Thursday, October 26, 2006

Calculus is hard but my abdomen is not

All right, so I have always had the metabolism of a rat. Let's say mouse, I don't want the metabolism of a rat. Actually, let's say I've always had the metabolism of the American shrew-mole, "2.32 times greater than predicted for similar-sized placental mammals".


Common American Shrew-Mole, from Audubon, John James. The Quadrupeds of North America. New York: V. G. Audubon, 1854.

The point is, I've never had to watch my weight or exercise or diet or whatever. So now I'm 40 -- actually, let's face it, in a few weeks I will be OVER 40, and somehow OVER 40 is hitting me a lot harder than 40 did. I faced 40 with a certain amount of sneerage, as I was then a size 4, courtesy of two heavy children under 5, both of whom nursed for two YEARS.

Well anyway now that I've hit the uphill part of the ride, and my metabolism doesn't quite have that oomf anymore and there is no child sucking 500 calories a day out my front and I still drink way more beer than I probably should, well...

now I have a spare tire and none of my pants fit.

I know, I know! Nobody has any sympathy for me and I don't deserve any! I have had a free ride so far and now I finally have to learn, at 40, at OVER 40 god damn it, how to... how to...

exercise.

It was like when I got to college and had to learn to study. Except I didn't, which is why I graduated with a 2.6 GPA. I learned to study ten years later, in graduate school, when I was paying the tuition - after I had worked a series of nightmare jobs and realized that decent grades in grad school were the only way to ensure that I never EVER had to work in insurance again. Mom, if you're reading this, that still doesn't mean I could have passed Calculus if I'd just applied myself more. Calculus is hard.

So Bob took me to the YMCA the other morning after dropping the Big Man at school. We introduced the suspicious and tentative Mr. Three to the very nice Child Watch ladies, I stowed my stuff in a locker, and Bob showed me into the fitness room. Walking in, I said, "I don't know about this..." and he said, "You and [Mr. Three], what sissies."

I pedaled a stationery bike for 20 minutes, went and got Three, and we went home. Not so bad.

Today I started kind of feeling it. Brought our bathing suits along. After I rode 25 minutes on the bike, at a higher setting, I grabbed Mr. Three (oh, who would prefer to be called Great Jeff nowadays) (n.b. his name is not Jeff) (p.s. I can't help wondering if it's some kind of Three-icization of Gurdjieff, except, like, how would that happen?) and we practiced kicking in the pool. Signed him and his brother up for swimming lessons right after.

Sometime soon my "thank-you gift" from WYPR's pledge drive will arrive - I selected the iPod armband - and I will download some audio books and attempt... the Elliptical.