I hate exercising. I don’t know why this is, exactly, as I do enjoy having exercised — who doesn’t? — and it pleases me to be sore from vigorous activity, and certainly I’d like to be agile, fit, strong. (Who wouldn’t? Nobody says to himself, aha! my goal for this year: to be over-plump.) I have a sheepish interest in gymnastics and figure skating and parkour and all sorts of activities I have never been and probably will never be good at and, apart from learning how to do a cartwheel, will probably not try to become good at this year.
I do want to be agile, fit, and strong — or at least more agile, fitter, and stronger than I am at the moment. So I find I have to trick myself into exercising. Going to fencing, even only once a week, is a great boon, because it makes me want to get better, and that makes me want to be fitter, and therefore I start trying harder to do things at home. I haven’t quite worked myself up to the point of actually going to the gym apart from going to fencing, but perhaps I’ll get there eventually.
One step at a time. I did put some serious physical fitness goals on my list; apart from the walking-out-of-the-city one, there’s that quadruple whammy of becoming able to do 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and 100 consecutive jumped ropes.
This morning, while the kettle was coming to a boil, I did what I could: 3 very bad push-ups from my knees; 10 sit-ups; 10 squats; and I didn’t try skipping because it’s hard to do indoors. Yet I did do that small amount.
My kettle takes just under ten minutes to come to the boil. In that period of time I can do a tiny bit of vigorous early-morning activity. It wakes me up; it makes me feel I am doing something; it may eventually lead to longer periods of exercise, as over the past year writing for fifteen minutes first thing led to writing for half an hour and now a full hour.
I am going to try working through this person’s six-week scheme of becoming able to do the one hundred. I suspect it will take me much longer than six weeks, but then again, I have all year. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I make tea at other points in the day. There are all sorts of small things I could do in just under ten minutes, scattered throughout the day: I might read a poem, or watch the passers-by, or learn the name of a star, or sweep my kitchen, or write a card, or plot out a scene for my book, or . . . all sorts of things. I needn’t wait for a full hour to do interesting things. Ten minutes will do.
What might you do while the kettle is coming to the boil?