Points for Trying

I just went for a run, and I was thinking about how odd it is that I, somebody who avoided all forms of physical activity as much as humanly possible all through my youth and young adulthood, have somehow become an “athlete.” I put it in quotes because I don’t really think of myself as such, I’m just somebody who runs and works out regularly. This week so far I’ve run at least 1o miles, which is nothing to a serious runner, but pretty substantial for anyone else.

I was never, ever on a sports team in high school, I avoided physical eduction and managed to find an out by joining the marching band – that’s right, I never even took PE in high school because I found out I could get PE credits for band. I wasn’t kidding when I said I avoided exercise like the plague back then. I knew I was no good at it – uncoordinated, out of shape, overweight – putting myself out there to do it would have been torture to me both physically and emotionally.

But now I run or lift weights or do aerobics or yoga or dance 5 or 6 days a week. But I didn’t say I do it well. I do it about like you’d expect somebody with zero history of athletic achievement to do it: Badly.

I don’t care, I actually enjoy doing it badly because I know a secret: With exercise you get points for trying whether you win the Olympics or shuffle along like a wounded pigeon. And by points I mean calories burned. I show up to Zumba a few times a month and I flail around like a confused chicken. While everybody else is “shaking it” I’m stuttering it around enthusiastically. I try to find  a big empty space in the studio for my Zumba-ing because I know I’m liable to lash out and backhand somebody with one of my errant limbs at any time.  Nobody’s grading me now, I can Zumba as stupidly as I want. And every time I try a new form of exercise there’s a chance it could be something I’ll enjoy and keep doing, and whether I find I’m good at it or not, I’m still moving my body and burning calories while I’m doing it.

So yeah – the running. It’s not fast, it’s not graceful, nor powerful, but I burn about 12 calories a minute for every minute I do it, and that puts a smile on my face. I get points for trying.

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3 Responses to “Points for Trying”

  1. snapshotstacy Says:

    Wow… Marching band & being in track still didn’t get me out of PE! My teenage self is _so_ jealous of you! I’m not so good with the team sports thing, so while I excelled at marching band & was a top State thrower in track, I was still ‘that tall, big, awkward girl who can’t seem to return or catch a ball’. Meh.

    I really loved going to Zumba.. but during the 6 months I was out of commission, they changed the schedule. There is now ONE session I can attend (after 5pm on weekdays) – and it’s usually so crowded, you can’t find space to actually move!
    I just started using my Kinect dance games more, so that’s good. I may pick up the Zumba one, see if I like it.

    Once I get a better sports bra, I plan on getting back into walk/running as well. I still have that goal of running the SF Marathon before I turn 40. 🙂

  2. Nicole Hales Crotchett Says:

    Once, i took an aerobics class. One night, i just couldn’t get it and laughed so hard i threw off the instructor’s rhythm when she looked in the mirror to see what was going on.

    Yeah. I get it. 🙂

  3. Trystan Says:

    Y’know, this is true. It’s one of the reasons I hate going to the gym bec. everyone there seems to do exercise “perfectly” & the comparison btwn them & me is annoying. But at home, who cares? Points for trying.


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