, I suppose it helps my odds of dying of heart disease have increased about 5000% since both my parents had it.

  8. Well, if that’s you running from death, I would say that your workout regimen is working pretty well! Man, are you hot!! 😉

    I’m trying. I am trying oh so hard to stay consistant with a program. The most I’ve been able to stick with is Zumba. But that is only once a week, and I skip it every once and a while for one reason or another, ((cough)) laziness ((cough)). I just can’t seem to find the motivation to do anything during the rest of the week. Probably why I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life, except for pregnancy. I just never feel like I have the time, and when I DO have the time, I am just worn out and don’t feel like it. No excuse, but that’s how it goes.

    So, yeah, obviously no advice from over here. Just me saying, “Keep up the good work, Darla! Run from death for the both of us. Yay!!”

    1. Teehee, yah, I AM hot. Plaid makes everything look better.

      I have never done Zumba. I just can’t get past the name. It sounds pretty intense though so good for you for doing that at all. I think even small amounts of exercise can benefit a person.

      And don’t beat yourself up too bad, you work full time. My husband does too and he’s just plain exhausted when he finally gets home. I’m hoping I won’t change my tune once I’m back working full time.

      1. Zumba is totally awesome, Darla! I would never have tried it (being allergic to dancing and all), but I accidentally went into a Zumba class one day that I thought was a weight-lifting class. Even though I can’t dance to save my life, I completely love Zumba. Can’t wait to get back into it come autumn!

  9. I had heart surgery two years ago to repair a miswiring I was born with. It is fixed, but I am very aware that every woman is 26 times more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer. I include aerobic exercise in my routine, (tennis 3x a week),but I am sidelined due a tennis injury. I am one of those people that gets really antsy if they don’t do something and it has been almost 3 weeks! Arrrgggh! ….leg jiggling under desk and wearing out the wood floor….
    You go girl! I can’t do the machine/bike/torturechanmberdevices. I have to take classes or play tennis/ski/hike. It tricks me into exercising!

    1. That’s so true, Susie. Heart disease is one of the major killers of women and can be prevented. I can imagine with the surgery you endured, you are more active now. I like the machine workout because I don’t have to drive myself anywhere, I just put on my sneaks and go. I think if I had to plan an event like tennis, I’d find a way to skip it. I do LOVE hiking though, I’ll never get tired of being outside.

  10. I was smugly skinny until my 30s, and didn’t worry at all about dying young. I had a whole cast of characters in my family who were living well into their 90s (and more). Fast forward 20 years: both of my parents died at the age of 62. I am carrying a (big) toddler around, or the adipose equivalent, and seem to have developed an apple shaped torso. A simple case of heartburn is accompanied by the “jaws” soundtrack. I’ve begun a diet…and was not really following it strictly for the last week. You’re making me feel mortal here…I’m going for a walk!

    1. Oh yeah, when I was younger, I used to be able to eat whatever, drink whatever…now I just look at a cupcake and gain 10 pounds. It used to be all about the scale, but now I’m slowly realizing it’s just being healthy that I truly want…to live longer than my dad did.

      Diets? Oh god. My downfall is sugar. I keep telling myself to eat mostly fruits and veggies but then my cravings get in the way. I do realize moderation is the key, etc. I’m much better than I used to be, that’s for sure, but I still have a ways to go on the healthy diet front.

      1. I’d say my problem is just too much food and not enough exercise! I love to cook/bake/can, so it’s a constant issue. Over the weekend it was 2 loaves of bread, jams (cherry-berry won the battle), pies: mock french apple (made with zucchini, so it’s a veg, right?) AND raspberry pie (themnfarmwoman’s recipe- raspberries, flour,sugar and heavy cream. No problem there, right?). I should just probably keep my butt out of the kitchen!

        1. Oh yeah! I am a huge fan of baked goods, homemade breads etc. I’m already looking forward to fall so I can bake some apple pies. I just have to remember not to eat the ENTIRE pie and I’ll be fine.

          1. Okay…guilty me came home and had a slice of pie. But it wasn’t really apple, it was that zucchini mock apple pie. Must have been at least a serving of veg under that crumb topping…ugh! I did go for a walk anyway!

