Why do I hate exercise? I don’t really know. Though a big reason would be that it bores me silly. To apply the famous Dorothy Parker quote about writing to exercise: I hate exercising, I love having exercised.
But even the positive feeling associated with the post exercise experience isn’t enough to make me love the dreaded workout.
I didn’t have good models when it came to moving as a child. One of my favorite lines in workshops is, “The only exercise I ever saw my father do was put a cigarette to his lips a few thousand times a day.”
This isn’t to say I wasn’t an active child. My idyllic youth on the streets of Brooklyn involved marathon days of punch ball, football, hint (the 65th Street version of hide and seek) and lots and lots of throwing a ball against the side of a house.
And, it isn’t that I don’t exercise; it is just that I hate it and want it to end almost immediately after it begins. This is why I love my exercise toys so much. I pass my Bosu on the way to the kitchen and do a few squats. If I am too long at my desk (which is often), I bring my Bongo Board into the office and balance for a while.
I have a pull-up bar in the doorway to our office and usually hang on it for a few seconds a few times a day (more to come on hanging).
Throw walking my dog into the mix and over the course of the day I am not particularly sedentary; I just hate exercise.
While no one would call me fat (I don’t think), I carry an extra ten or fifteen pounds in a spare tire around my waist and lack the ambition or vanity to remove it.
What is that lack of aspiration about I wonder? The times in my life that I have put my loathing for exercise aside have really carried me. I don’t lack for strength or flexibility or endurance, though endurance is probably the main thing that suffers from my distaste for exertion.
One reason to exercise might be that having passed fifty I have entered the realm of contemporaries dying. People my age succumbing to the grim reaper way before, what I would think, is their time.
My aforementioned father, who never exercised, fell apart physically as he aged, dependent on a slew of medications and a walker. And while I am not too instinctively worried I do not want to end up in a similar position.
So what’s a man who hates exercise, but knows all too well the value of exercise, to do?