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The Myth of the Really Healthy Fit People

September 20, 2010

I have in my head this idea that Really Healthy Fit People live a life where there are no off-weeks or gaps in training.

I imagine that these people make love in their fun run t-shirts.   They read diet books for pleasure and only stay at hotels with treadmills and never eat anything sold at the gas station.   They run marathons through their pregnancy and don’t own a television. They sit at the dinner table and listen to classical music while picking at steamed fish and braised vegetables and talk about how their physical fitness benefits them in all arenas, e.g. their stamina really allowed them to take charge of that big meeting, learning perserverence helped with finishing their graduate program, going the extra mile to save money on their electric bill, etc.  They don’t read books about vampires or watch porn or would never drive anywhere when they can walk, ski, rapel, or rollerblade.

Really Healthy Fit People train 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and it all is for the greater good.  They peer down from their sculpted torsos at slobs like me and feel nothing but hearty positive pity.

Right?

According to the critical voice in my head, yes.  According to this bastard of a voice, I am a total loser if I change my fitness regimen. If I take a vacation that doesn’t involve vigorous, arm-swinging hikes and chilled fruit soups.  If I am not plotting my way through an Iron Man finish.   If I am injured and must change my weight training program, then I am on a feeble path heading hellbound to the couch.  If I haven’t finished the entire ABSolution! book like I hoped to do this summer, I am going to be buried in a piano crate.

And on and on, unreasonable slippery slope arguments, ad infinitum.

Intellectually, I find slippery slope arguments pretty unpersuasive.  So I need to smack that voice in my head and change the script.   I need to tell myself that even those fantastically Healthy Fit People take breaks.  They go on vacation.  They let potato chip crumbs gather on their shirt front.  They decide to quit after a mile because they have some obligation from family or work.  And they are okay with it.

I have to tell myself that the world goes in a circle, not a straight line.  Bursts of energy and times of rest.  Moon waxing and waning. Fertile crops, then fallow fields.   Seasons changing.

This week I have ran.  I have done a few ABSolution! movements in my living room to strengthen my legs and prevent injury.  I have ridden my bike – mostly coasting, yes – to pick up the kids from school.  I have walked the dog, with many stops and pauses for him to sniff at whatever heinous thing he finds of interest.

This week I have done laundry.  I have learned to use my pressure cooker (finally!  after two years of ownership!).  I have read two books and written 15 pages.   I have driven all over hell doing Boring Bullshit Mom Errands.  I have eaten the same salami sandwich with peppers and spring greens about 10 times.  I made dental and medical appointments for the family, bought groceries, coaxed my daughter to go to soccer and made her practice her piano scales, ordered a new sweet dress from Old Navy, watched television, and donated two Harry Potter books to our school library.

Next week, I will do it all again.  Maybe a bit differently.  But that’s okay.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Danielle permalink
    September 23, 2010 2:14 pm

    This is so true and so very funny.
    I am pretty sure that I laughed out loud and running marathons through their pregnancy.
    There was a mom and my kids school who seriously did that. Not a lie!

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