          2. I’ve never had the zucchini mock apple pie. I did make a chocolate chip zucchini bread last week (Paula Deen’s recipe) but I had to do it because our garden produced these gigantic zucchinis and we had way too many of them. I really had no choice.

  11. I’m so proud of you for going 8 months – keep it up! My mom’s dad died at about the same age as your dad and she said as she approached that birthday she unconsciously figured that would be her expiration date as well.

    I missed the Y for the last 3 days, which is about my limit. I’ve got to get back into the every day habit, and beef up the cardio. I LoVe your picture! Tell Death to get his own treadmill.

    1. It is this unconscious thing…this big number that just sits there ahead of me, taunting me. Rationally, I know I’ll most likely not die at 53, but my deepest fears say otherwise. I suppose I really don’t want my kids to know what it’s like to have a parent die so young. I want to spare them that pain, of course.

      You go, girl! Beef up that cardio! I already worked out today, got on there before I could talk myself out of it. sigh. If I do it early in the morning, it’ll be done and over with so I can enjoy the rest of the day. And about my picture, I’ve learned my best Paint skills from the master–you.

      1. I sure hope 53 isn’t the “Fresh until” date for all of us, given that I’ve been 53 for almost a week.

        I’ve been an eating, drinking, lounging machine for several weeks now, so I needed this kick in the pants to get cracking on the cardio. Heading off to the Y right now! Yeah, yeah, yeah Darla!

  12. You’re a champ, lady! It really is all about motivation, isn’t it? I’m 25 but already motivated by the same things – my family health history on both sides is just terrible and I don’t want that so I run and I hike and I cycle and I climb. Keep it up, sounds like you’ve got something great going on!!

    1. Wow, you are well on your way, Audrey! I suppose if we keep on movin’, death won’t be able to catch up to us. Besides, I truly do feel better after I exercise, it’s that runner’s high thing.

  13. My mom had her first quintuple-bypass at 43, and her second one this year, at 71. I have to do all that dreaded exercise/diet stuff too. But I haven’t been doing it as much as I should. You’re inspiring me here, Maineiac. Thanks.

    1. Sorry to hear you know all too well about heart trouble, Madame. I think for once in my life exercise has become more of a habit, just a thing I do now. My hope is that this time, I will FINALLY stick with it for the rest of my life.

  14. I’ve been exercising pretty regularly for the past couple years (half an hour on a stationary bicycle 5 days a week — it’s not the most exciting routine, but it means I don’t have to deal with weather). Two things I’ve discovered are:

    1. Exercise actually is pretty good for stress relief, and
    2. I have the kind of job where on some days, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, and on others, I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. If I exercise in the morning, I feel like I’ve accomplished something that day, no matter what happens at work.

    1. Laura, this is why I like my elliptical. I can exercise regardless of the weather. Plus I can watch my kids at the same time. And it is a huge stress-release. I forgot to mention that part, which is one of my favorite things about exercise. Depression/anxiety run in my family too and I’ve battled both before but I’ve found it almost disappear this year now that I’m more active.

  15. Put it differently… what you have to remain healthy as long as you live and so you can enjoy living and not to run away from death. That’ll put too much pressure on you….Even it be at the pace of a tortoise , it will eventually catch up like in that story about the Hare:-)For me a moderate diet and some occasional trek and some cycling in the last two years has been good enough. Not up to doing anything more strenuous than that.

  16. Congrats on keeping up the regimen for 8 months now. That’s something to be proud of.

    I had the exact same frightening moment when I realized friends or relatives who’d had died or became ill within a few years of how old I am now. What if I knew I only had 5 years left? That is @*$#% scary. So yeah, death IS a great motivator.

    Living in NYC I walk a lot. A lot. And I live on the 5th floor in a walk up building. I also do yoga on occasion, but I’d like to go more often. (The classes can get a bit expensive.)

    PS – do your feet get numb while on the elliptical? That happens to me every time I get on one of those machines.

    1. I can imagine you do plenty of walking in the city! That is great. Yoga is very expensive so I practice it at home now. I used to follow a few DVDs routines but now I just do the poses I feel like doing that day.

