Making friends with exercise

Exercise and I have never been friends.

Okay. Maybe “never” is an exaggeration, but our relationship has been quite frosty for most of my adult life with only occasional attempts at reigniting the friendship.

As a child I played on the beach, swam in the sea, climbed the cliffs and played in the bush near where I lived.


As a teenager I played tennis in a school team and for fun with family and friends in outside of school hours.


At college I played on a basketball team and went out dancing at least once, and sometimes up to three times, a week.NBA_Court_Sports2010

But always my preferred activity was to be lying on my bed engrossed in a good read or scribbling ideas in a notebook.


Then came adulthood, work and parenthood; a life brimming with activity but no scheduled “exercise”.


All too soon middle age, with its stealthy creep, could hide no longer; and my youthful fitness, feeling the dejection of being taken for granted, promptly left.


I know. I know. Exercise is important; not only for body but also for mind.

I always made sure that my own children and the children I was teaching got plenty of opportunities for exercise. But my own body, that’s a different story.


There were already too many other things I wanted to do. How could I possibly fit in something that I didn’t want to do?Green Eggs and Ham

With apologies to Dr Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham”, I offer the following:

Ode to exercise

Exercise. Exercise.

I do not like that exercise.

7271-Stick-Figures-Woman2-1-webI do not like the time it takes.

I do not like the effort it makes.

I do not like being sweaty and hot.

I just don’t like it. I do not.

I do not like it with a trainer.SteveLambert_Woman_on_Exercise_Bike

I do not like the circuit strainer.

I do not like it in the gym,

I do not like a vigorous swim.

7273-Stick-Figures-Woman2-1-webI do not like the heating sun.

I do not like an outdoor run.

I do not like it on a bike.

There’s very little I would like.

Would you like it on TV?exercise TV

Would you, could you with a Wii?

Okay. I’ll try it on TV.

Okay. I’ll try it with a Wii.

7285-Stick-Figures-Woman2-1-webOh I love it.  Yes I do.

This exercise is good for you!

I could do it every day.

I would do it, step this way.

I would do it on the floor. 7266-Stick-Figures-Woman2-1-web

I would do it right indoor.

Exercising with the Wii,

I have found the one for Mii!

Computer and video games had been a source of much fun for me since the days of Atari and others in the 80s. When the Wii Fit came out, I thought that if anything could get me to exercise, this would be it.

Although I still don’t manage to incorporate it into my routine every day, I am doing a lot more than I would without it.

These are the top 10 reasons I love my Wii Fit:

10.  I can do it in the privacy of my own home.

9.  I can spend the amount of time doing it that I choose.

8.  I am sheltered from the outdoor weather – it’s always a beautiful day on the island.

7.  It gives me positive feedback and tells me that I am years younger than I really am! (Who can argue with that?)

6.  If I get lost (which has happened) I don’t have to find my way back; I can just stop and I’m home.

5.  It notices if we haven’t seen each other for a few days and tells me I’ve been missed.

4.  I can choose from a wide variety of activities including juggling, tightrope walking and flying as well as step, jogging and cycling.

3.  I see and have the support of family and friends who “accompany” me through their Mii characters.

2.  I can listen to audiobooks or Ted talks while I am jogging or cycling — good for my mind as well as my body. The especially great thing about listening to Ted talks, is that most of them are of about 15 minutes’ duration: just how long it takes me to jog or cycle around the island; and because I am listening and learning

1.  I don’t even notice that I’m exercising.


If this sounds like a sales pitch for Will, it probably is, because I am sold on it.

If you are one of those lucky people who enjoy exercise, then good on you, I say. So many times I have been told, “You’ll feel better after you do it” – something to do with endorphins, I believe.

I wish. I’m yet to experience that exercise glow. It would make it all so much easier.

A little while ago Talli Roland wrote a post for Women Writers about “how to avoid writer’s arse”. I think I’ll have to become even better friends with my Wii Fit in the future to stop this becoming a big problem for me, now that I am spending a lot more time sitting on my posterior, writing for posterity.


Just in case you are wondering what other “exercise” I dabble in from time to time:

  • On work days I include a 10 – 15 minute walk from car to office and back again
  • In summer I do a very gentle swim-ercise in my very private backyard pool
  • I take frequent walks from my desk to the kitchen and back again throughout the writing day
  • I participate in active play with grandchildren (but only when a book won’t do!)

What about you? Are you one of the lucky ones to whom exercise is a pleasure?

Or, like me, do you always find there are 1001 other things you would rather be doing, and struggle to find the time and energy?

Images from open clipart and eLearning Brothers.

7 thoughts on “Making friends with exercise

  1. Pingback: Happy birthday Dr Seuss! | Norah Colvin

  2. pscottier

    I have found a love for lifting weights, and hope to be able to bench press fifty kilos…note that word ‘hope’! But I love the fact that when you are weightlifting, it is impossible to worry about anything else.


  3. Rosie Thrupp

    Walking on one’s own provides a private space, a luxury in which I love to wallow but then, I walk with great friends who do not like to chat. Instead, they like to prod and poke the bush around us as we walk. They love to find where wees (not wiis) were done overnight. They, like me, enjoy the freedom to ponder and smell and feel…as long as mum is somewhere close.


    1. nco04662 Post author

      What a beautiful image I have you and your friends out for an early morning walk, poking and prodding the untamed bush, pondering the important issues in life. I close my eyes and I, too, am there – but not looking for wees!
      Thanks for putting a smile on my face today!


  4. Bec

    A great post, Nor! I love the poem. I agree with you – exercising for the sake of it doesn’t do it for me. Playing team sports was such great fun though, and I wish the local sports centre was still around! So much like the Wii – it takes not focusing on the exercise to really enjoy it.


    1. nco04662 Post author

      Hi Bec,
      Thanks for your comment. I think you are right about not focusing on the exercise. I’m not so sure about really enjoying it though! No, I really do enjoy the Wii, and dance is a great form of exercise too, as is play. I’m sorry your sports centre closed.
      Have a great day!



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