Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Only You...

...can prevent writer’s butt. And forest fires. But mostly writer’s butt. Truly, I spend very little time in the forest these days, so I’m not sure I’m much good at preventing forest fires.

However, sitting for hours upon hours in front of my computer, snacking the day away as I float from the dining room table, to the couch, to my office, and back, has not been kind to my waistline. After spending Saturday on the boat (in a bathing suit, of course) sitting beside my lovely and uber-fit friend, I’ve decided it’s time for me to get my tush in gear.

Now, any normal person might say, “Hey – why don’t I start running again!” or “I know, how about a nice refreshing swim?” or better yet “I’ll join a gym!”

Yeah. Not me. First of all, I positively melt in the southern heat, and running while getting all icky and sweaty as the sun beats down on me is not my idea of a good time. And swimming, well, its too tempting just to paddle around and play when I’m in the lake. And heaven knows I live too far out to belong to a gym.

So, what’s my solution?

Waterboarding. Okay, so it’s actually P90x, but it might as well be waterboarding. Having successfully completed the program two years ago, I thought, sure, I can do this again! Piece of cake. An hour and a half of exercise six days a week? Sign me up!

Well, two days in, all I have to say is uuhhhggggnnnrrrrr. Didn’t get that? That would be the unintelligible moan you would have heard if you were sitting here with me instead of reading my written words.

My back hurts. My shoulders hurt. My legs feel like two well-formed stacks of jello. My arse hurts, my chest aches, heck, even the balls of my feet aren’t happy. It is only through a miracle from heaven that Tony Horton didn’t devise an exercise to bulk up the muscles in my fingers, therefore leaving me with the ability to type.

So, what on earth made me think that I could do this? Rake myself over the coals each day (except Saturdays – yay!) before collapsing on the couch each night as a useless, half-dead bag of quivering muscles? I’m convinced I have some sort of inherent disconnect between what I can do and what I think I can do.

Seriously, do you ever watch, say, HGTV and go, yeah, I can retile my kitchen! Or observe a reality show where some former Navy SEAL make a fire out of a tin can, a marshmallow, and a button and roll your eyes and think, well, who couldn’t start a fire with those things? Do you sit on the couch and shake your head at the Tour de France cyclists and wonder how far you could bike if you had a $15,000 carbon-frame bicycle in your garage? How about those cake competition shows that you know you could kick there butt in if you were there?

Honest to goodness, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have some crazy, delusional side of me that doesn’t seem to get that I’m not superwoman. No, I can’t make snowshoes out of the rusted engine of an abandoned lawnmower. No, I will never be able to bike my way through the French Alps, no matter how expensive my bike is. And if I am ever dropped on a desert island without a lighter or a pack of matches, I’m just gonna have to learn to like sushi.

Honestly, I should just give up now and donate my P90x DVDs to some college kid who can actually do this stuff.

But then again… there is a lot of power in mind over matter. I mean, I said I could do a triathlon, and I did. I wanted a screened in porch, hardwood floors, and a finished basement, so I built them. I believed I could make a wakeboard groomsman cake despite the fact I'd only worked with fondant once before, and I figured out how to do it. I envisioned a career as a writer, so I sat down at the computer and wrote.

Which brings us back to the dreaded Writer’s Butt. Perhaps I can suffer through a little soreness if it means feeling good about myself and being as healthy as I can. Perhaps the pain, the sweat (ew), and the exhaustion are worth it. After all, I’ve done this before. I can do it again. And with time I’ll conquer the things that have been bothering me. No more tiredness, no more feeling blah, and no more Writer’s Butt.

Only I can prevent forest fires and a flat butt. And by jove, I shall.

So tell me, what impossible task do you think you can do? Have you ever tried it, or are you happy knowing that you could do it, if you ever decided to try? ;)


  1. Tony Horton is an animal! I did P90 (the original one, on VHS!) when I was about 16 and lost more weight than on any other program. I've never been fit enough to do P90x though, more power to you for attempting it the second time around :)

    I think the hardest thing I've done is finish my Honours year at university. For nine months I felt it was absolutely impossible, but a combination of guilt and hard-headedness got me through. I suppose it was a good thing, I'd have really regretted quitting!

    Good luck with shaking the Writer's Butt xD

    Dasia has a blog!

  2. An animal just about sums it up, Dasia! Wow, I didn't realize there even was a P90 - but I have to admit it would be tempting to boot that 'x' to the curb, lol.

    Kudos to you for sticking it out for your Honours year. Nine months of torture sounds a lot worse that the 90 days I'm going through! Way to stick it out :)

    Thanks so much for dropping by!

  3. First my favorite book from childhood is The Little Engine that Could. "I think I can" is a great motivational quote.

    My hardset task was trying to get an Aerospace Engineering degree. Yes, I did switch majors a year and half from finishing. Mainly because I wanted to be in good health by the end of college and I wanted a decent GPA so I could get a job.

    After struggling for three and half years, I was pretty sure I could have finished in the program. But reality intruded. The guys with 4.0 GPAs weren't getting jobs. Many of my friends were concerned about by health because I wasn't eating or sleeping much. I lost 10 pounds that last semester I was in the program. (And at the time, I couldn't afford to lose the weight.) My roommate used to stop by my history class just so she could see me. I was never home long enough for us to say hi.

    So while I didn't complete the degree, I never felt like I couldn't do it. I kept pushing through but decided good health and job after college should take precedence over being stubborn about finishing the degree on principle.

    My current test is dealing with my kids and writing. They may have won this summer as I've done no writing since June...but we've had fun. So that should count for something.

  4. So sorry I tempted you with cookies at lunch yesterday!

    Well, I thought it would be impossible for me to ever be in an earthquake BUT...well, you know!

  5. You can do eet! ;) I've never known anyone with as much determination and tenacity as you...I will forever be in awe of it! As for me, I'd say every time I set foot on a plane, it's a small victory!

  6. Holy smokes, Beth - there is persistence, and there is knowing when to quit! I'm glad you knew the distance, and listened to what was best for you in the long run :)

    Hopefully with fall upon us, you'll be able to get some great writing in!

  7. Ha, Marquita - no matter the fitness plan, there will always be a place for cookies in my diet ;) So glad we survived the great quake of '11 together... though I'm still waiting for that Krispy Kreme!

  8. Kara, knowing what a hurdle it is for you to fly always puts me in awe of how many places you've been. What an accomplishment to not let that get the best of you!
    And thank you for the kind words - you are too sweet :)

  9. As far as I'm concerned, P90X is the devil. I lasted one week, so I guess that about says it all! Have fun;)

  10. LOL - so that's where my second copy is! I totally forgot your short-lived foray into P90x-dom!

  11. I understand your pain about the weight thing, but I am a weenie and will not even attempt PX90. Unless I was going on Survivor or Amazing Race or something. Otherwise, I go to the gym and do the elliptical. It's the snacking thing that gets me.
    I think you can do it. Just suck up the pain for the first few days and soldier on! Ibuprofen may help too :) And before and after photos too. As inspiration.

  12. I started a new medication about 6 weeks ago. I've been to the doctor's office for follow-up visits routinely every 2 weeks. I have gained 7lbs since starting this medicine! I have weighed the same amount for 13 years! Other than the short lived months when I lost a few pounds for my wedding and the 9 months I gained weight pregnant. So not happy! My next appointment isn't until October. If I step on the scale and it hasn't gone down- the doc is going down! I spend my day chasing a very active 3 year old. That has to count for something...