      And yes, my feet get very numb! I asked my orthopedic doc about it and she said it was totally normal because you’re putting that pressure on your foot for such a long time. She said the elliptical is much gentler on my ankles than my treadmill (I have had problems with my ankle’s tendons this year and had to wear an air-cast for months)

  17. Believe it or not, this overweight, middle aged woman has found motivation to improve my diet, lower my blood pressure and exercise (for the first time ever).
    He is my new young, unbelievably handsome cardiologist, nicknamed, “Dr. Hearthrob”. Every time I strap on my sneakers for a power walk, my husband just rolls his eyes and sighs. I don’t care. Its working for me!

  18. Darla, you have been at this exercise thing for past eight month. It’s quite a big achievement for you, keeping in mind, what I read in your blog about your experience of doing this stuff in past . 🙂 A big congrats to you.
    And If I remember it rightly, then You were also used to be obsessed with chocolate. You had to give up that one too or what!

  19. Gee, thanks for reminding me of just how out of shape I am, and, just before I go to Maine to eat lots of lobstahs! After that, I may have to go buy an elliptical machine – i’ve been thinking about it but alas the action part has been lacking.
    Jeezum crow, you done good on this post! (Peg said I have to start saying that in order to fit in when in Maine:)

    1. Oh, Jeezum crow, Tar! You can still have that lobstah! Live it up, woman! Gotta enjoy yourself too, ayuh. (by the way, no one says ayuh here…) I can’t wait to read all about your visit here. Be sure to take tons of pictures. I hope you’re coming soon to enjoy what’s left of the summah.

  20. Pretty good my friend. I hope you are still working on a book compilation. Re: your mom. Is she in full recovery? Mom is stronger than she thinks, but she’s pretty afraid to do anything other than walks.

    1. Betty B!!!! Heehee! Sooooo good to see you here, buddah! 😀 😀 😀 😀

      I am going to get that freaking blog compilation done…hopefully before I die.

      My mom just said to me the other day, “Darla, did ya know the average survival rate for congestive heart failure is 10 years? So that means I’ve only got 2 left!” Typical. She talks about death or her own death nearly every day.

      How is your mutha?? Tell Jeannie-baby I think walks are fine. She’s still in recovery mode. My mom basically moves furniture around for exercise or paints walls, climbs ladders. She’s crazy! At 78 years old, she’s healthier than I am right now!

  21. I had planned to sit on my ample butt and read blogs while enjoying a high calorie beverage or three, but now I have to go exercise first. I hope I have the strength to write something witty for your amusement when I’m done, but I won’t make any promises…

          1. I never get far either. And I always think I’ve burned more calories than the computer tells me I’ve burned. Reminds me of the comedian Jim Gaffigan. He said how it sucks that you’ll be on the treadmill, exercising like mad, sweating like crazy…then you look down and it says you’ve only burned 50 calories. Fifty calories?! That’s what I consume just sniffing a Big Mac!

  22. Running from Hell with El

    Keep on rocking the exercise! Another advantage for me at least is it keeps me quieter, calmer and saner.

    1. John Erickson

      Well, I don’t really need the quieter part – I’m home alone a fair amount of the time (though it doesn’t shut me up). And I’m usually fairly calm. But what do you suggest to GET to the point where exercise would help your sanity? (Like my hair and my 30s, the sanity’s LONG gone.) 😀

      1. Maybe it doesn’t keep your sanity as much as it prevents you from losing it completely? I think I’ve got only the tiniest bit of sanity left now after two kids, living next door to my elderly mom and turning 42 in a few weeks.

        1. John Erickson

          “How to keep you from losing it”? And what if you lost it so long ago, you couldn’t find it with a troop of Boy Scouts?
          God, you’re gonna be 42? ONLY 42?!? I don’t even REMEMBER 42! Gimme about 4 more months, and I’ll let you know what the wrong side of 50 is like. (Catch me quick, though, or at my rate, I won’t remember turning 50 the day after I do so! 😀 )

  23. John Erickson

    Good timing. I had one of those 2x4s to the head kind of realisations this morning. One of our new neighbor’s friends is cute. VERY cute. And today, it hit me who she was.
    Shes not the neighbor’s friend (who is a few years younger than us). She’s the neighbor’s friend’s DAUGHTER. 😯
    Holy Midlife Crisis, Batman! Dang it all, I can’t afford a convertible, and I don’t have enough hair to worry about, grey or otherwise! 😀

    1. oh, isn’t that the worst? I am going back to college this year and recently had my new student orientation. Imagine my horror when I looked around the room and noticed the other students there could be MY KIDS! And the dean of the college is the same age as me! gahhhh!!!

