Friday, March 12, 2010

More Thoughts on Exercise

I have often professed that I do not like yoga. I have never had the money or the courage to go to classes at a gym, and the videos and books I have looked at seemed to me to be devoid of real instruction. Plus, I am naturally quite flexible, and so many of the poses seemed rather pointless to me. Plus, they have ethereal music and as I sit in each pose I find myself getting too bored to finish. It doesn't get my heart rate up. I never feel sore afterwards. It often doesn't qualify, to my mind, as exercise. However, I do like the idea of yoga. I think it is valuable to focus your breathing and to be able to move in every possible way. So, last time we went to the library, I picked up a 20 minute yoga makeover dvd featuring Sara Ivanhoe.

Today I unrolled my yoga mat (yes, I do have one... it's nice to have traction when doing the stretches I like to do) and attempted to follow along in her video. I found that I really liked it... at least, the first five minutes that I could keep up with. Her premise was, "I hear all the time from people who want the benefits of yoga, but don't have time for it." Hence, in this dvd, she sped up the poses and repeated several different "series" a few times and turned yoga into more of a cardio workout. Again, it was awesome for five minutes! Then I realized just how out of shape I truly am, and I watched Sara finish out the dvd and my daughter practicing her standing up skills. (She's getting pretty good... she held herself up for a couple of seconds without any help balancing.)

Anyway, as I sat there and watched, I got kindof excited. I maybe want to be able to do the things that Sara was doing. I certainly want to have the health that she has... but that's not enough. I know I stated in my last post that exercise is important to me, and that doing something I enjoy is key to exercising. Today, I guess, I took it a step further in my thoughts.

You see, it's really not enough, at least for me, to exercise just for the sake of exercise. If I'm going to run, I've got to love running. I've got to want to run that 3 minute or 7 minute or 10 minute mile. If I'm going to do yoga, I've got to want to do that hard pose that has eluded me. If I'm going to ride my bike, I... well, I love to ride my bike for the sake of riding my bike, but here's the kicker: riding my bike is boring if I don't have hills to test myself against. I'll bet the same is true with running... I wonder if I would like running if I had more hills on which to run? Probably not, but it bears some thought, don't you think?

Anyway, I've never really thrown myself into any physical discipline. I don't have the body for it. Isn't that ironic... I'd have the body for it if I'd throw myself into it... At any rate, I've never had a great sense of self-efficacy with any physical activity. (Self-efficacy, basically, is the sense that one is good at the thing they are doing.) Part of this, admittedly, is due to the fact that I'm well-endowed. Think about it. Running? Ouch. Swimming? Drag. Dancing? Umm... I just feel like I'm all over the place even when I try to be conservative. But it's more than that. I'm tall and wide. I'm not aggressive. In general, the sports where tall and wide are good things are the ones in which you're supposed to be aggressive.

Here's the point, though. I think it's okay to throw myself into a physical discipline. I think it's okay to find something physical, and challenging, that I'm not necessarily going to ever be the best at, but that I love and want to pursue. Animals will help in that respect in many ways, but I often don't think of working with animals as something that challenges me much physically. I get in shape enough to ride for hours, or to walk with dogs (or sheep, in my case...) and that's an end to the physical development. From then on, I work on training issues. They help me stay at a certain level, which is awesome, but they don't challenge me much beyond that level.

I think I want that. I want to step out of my comfort zone and throw myself into a physical sport that will challenge me physically and mentally and that will keep me coming back because I will now allow myself to develop a passion for it.

I think next on my list of things to do is to develop a list of things I enjoy or want to try and that I can devote myself to...

How cool!

1 comment:

  1. How about soccer or volleyball? My sil loves volleyball. It's more about finesse than aggression. And do you like tennis?