Friends and Fitness

I am not my friend, Paige.

She loves to exercise.  She loves to work up a daily sweat…in her house…on exercise equipment or along with fitness instructors via instructional/motivational videos.  I do not.  Indoor exercise makes me angry.  I feel boxed in and unproductive.  I like to sweat while doing something that I can then have the benefit of seeing visible results–like working in my garden, clearing brush, planting trees.  I don’t even mind sweating while shooting hoops, riding bikes or playing tag with my kids, because I am connecting with my children and making memories.  My crazy friend, Paige, likes to exercise for the sole purpose of exercise.  She says it makes her feel good.

Brownies make me feel good.

Being in nature also makes me feel good.  I love long walks around our fifteen acres.  It is a perfect time for me to unwind, to think and to pray.  Unfortunately, these reflective hikes aren’t the kind of heart-pumping, cardio-building, calorie-burning kinds of walks that my body needs on a more regular basis.

I’m trying to be better about exercising for the health of it.  I am noticing that aging brings about certain…ummm…changes in my physical make-up.  For the most part, aging does not bother me.  However, I am well aware that what I don’t do now may be virtually impossible to do later if I don’t stay one step ahead of the aging game.   My kids are old enough now that they can fend for themselves while I walk for thirty minutes each day, so this makes the walking easier.  Sometimes, they like to go with me.  It’s like a family outing.

I don’t know how much longer my children will want to go for long walks with their momma, so I try to keep in mind that this time is precious.  On these family walks, my heart may not get to pumping like it needs to for a great cardio workout, but it sure does feel full to bursting of beautiful benefits with this abundance of precious opportunities.

For all of Paige’s fitness fanaticism, she’s pretty good at recognizing the abundance in her own life.  She does crazy things with with her kids like indoor snowball fights, family dance-offs and really, really loud singing.  I love the way she loves on the people around her–never leaving them guessing as to their importance to her.  She is one of the most compassionate and loyal people I’ve ever met.  I sometimes wish God had made me a little bit more like her–except for the whole exercise thing; that’s just weird.

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