  24. Honestly, the only exercise that I’ve stuck with is yoga, and that’s because it also relieves stress for me. I’ve tried running and strength training and it all makes me want to die as oppose to stave off death, so… The only problem with yoga is, of course, seeing the 50 year old people who kick my ass at everything even though I’m 23.

    1. Ha! Yeah, I’m sure that would happen to me if I went to a yoga class. this is why I practice in the comfort of my own home, less humiliating. Good for you for doing yoga and sticking with it. I’ve often felt that yoga can be a huge strength-training exercise, especially when you have to balance your body weight in certain poses and hold them for any length of time. You have to be in great shape to do yoga.

      1. If I could only motivate myself, I would start up yoga again. I’ve become very good at putting things off laity. Guess that’s what happens when one becomes fat 😉

        Yoga seems to work the body as a whole and builds muscle naturally verses weights. Maybe this week I’ll spread out the mat and give the sun a salutation!

        1. Yoga is wonderful in that it’s so gentle, you really can ease into the positions slowly if you need to. I really like it because it feels SO good and gets me to calm down long enough to just breathe and appreciate the moment for a change.

  25. You just keep running and don’t look back.
    (if you want to read how i feel in my spin class, go to my blog and read Ride of My Life. you might just cross spin off your list as well.) 🙂

    1. I think you’re right, I just won’t look back anymore. I need to let go my fear of death anyway, right?
      I’ll have to read your spin class post now (I’m sure I would never survive one of those classes…)

  26. Darla, Darla, Darla. What you need is not more exercise, but a Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak that hides you from the Grim Reaper. Duh.

    I try to blog while on the treadmill. It’s good for reading all those posts, but less good for writing, typing commenting, etc.

    My blog name is the average age my sisters reached. Each died much too early, but from widely things. Judy went at 47 from heard disease after 35 years of heavy smoking; Beth died of kidney failure after having had two strokes. She was 61. And I was always the unhealthy girl in the family.

    So I try to exercise when I can.

    1. I would love to be able to blog while exercising because all of my brilliant ideas pop up in the middle of my workout. By the time I stop huffing and puffing long enough to write it down, it’s gone. I was thinking of doing a little vlog of myself on the elliptical, trying to multi-task with various activities…me painting my nails, texting on a smartphone, typing on my iPad.

  27. Margie

    I’m hoping my genetics work in my favour, though I really don’t think I want to live to the age of 93 like my great grandma did. I’d probably run out of things to blog about…

  28. 8 months?! Darla, that is awesomesauce!!
    About 2 months before our trip to the Shore, Rob and I started working out together – separately. We motivate each other to get out of bed – and we take turns on who goes running/walking first, making sure someone is home with the kids.
    Rob went walking first this morning, because he had to go to the office. I’ll go walking first tomorrow morning, because I am going to the office.
    When I don’t walk outdoors, I do my Nordic Track. I’ve been using it consistently for over a month now. I LOVE it, because it kicks my butt! It is the best workout.
    When we were at the Shore, we continued with the working out routine. It feels great. But, I think I am still going to die, which sucks.

    Keep up the great work!!!

    1. That’s great Rob works out too. I wish Jim did. I’ve been bugging him for years. He’ll go out and run for a few weeks, then he’ll quit. Sigh.
      Nordic Track! I used to have one of those about 15 years ago, they really give your whole body a workout.

    1. You are right. I do get so bored with the ellipitical. I can’t seem to find the time to do anything else these days with the kids at home with me. Maybe once school hits, I can start going for a long walks again.

  29. I’m very impressed that you kept up your exercise regime for so many months. I do yoga, aqua-fitness in my pool, and walk some but I cannot work on them indoor machines. Find them too confining. I’m sure my body wouldn’t agree with me, but I overrule it every time.

  30. I am sooooo glad I worked out before I read this.

    I have exercised off and on (mostly on) since I was a teenager. I remember doing some kind of leg workout I had on cassette. Dear lord, the leg lifts! In high school, I started running and joined the track team in senior year. I still like jogging, but the knees…not 18 anymore…I still lace up my running shoes, but not as often and almost never in the summer (I despise, loathe, abhor, haaaaate running in the summer. I hate being hot. Also, vomiting is not high on the list.)

