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24 February 2003

I periodically check in with the Healthy Walker blog spot. It's a place where there are weekly "writing prompts for weight loss journalers."  While I've written about some of the topics suggested (trigger foods, poor body image, etc.), I've generally written it before someone thinks of that as a topic for the prompts. I'm on the notify list, though, so I decided to check out this week's prompt when I received the notice that it had been posted:

Did you take any PE (physical education) class when you were in school? Did you enjoy it? Were you athletically inclined? Have you ever participated in a team sport? In an individual sport? What sports have you tried, and what sport would you like to try/learn? Do you enjoy/are you easily inspired from watching sports?

Sports. Ahhh....sports. Exercise. The "e" word. I have been in a women's discussion group on CompuServe for many years -- Mary ("Life in the Loony Bin,") Tricia ("I Am the Queen") , Ellen ("Under the Microscope"), and Lisa ("Lobotomyland") -- are four other journalers who have been in this group for a long time. There was a time, years ago, when we were discussing becoming healthier. "Exercise" always was "the e-word." At least for many of us. Exercise was the last thing we were interested in.

I've never been well coordinated. When I was in grammar school, I would get together with the kids in the neighborhood and we played "baseball." We played in the small concrete yard of the apartment building where my friend Stephen lived. "home plate" was directly under my mother's kitchen window, so she could look out and watch us play. "First base" was a lump in the wall halfway to the other side of the small yard. "Second base" was the wall opposite home plate, "third base" was the stairs that led up and out of the yard, and then back to home base. We probably used tennis balls and used our forearms as bats (I don't remember that part). I remember it being fun; I also remember not being very good at it.

I moved a lot in those days, but I remember my grandmother getting angry with me for running. "Don't run! It's bad for your heart!" (imagine that! Especially in light of what we know about heart health these days!)

My friend Pat--well, we weren't really friends, but our parents were--always made fun of me mercilessly whenever we got together, making me very self-conscious about the way I ran.

We played games in grammar school, but I don't remember active ones. Maybe because I was always the last one chosen for teams, so it was too embarrassing to participate. I remember bowing out of a lot of them so I could go climb up on a little wooden structure to read during recess.

Still, I wasn't entirely a couch potato (I couldn't be--we didn't own a television!). I took ice skating lessons in Girl Scouts (I was lousy at it), and swam at a neighborhood pool. But my first choice of activities would never be something that smacked of exercise.

I have no recollection of taking PE in high school. I know I must have--it was required. But I very definitely did the barest minimum. I was so active in high school that my other activities allowed me to skip PE because I was needed elsewhere. I am on just about every activity page in my senior yearbook--except for the sports pages. You won't find me anywhere near there.

It's kind of surprising that I grew up with zero interest in physical activity. My father, in his brief time in college, was studying to be a PE instructor. He was very into physical fitness as a kid and kept weights in the basement of our flat. I don't remember when he stopped working out, but he did work on being physically fit as a young adult. Somehow that never translated over into family activities that would encourage physical fitness in my sister or myself (I followed the trend; I never did anything athletic with our kids either).

The older (and fatter) I got, the less interested I was in moving. I was the kind of person who would drive from one side of a mall to the other so I wouldn't have to walk from store to store.

Whenever I went on a weight loss program, I would always think I needed to do some exercise "sometime," but "sometime" never got here.

I look at myself today and am amazed that I do anything at all. That I enjoy it is just another miracle.

Walt pointed out recently that when I am somewhere with a camera, and I stop to take a picture now, it's because I really want to take the picture, not because I'm using the photo stop as a chance to stop walking and rest for abit

I look at how much fun I'm having these days and I wish I could go back about 40 years and do it over again to experience all the stuff I missed.

The last part of that question was "Do you enjoy/are you easily inspired from watching sports?" Well, "easily inspired," no. I have little enough self esteem/self confidence that seeing some jock doing something magnificent doesn't inspire me to go out and try--I know I'd just fall on my face. But as to watching sports, it's not something I've done a lot of, but not really because I don't enjoy it, more because it's not something I do alone. When the kids were home and watching football games, I enjoyed watching with them. I was a big Giants fan back in the days of Willie Mays and Willie McCovy. I have the reputation of being a non-sports person, but it just kind of depends on the time and the place and the company, I guess. Also the sport. I very much enjoy watching things like springboard diving, horse racing, an a lot of the sports on the winter olympics.

Thanks for your nomination of Funny the World for a Legacy award, of all things. You can find all the nominees here. Congratulations to all the other nominees--especially my buddies Haggie and Marn. If you have a journal, support the community and be sure to vote.

Quote of the Day

Exercise is bunk. If you are healthy, you don't need it: if you are sick you should not take it.

~ Henry Ford

Yesterday's Photo

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My father lifting 100 lbs
(this was before I was born)

One Year Ago
Take 2 Aspirin and Call Me in 6 Mos
I grew up with Ben Casey, Marcus Welby, Dr. Kildaire...all those wonderful, caring doctors who would be at your bedside when you coughed, knew your history as soon as you walked in the door, without having to consult your chart, who would call you if they thought you might be having a hard time.  Don't you love fantasy?

Two Years Ago
Mid-night Musings
I hate the thought of speaking in public to the city council, but I will. I need to go on record as being supportive of keeping the city from overtly, or covertly, encouraging an organization that prides itself on being excusionary.

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Pounds Lost:  70
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

URL Total 741.6
Blue Angel Total 688.2
2003 YTD Cumulative:  186.6

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Created 2/21/03


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