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Mind or Body?

Posted by Sue on August 24, 2006 in Uncategorized |

I’m having a quandry. I’m trying to decide what I want to do with the minimal amount of time I have left in my day. Seriously, there is no minimal amount of time left in my day… and will be even less when the harvest begins, but I have a couple of things I’ve been debating on doing and I can’t make up my mind which is more important. I think I know, but maybe I’m just too close to the situation. I welcome your input.

Option I: The Mind
From my earliest recollection, I loved music. All music. My parents would have Montovani, Jackie Gleason, or Andy Williams playing during dinner. I would sneak to the basement on Saturday afternoon to soak up American Bandstand on our 12″ black and white TV. (Yes, kids, there were things called black and white TV). I had a little am radio that I would sit in my corner of the basement and rock and listen to until my mother would yell at me to get out of the house and go play…and from my earliest recollection, I loved guitar music and piano music.

I’ve told the story of ending up with a trumpet… and how years later in my adulthood I would finally learn to play the piano. Unfortunately, I’ve long forgotten all that I learned. I don’t know how it happened, but lack of time led me to let it slip away. I’ve regretted that decision. Lately I’ve been contemplating taking lessons again. It just so happens my best friend is my piano teacher and she never pushes me a bit, but has said she can always fit me in. I would need to get the piano tuned… a piano that is much better than the one I learned on, thanks to her. We bought it at a ridiculously reasonable price when she got a new one. I’ve never really played this good one! It would mean hours of practice. If I do something, I want to do it well. It would mean spending more time with a friend that I e-mail each and every day, but rarely see any more (due to my anti-social tendencies?). It would mean music to feed my soul.

Option II: The Body
My body is junk. I’m falling apart before my eyes. I’m not the person I used to be, thanks to the passage of time, gravity, and a love of all things lethargic. I used to be in good shape when I was young. I used to ride my bike everywhere, walk when I couldn’t ride, and was a skinny little thing. I remember those days of energy and boundless enthusism. Okay, I remember the days of energy… I’m not sure I ever was enthusiastic.

Everything I do, every hobby I have, involves no physical activity to speak of. I sit at a computer every day, all day long. In my free time, I … sit at a computer… or, read, cross-stitch, crochet, rubber stamp, and watch TV or movies (some of these can be done in conjuntion with each other). I do the normal house-wifey things like cook, and clean, which involves physical activity, but in minimal doses. Same with gardening. I go in spurts, but in no way does it constitute long term “exersize”. I walk my 50-lb beagle, but he goes slower than I do. I ride my stationary bike. A little. I fall down. A lot. Injuries to my ankles and feet and wrists and back are common. I could lose a few pounds… okay, probably quite a few pounds. At least a beagle’s worth.

Now that Em (don’t forget! she has a new blog!) has moved home and changed jobs to one less physical, she’s been wondering about joining a gym to keep in shape. We’ve had some talks about it. Several years ago when I worked at a job on campus and a girlfriend and I who worked in the same office would go to the gym on campus after work. It was handy, being right next to our parking lot, and we would go in all pumped up to get in shape. This was the old gym, the one with the free weights and the weight machines that were not automated. We each had a weight key and lifting gloves and amidst the raging testosterone and sweating twenty-something muscle bound college men, we two middle-aged married ladies would try and make ourselves transform into something better. It worked for awhile, and I probably was in the best shape of my life, strength wise. I was getting toned and fit… and then… life changes and I got a different job and she got a different job and we no longer had access to the gym or to each other and it never fails to amaze me how fast that toned body can melt back into goo.

I had my doctor appointment Wednesday. My blood pressure is a bit high. My blood sugar is a lot high. My ankle is still swollen from falling out of the RV. (I knew it was still twinging a bit now and then, but didn’t realize it was still swollen!) My doc is waiting for some tests to come back to see if she’s going to put me on insulin. It isn’t the end of the world, but it’s a sign that things are getting worse. I’m too young for this shit. I love my family, my critters, even this stupid blog-stuff, and I want to be around for a long time to see how the story ends.

I think Em is going to be around for awhile. She’s going back to school this month, and at the moment living with us. I don’t see that changing for awhile. She’s in pretty good shape (oh, who am I kidding – she’s in GREAT shape) but has promised not to leave me in the dust. The gym we’re thinking of has three locations in our town, plus one has an olympic sized pool. Have I mentioned I love to swim? As long as I can get over my phobia about me. In. A. Swimming. Suit. I love the water. I could use the exersize for so many reasons, and I know if I had my coach urging me on (and hopefully, I could do the same for her) I think I would actually use the facilities. These are all pluses.

Okay, there are the options. Discuss among yourselves and let me know what you decide. I’m putty in your hands.

9 Comments

  • michaelpipes says:

    Well, I have to go with music (persoanl prejudice), but is there anyway you could work both in on different days?

  • Becky says:

    If I were in your shoes, I’d go with the physical one, as I think it would be the healthiest option for you in the long run. If you’re not feeling that “great,” I wonder if you’d enjoy the music anyway? I struggle with weight loss myself and reminding myself that I need to take care of my body if I want it to last. Easier said than done, I know.

  • Brad says:

    I think that if your body feels better, you’ll discover you have more energy and maybe even time to fit in other things, like the piano.

  • Laura says:

    You can’t play the piano if your dead at 60….;) I would do the fitness thing, plus that is more time spent with your daughter. Eventually she will have to move on, have her own family and have less time with/for you. By then you’ll have lost a beagles worth, you can be fit..enought to play with the grandkids…and use the pedals on the piano without a swollen ankle or other injury due to lack of exercise.

  • em says:

    I think that gym thing sounds lovely. Good time spent with your charming daughter and the added benefit of being more healthy. Did I mention your daughter was charming? *cough*

  • Lisa says:

    Coming from one who herself has like, no free time and is currently spending her 20 minutes of “me” time per day sitting on her over-weight ass blogging…. I’d say go for the exercise. When you feel good physically, you have more energy and enthusiasm for all the rest.

  • kate says:

    I’ll join the chorus: go with the body. If the body is in better shape, the mind will line up, too. I’m always amazed at how much more I seem to accomplish and how much better I feel at the end of the day when I’m exercising regularly.

  • Randa says:

    Brad said it exactly the way I was going to.

  • Kay says:

    Got to tell you if that center has water aerobics taught in that pool, you are home safe! People who have never taken a class have no idea what a work-out you get. The plus for me was it was easy on my knees, arms and legs and I wound up so much stronger and energized. I did this after taking care of my 9-month-old grandchild a couple of hours, yet I was so pumped up after the hour class that I could really accomplish things at home that evening and I slept wonderfully.
    The other plus….almost everyone in the class looked way worse than I did in a suit and I was 50lbs. overweight….young and old…didn’t matter. When you climb out of that pool, your legs feel like two tons.
    Lastly, our instuctor’s brother was buff and young and worked out with the heavy weights. She challenged him to take our class. He was blown away at the resistance you got with those goofy-looking styrofoam floating weights we used. He applauded us when he pulled himself out, and never teased her again.
    Let me know if you do this, okay?

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