    Mostly, I work out with dvd’s because then I don’t have to be in public. The Firm, The Biggest Loser (plus Jillian Michaels), and most recently, P90X. I’ve mostly worked out to lose weight, since I’ve struggled with it my whole life. But these days, I exercise because it just makes me feel better overall. I feel more energetic, and the existential ennui doesn’t come on nearly as often when I’m exercising consistently. My problem is that for the past year, I’ve gotten out of my routine and only worked out sporadically, thus feeling like crap this summer.

    So I’m back at it and have been good for about 2 weeks. I’m thinking that it’s going to “take” this time and am starting to feel like myself again.

    And then there’s the death issue. Actually, it’s not death, per se. I simply refuse to be a weak, frail old woman. I’ve seen far too many women who are only in their 60s or 70s and can barely get do anything because they’ve never been active. No, no, no, no, no! Not gonna be me. If/When I’m 90, I still want to be able to kick someone’s ass if they sass me.

    1. I hear you. I was into running and jogging a few years ago when I first started (I never rnn before in my life) but I sprained my ankle somehow, then I fractured my foot (stress fracture) Then the ankle tendon became severely inflamed so I was put in an air cast for so long, I just gave up running completely. Sucks getting old.

      I also don’t want to be old and frail. People think that’s a given and I know it’s not. My gram was very active, up into her 90s. She could outpace me on a walk! She lived to 100. So I’ve seen the amazing things exercise can do not only to prolong your life, but to make it healthier and more enjoyable. Death and disease are not inevitable. Ok, I guess death is. Eventually.

  31. For me, being the corporate type driven by his Blackberry’s calendar, I have booked exercise in like any other meeting. Ape exercises 6 days a week and has given up his lunch hour for either the gym or a run with other friends from work. I made a promise to myself a couple of years ago to get back into shape and maintaining it by the time I turned 40. So far so good and the big four O is just around the corner. My motivation I guess is that after many months I began to see physical change and it spurred me on to continue. Blogging and exercise have become my avenues to relieve stress.

    1. You are awesome for scheduling it in like that, Ape. I’ll have to tell my husband because he’s always using ‘not enough time’ as an excuse. Blogging is a big stress-reliever, isn’t it? Too bad it doesn’t burn any calories.

  32. I’ve started doing Crossfit… it’s a lot of weights and body-weight type exercises done in a way that gets your heartrate up – lots of timed “complete these three exercises” things. I really like it because i can actually see the difference, even though I only started at the beginning of the summer. I can (kind of) climb a rope! I couldn’t even lift myself off the ground before. And the jogging warmup, I’ve gone from gah, dieing!!!…. 400m run! to “meh, sure we’ll do 400m run… and then box jumps and lunges.

    1. You go, Lexy! The lifting weights thing I’m still new to…I think my muscles are getting used to certain repetitions so I might have to change it up a bit. (what muscles I have…my arms are still pretty flabby)

  33. I’m hopeless at sticking at exercising, too. But lately I’m looking at getting an aerobic step so that I can at least do something to music. (And make acquaintance of some of my albums again!) I need something in my room – where I’ve got my computer and a great view out of my window, and some fresh air. That way I can start slowly, take regular breaths, do stuff and do more. I never get on with exercising in a separate room – I just avoid it.

    Years ago I did T’ai Chi and felt miles better but it does take a long time to get fit from that and it’s still not aerobic. I need some aerobic exercise as I keep worrying about that guy with scythe too!

    But what will (or would) keep me doing it, I’ve no idea. Maybe I’ll learn that enroute.

    1. T’ai Chi looks so relaxing. I would love to give that a try someday. I do love to listen to my music (a rare thing with my kids around) and working out gives me a chance to do that as well, which helps me stick with it.

  34. You’re going to need some smaller D Pants soon! I noticed you looking quite buff in your anniversary vid, too (of course you’ve always looked great)! Go Darla Go!

