I had the most interesting session with my physiotherapist this morning. I’ve always fancied myself limber. I’m not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination and never have been but I’ve had moments of earnest exercise in my life. Moments, mind you.
However, this morning my physiotherapist stretched out one of my legs today, taking it in a direction I never thought it could travel, and I almost saw God. It burned. If I possessed a little less propriety, I probably would have turned the air above my exam table blue.
Once I got over the imagined indignity of being spread wider than a broken wishbone at Thanksgiving, I began to wonder if perhaps it was a stretch I needed. After all, although I do try to take the stairs and watch what I eat, I’m probably not as fit as I should be. In some ways I’m lucky because my day job keeps me on my feet and moving, but I know I can do more to improve my level of fitness.
I tend to neglect exercise because I tell myself I should be writing instead. I think most writers probably use this excuse (please tell me so) and then we end up with what used to be called “Secretary’s Spread.” I prefer to think of it as Lazy Writer Ass. Today it occurred to me exercise and writing really should go hand in hand.
After all, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Isn’t this what we’ve been told?
Certainly I have found if I take a long break from writing, it can be difficult to find inspiration to pick up the pen again. I work better when I work consistently. It turns out my body operates the same way. If I neglect the old girl, she feels older and exhausted. I don’t want to be exhausted. I want to be vibrant and healthy and I want my writing to sound the same way.
Today, as my physiotherapist twisted me into a pretzel, I made a vow to move. Perhaps it’s not such a sin to take half an hour away from my writing and dedicate some time to improving my quality of life. My brain will likely function better too. Double win, right?
I issue a challenge to all my fellow writers out there, and also to those who’ve been searching for a reason to get up and go. Feeling less than fit? Move with me! It doesn’t matter how, as long as we do it.
If we use it, we won’t lose it. So let’s use it together.