Family Practice: Mea culpaWritten by Shannon Szyperski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I have never been completely against exercise. That being said, at some point I may have stated that “stationary movement with no certain goal has a certain amount of ridiculousness to it” and that “I find the modernized, calculated version of physical exercise to be an oddity that would have been laughed out the door by generations past.” More recently, I may have even said, “It seems odd to me that our modern go-to physical activity involves driving down the street to pay for exercise that involves moving in place with a room full of strangers.”
Come to think about it, I suppose my words could possibly have given the impression that I wasn’t too fond of the whole exercise thing, and, truthfully, I wasn’t. A funny thing happened on the way to full-out exercise cynicism, however. Despite a spinning debacle a couple of years ago (also entered into partially against my will), I somehow ended up beginning 2012 in something called Zumba.
I have a lot of crazy ideas, but rarely do any of them include dragging my friends into physically grueling situations. I also purposefully picked close friends who were content to lie around, break open a package of Oreos and laugh with me at all of the fools running down the street deterred by neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night. Yet, after quite an investment in friends against grueling physical situations, they went ahead and turned on me anyway.
As the peer pressure ate away at me, I had no choice but to Zumba.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad. I do question why exercise studios insist on filling entire walls with mirrors. I rarely even look at a mirror at home, so I’m not sure why I would want to see my body head to toe all sweaty and distorted in public. Other than that, there were quite a few positives right off the bat. I like music. I like dancing. I like learning. I’m not sure why I never quite realized that there was an exercise class that incorporated these things, but, alas, I will try to avoid living in the past.
Perhaps an even greater attraction than the Zumba was the fact that one of my friends overheard an apparent regular announce that the class would thin out by March. As much competitive spirit as I usually lack, I’m surely not going to allow some gym rat to prematurely declare my defeat. I was surely coming back every week until March even if I just sat in a corner.
So, March came and has almost gone and I’ve managed to do much more than sit in the corner. Don’t get me wrong, I lack rhythm, a capacity for following simple dance steps and an ability to clap in unison, but at least I like it. It feels like an exercise miracle, but I like it.
I was on such a high from the physical activity that I eventually roped myself into the whole healthy diet thing too. Those health nuts were right! After an initial period of feeling like I ate Snow White’s poisoned apple and then proceeded to have my body trampled by all seven dwarfs, exercise and a healthy diet really did make me feel pretty good and gave me an unbelievable surplus of energy.
The one issue I’m having is that I wasn’t really lacking in the energy department to begin with, so the excess energy is actually a little much to deal with. This exercise + healthy diet thing = 18 hours of full steam ahead.
Despite the minor drawback of unbridled vigor, I’m going to now go ahead and give two thumbs up to the whole healthy lifestyle thing. Like so many times before, I was wrong. It also turns out that peer pressure, when used constructively by responsible and caring adults, can be a very positive thing.
Shannon and her husband Michael are raising three children in Sylvania. E-mail her at email@example.com.