    I howled when you said, “…when I made the resolution to not die.” I definitely still get caught up in the shallow reasons to want to lose weight, but less so than ever before. I just don’t want to start a routine I’m not going to keep up with – both diet wise and exercise wise. I’ve done it all. I love being outside/in nature, so that motivates me the most. I walk or hike with the dog at least 30 minutes a day, and swim a few times a week in the summer. I almost always take the stairs if there’s a choice, like at work. Lately I’ve been trying to get back into my push-ups/crunches type routine every other day. I’m in the home stretch, wanting to lose 30 more lbs (I’m tall), but I’ve been stuck for ages. Maaaaybe I should try giving up the booze.

    Ha ha. Yeah right.

    1. Smaller D pants! hahaha! Oh, bless you, but I am far from buff. More like fluff.

      Whenever I exercised to ‘look good’ I would never stick with it, because, let’s face it, I’m married for over 12 years. What’s the point, really? My hubby would love me no matter what.
      But death/dying/disease? Yeah. Count me out, baby.

      And you’re tall? How tall? I’m 5′ 5″ so you’ll probably tower over me when we finally meet. And yes, we will meet. Maybe at some lobster bake-off in Maine?? hm?

      1. Ahem. Check your inbox Shrinking D Pants 😉

        And I shouldn’t say I’m that tall – 5’8″, but I like to pretend that that gives me an excuse to eat more. Oh and I still wear 3-inch heels even though Peppermeister is 5’5″.

          1. Or Shrinky Dinks! HA! AND I was just thinking this morning I could call you Darles Barkley or other Charles names. It doesn’t make sense. But that’s okay.

  35. My logic is different. I figure if I don’t exercise, my death will be more swift instead of protracted. Also, I knew a guy who was super-fit, healthy, ate right, exercised all the time, lived to be 75 and then fell off a roof. Killed him. Death’s a toss-up. (Have I inspired you? Maybe if we play music?)

    1. That’s true. I could fall off a roof today. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. But maybe in either case, my heart would be so super strong, it would keep beating and I’d come out of that coma. Yeah you know what…I’m gonna go have a cupcake now.

      1. Not to be too maudlin about it, but I know a guy that happened to. Hit by a truck. 32 years old. He was brain dead with a strong heart. Just meant he lingered longer when they pulled him off life support. The point of my story is to tell you to eat two cupcakes. 🙂

  36. Deborah the Closet Monster

    We share a common motivation! My running was borne in part by laziness (why spend all that time getting to and from the gym when I could run in the same amount of time?) and by the very strong desire to strengthen my somewhat weak heart muscles. When I’m running, my heart is my buddy; when I’m not running, it quickly falls back into disrepair. I haven’t been running for the last month due to back pains, but I’ll be seeing a PT soon and hopefully getting back on track. I’d love to see grandkids and great grandkids, if I could make such a thing happen by taking better care of myself. (Obviously some things are out of my control, but I’ll do what I can. Most the time. Sometimes?)

    1. Doing whatever you can is good enough, Deb. You are incredibly busy! I remember your running posts and they really inspired me. I certainly hope your back pain goes away soon and the PT can help you there. In the meantime, I’m sure just chasing after L’il D is enough!

    1. I know! It’s the time! After I’m finally done, do my stretching and lift weight, take a shower, it takes about 2 hours out of my day and we all know that leaves hardly any time for more important things like blogging.

  37. have just started an exercise regime a week back. Was cheating on it today and catching up with old posts instead, when I came across this! Thanks for the reminder Darla! Eight months – you’re my hero 🙂 am going to put on my walking shoes right away 🙂

  38. pattisj

    Eight months? Good for you, Darla! I’ve been in a slump, but your post is a great motivator–or was that the Grim Reaper? Either way, it works. My six-pack flabs and bat wings are great motivators, also.

  39. Cocktails of History and Prose

    This was a great post. I thought I gave up my blog. Then…decided to log on again (forgot user name and password, go figure). Your blog was the first one I looked up. You have more stamina than me… Glad to see you are still at it, and you do it so well!

      1. Cocktails of History and Prose

        Visiting I guess. I decided to stress myself out and write a 94,000 word historical novel. It’s done now…and I’ve got some time on my hands. Thinking about getting back into this blog thing. Your posts and those from Dumbfunnery are the best on wordpress I think.:)

        1. Whoa! 94,000 words?? You are incredible. Truly. I bow down to you. And when can I stand in line to get an autographed copy?? Please get back into the blogging thing. It doesn’t pay anything, sucks all your time away…what more could you ask for, really? And thank you for the compliment–truly made my day!

