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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Exercise is Not a Waste of Time

One of my current freelance projects is an article on Hot Yoga, a trend that hit my area of the country in the past year. This is how a basic class works:
  •  20-50 people gather in a room with the door and windows closed.
  • The instructor jacks the thermostat up to 105-degrees and infuses the air with humidity up to 60-percent.
  • Everybody assumes downward dog while sweat drips off the tip of the nose.
  • The sauna posture is held for 60-90 minutes.

Essentially, it's the same workout I get from weeding my garden at noon in August, except that I have the benefit of doing it alone. And I don't have to look at my ghastly, frizzy-haired reflection in the mirror.

Activities like Hot Yoga, or any other event in which scads of people get together to sweat shoulder to shoulder, make me claustrophobic. Just thinking about it gives me an aerobic workout, making my heart race and my blood pressure rise. Setting the room temperature to summer-day-heat-index-warning doesn't put me in the mood to move my body. It makes me angry.

I took up running as my exercise outlet. It's autonomous and self-directed, and the only body odor I have to smell is my own.

Unfortunately, running is torture, too. I haven't kept at it. Every time I go out for a jog, I come home disappointed that I didn't achieve the runner's high. My husband says that I didn't because a bouncy walk is not the same as running. He's wrong. It is the same and it isn't why I couldn't get over the hump.

My problem is that the entire time I'm pounding the pavement a list of my daily tasks scrolls through my head. I agonize over the other things I could be doing. Do you know how many things a person cannot do while she's running?
  • She can't fold clothes.
  • She can't read a book.
  • She can't wash dishes.
  • She can't write a book.
  • She can't design a flower arrangement.
  • She can't clean out her car.
  • She can't return phone calls.
  • She can't take a shower.
  • She can't shop.
  • She can't eat a bowl of ice cream.
I felt confined by the condition of running. It was as claustrophobic as sweating shoulder to shoulder with a room full of strangers. Wasting time is not on my daily agenda.

Marathoner David Babcock shares my opinion. Twenty-six miles, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 27 seconds is a long way to go to get to the end and have nothing to show for it. So he knitted a 12-foot scarf while running the Kansas City Marathon. On top of that, he earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records (something I've always wanted for myself). I hope that as a gesture of gratitude and good sportsmanship he gifted that monstrous neck wrap to the world's tallest man. At 8-feet, 3-inches, I bet the guy has a hard time finding a scarf long enough to accommodate his height.

So, Babcock proved that running isn't a total waste of time. A person can knit while she runs.

Maybe so. I'm going to stick to doing Hot Gardening poses alone in the bean rows. It's working for me.

4 comments:

William Kendall said...

My exercise consists of a good deal of walking, swimming five or six times a week on campus, and rock climbing. That last one, not this past season what with going through the grieving process, but it's time to get back to it. I've missed it.

Lucy Adams said...

But have you ever knitted a scarf while swimming?

Jo said...

I read whilst using my treadmill. I can't knit anyway.

Lucy Adams said...

Perhaps it's time to learn. The Guinness Book category for the longest scarf knitted while walking on a treadmill might be up for grabs!

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