I went to check the mail. I was only outside for two minutes, yet the hot desert sun made me crave a shower. A buff woman in pink spandex jogged by. “Is she crazy?!” I thought to myself. How on earth can anyone exercise in 106 degree weather without melting into a puddle of sweaty goo?” After many days like this, which kept me inside and ignoring my fitness goals, it finally happened: The kids and I stepped off our doorstep and felt the coolness of an overcast day. I was determined not to waste it. After dropping the kids off, I quickly rushed home, had a small breakfast and went for a walk. It felt wonderful. I felt so accomplished, and then another overcast morning followed and I did it again. My body quickly told me, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! This isn’t what you do. Here, notice your shortness of breath and your arches are tingling. You should stop. Enjoy being at home on your own. Netflixsssssssss and chiiiillllll” This voice was familiar.
It was the same voice that will occasionally tell me to give up on my blog. The same voice that points out that I have no business offering advice. The same voice that tells me to not even bother taking the time to write, because nobody cares. It is time to shut up that voice and replace it with a voice of encouragement and positivity. Exercise goals and writing goals are not too different. Each goal I can compare based on approach, technique, and fulfilment.
Approach: Consistency vs. Distraction
Many times I’ve had my pen and journal in hand, ready to write like the wind, but I pass by the playroom and my skin itches to remedy the clutter instead. Sometimes I have had a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch, but then a migraine strikes and the only thing that helps every time is an aspirin and a Coke. #Goalruined.
Technique: Moving is Moving/Writing is Writing
The two days I walked with my kids last week was a slow start, but it was a start. Yesterday, I met my exercise goal for the day. I let my ballroom knowledge take over while I did the dishes and worked up a good sweat. Dancing the Charleston in the middle of Janet Jackson’s Rythm Nation and busting out the samba feels great, even to a Weird Al song. Quick FYI: Just don’t be dumb and think that you’ve worked up enough momentum to pick up a jump rope, especially if, like me, the last time you jumped rope was probably 5th grade. It was a good reminder that I am still slowly setting goals. On the writing front, the keyboard that came with our tablet has not been working, so even now I am all thumbs, typing away to publish on my phone. The fact that I couldn’t use a keyboard kept me from writing for days. Lame excuse, I know, and of course #firstworldproblems. As I’m writing now, I am reminded that writing takes time and even if I slowly express my ideas, it is better than staying silent. And even if technology can delay me from publishing, a writer needs to write SOMETHING every day.
Fulfilment: Choosing Opportunity over Convenience
As I mentioned, I had a good workout the other day. It was enough for me to feel accomplished, so I already decided that today would be exclusively for writing. With car keys in hand, my daughter asked if we could walk to school this morning. My hesitation was evident to her. I could see the please in her eyes before she said it. I had already made a plan and it is hard for me to deviate, but I am so grateful that she asked, because not only did it get me more exercise, but it was perfect quality time with my happy kiddos. What’s funny, is that walking actually can be more convenient on the days I don’t have to drag my kids out of bed or fight school zone traffic. Every day is an opportunity for me to write. It is more convenient for me to play games on my phone or read a book. At least that way I won’t have to second-guess the words I write or risk negative reception from readers. But in the words of Stephen Sondheim: “Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”
New Goals: It hasn’t been hard to meet my step goal these past few weeks. My new goal is to not ever waste my housework by slowly folding laundry or spacing out filling the dishwasher. I want to dance every time! I hope to eventually meet my step goal in the middle of my workout, without using the rest of my daily activities to fill it up. Writing goal: To never skip a week of posting again. Below you will find pictures of my latest workout progress. Still slowly starting, but this app is helping me stay positive.
Feel the need to join my life soundtrack? Wondering which songs get me up and dancing? Follow me on Spotify. Emily Q Hernandez Be warned: My music taste is incredibly random. You may feel the need to either shake your body in joy or shake your head in judgment.