  40. Running from Death. You’re right! Great motivator.

    How about I spray a little sunshine up your ass this morning? I prefer to be running TOWARD Death, happy, healthy, and fit. I never regret the soreness and fatigue that comes from a good workout, but I don’t go to the gym. I go to the yard. No bulky equipment or annual gym membership required.

    Good mornings, dead lifts, cable rows, bicep curls, lunges, squats – all part of my daily repertoire in getting the earth ready to grow food. It costs me next to nothing and my home equipment (a hoe, shovel, rake, hand trowel) is quite manageable and takes up little space, though I admit I can’t hang laundry to dry on it. The bonus? I get to eat delicious wholesome food that doesn’t make me fat OR sick. I believe it’s the reason I’m still rock a bikini at 45. (Now, if I only had some boobs…)

    My goal is to die happily, with a smile on my face, riding on my lawn tractor with a beer in the cup-holder. When I do, I just hope I don’t fall off and severe a limb or something. Bleeding out with no one around is the only thing I really fear – even when I’m already dead.

    1. You kick some serious ass! You could probably kick my ass…
      You are an inspiration. I am eating better. I would love to just steer clear of all processed foods, I’m trying cut down at least.
      you and I need to have a lawn mower race one day–then celebrate after with a couple beers! 😀

      1. Baby steps, sweet Darla, baby steps. Don’t do it all at once or you’ll go mad. But it all starts with a choice and making lots of LITTLE choices (should I order the steak? or have a salad with a brownie for dessert?) constantly.

        I should start a blog JUST to chronicle my food changes journey (that began in early 2011), particularly in quitting meat and meat by-products. Oh wait…I already did. ( Now, if I just had some time to post some of my drafts. 🙂

        Yes. Mower races. With beer. Excellent idea. We’ll have the husbands watch the kiddos.

  41. Love this post! I was dying laughing so hard, but I must stay alive so that I can exercise. What motivates me is the fear I have of the gym owner calling me to badger me to come work out. Yes, that’s right. He takes it upon himself to harass you personally to give a damn about your personal and physical health. So… maybe you can start calling yourself and harass yourself to get on the do hickey thingy? My motivator is to be the best I can be, ‘because I’m worth it!” Take that Cover Girl! 😀 Oh, and because I wanna kick Channing Tatum’s arse in abs. Okay, I just love Channing’s abs and arse… droooolll….


    1. The gym owner calls and harasses you? That is going above and beyond. I could see why that works!

      And what are these things called ‘abs’ you speak of? Oh, I seem to remember…those things I had before surgery ripped them out (along with the baby) and replaced them with scar tissues and saggy skin. Yeah, no amount of working out will ever bring those babies back I’m afraid. I am a lost cause there.

      1. awwww…. well.. there’s always spray paint? 😀 The most important thing is bringing that heart rate up, kicking up your metabolism, and releasing all that stress and better night’s sleep… soooo many benefits!

        Today, when I was working out, i started laughing to myself thinking of your screams of agony of “oh, make it stop! The agony, the agony!” hahaha


  42. I tried the exercise thing. I’d get from the door to the mailbox and then I’d be done. But, then, my husband has been walking and I feel guilty if he hoofs it alone. So I join him.

    Now, when I have an occasional donut, I feel guilty. I’ve lost and regained weight. Now, I’m back at it again. My aim is to have a healthy lifestyle – and cheat death. That works for me. Lisa, your post is a great motivator to stay on track. Best wishes to you in your efforts.

  43. Guilty confession: I really love exercise. Even more guilty confession: I *especially* love 80s-style aerobic exercises at the gym– step class, spin classes, any sort of group fitness class that doesn’t involve team sports. I hated phys ed class growing up (because of the aforementioned dominance of dreaded team sports), but man– if they would have had a Step Class unit or an Elliptical Week in gym class, I would have loved phys ed forever!

    Alas, I haven’t been to the gym in nearly a month now because of our crazy work schedule. I can’t wait until the Tuesday after Labour Day. If I have any energy left (which could be doubtful), I am totally hitting up an aerobics class at the Y. Fitness classes keep me sane!

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