Exercise is a Four-Letter Word

Back when I wrote about dieting, I may have been a little hopeful. I may have been trying one of those goal-setting techniques where you tell everyone so then you’re accountable.

I may have then proceeded to make homemade fudge that Sunday.


Since I’m still at least 20 pounds heavier than I’d like and therefore feel fat and flabby, I’ve started back into an exercise routine. As opposed to my Couch to Bed program of the last year, this new plan involves trying to do a cardio workout each morning.

‘Cause, you know, dieting and exercise go together. They’re like The Rack and an Iron Maiden; like Taco Bell and food poisoning; like The Apocalypse and radiation. They just work.

This morning, I remembered the last time I felt motivated to torture myself exercise. I’d been going to the gym to run a mile or two, most days a month. I thought that made me mighty enough. Then, my friend invited me to an aerobics class over at her gym. It didn’t take long for me to come to several conclusions:

  • I was NOT in shape.
  • That woman working out in front of me needed more opaque pants.
  • I was probably going to pass out if I didn’t slow my pace.

Our perky, optimistic, sadistic instructor used the breaks between enthusiastic reps to encourage us, to promise “just four more,” and to explain she’d been absent last week because she’d miscarried and had to have a D&C.

Clearly, that woman was not human.


If she was, however, then I was out of excuses for my lazy style of “exercise.” Some humbled, dormant motivation surfaced. I started watching YouTube videos each day, beginning with “The Fat People’s Workout” and ending up at “Fitness Blender.” I ate better. I ran more than 1 or 2 miles and added weight-lifting. I felt impatient, but also saw my stamina and health improve.

Today, I …couldn’t bring myself to start at the beginning again. I remember watching Richard Simmons-type TV aerobics with my mother; the ‘slow track’ person never looked happy or fit and I wouldn’t either. I therefore put on my old high-impact routine and …mostly made it.

That was a few hours ago. I think I’ll be able to walk now.

Is exercising part of your daily routine, or something you resolved to do more of this year? Are you an adrenaline junkie, running 100-milers and marathons; or are you trying to park farther away from the grocery store entrance?



Take a lap around what I wrote last week:
Wednesday, February 12: Got all starry-eyed in “Love and Marriage and Practicality.”

Thursday, February 13: Throwback Thursday to my sock addiction.

Friday, February 14: Some sort of holiday, so I shared my old schoolmate’s romantic, authentic video.

Also: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Bryntin!

Saturday, February 15: Announced the 59th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is “Little Willie” poems again. Feeling twisted? PLEASE ENTER!

I therefore came up with five examples in, “Little Willie: Some Terrible Poems.”

Sunday, February 16: “Dear, Sweet Sugar Report,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, February 17: An inspirational quote by Mathew S. of Blog of the Wolf Boy.

Tuesday, February 18: “Window Washer Whimsy,” a Senryu for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 19: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “Hi. My Name is Mom and I Can’t Think” and “It’s Just a Stage.”

Photo Credit: Gaelle Marcel
Franck V.
andrew dinh

©2020 Chelsea Owens

29 thoughts on “Exercise is a Four-Letter Word

  1. Great post! I am currently doing the watch what I eat (and watch what others eat in that I am so envious of what you are ingesting I might cry) and hiking once a week… I am going to try to throw in some gym time, but keep telling myself that I am just not ready… your post made me laugh and I needed that today, as well as motivate me… thank you! (bellasbabbles.com)

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  2. What is it with a la mode exercise gear tat it has see through patches dotted hither and yon. A woman jogged past me while I waited for Dog to prove dogs have better bladder control than 60 something men and I’m sure she must have mistaken her top for her leggings as her left buttock was see through. Either than or Lagerfeld designed her leisure wear with his shades on in a dark room. Me and exercise? I do a lot badly. Currently hot yoga is included amongst other vaguely healthy pursuits. I’m presently transitioning from a one man jacuzzi to a healthy sheen.

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  3. I’ve become a bit of a cardio junkie in my later years. Lots of reasons why, but one of the main ones is that I have a slacker serving as gatekeeper to my mouth. I love to eat and don’t mind making healthy choices. But did somebody say fudge? Strap on the sneakers, this is going to take a while.

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  4. My exercise is all about trying to look like Clooney….. yeh right. I guess it’s about trying to give me the best chance of doing this parenting gig as well as I can. Maybe you could base it all on a role of one your dice. 1- go for walk, 2- go for run 3- aerobics class 4- yoga 5- day off 6 – eat fudge cake.

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  5. Once you get past the “I’m going to throw up” phase with better fitness it truly becomes so much a part of life that it’s hard to imagine not doing it. Hang in there!

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  6. I weight train fairly regularly, because it helps with arthritis pain and because I want to age well. Something about turning 50 woke me up to the fact that if I don’t take better care of myself, I’m not going to be able to do the things I enjoy in the last third of my life.

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