big b.

i have figured out that i cannot write these blogs at the end of a long day. but, more importantly – well, perhaps for me and less importantly for you – i have figured out that i am having some of my best ideas when i’m walking. on bertha. which is not as obscene as it sounds.

i hate gyms. the story about how i have spent a lifetime sabatoging myself is much too long to go into here. so i’ll start nearer the end than the beginning to say that i hate gyms. i hate exercising. i hate exercising around other people. the actual act of sweating in front of people leaves me – yes, in a sweat. i have joined gyms – cheap, expensive, monthly, yearly – and almost singularly wasted every drop of money spent on the contracts after i stopped going a few short weeks into my soon-abandoned commitment. i even joined the gym which was located DIRECTLY under my desk (of course, the most expensive of the lot) and carefully packed a gym bag to be kept at my desk. but then the ‘issues’ came out of the closet. i don’t live in the neighborhood in which i work. was i to go there dressed in my work clothes then duck into the office, grab bag, go to gym, sweat (i don’t know how to spell ‘schvitz’ properly) my tushie off, go into the communally-used shower (if you could see me, you’d see me making a face right now that definitely screams ‘ewwwwwwwwwwwww’), towel off in front of everyone (why oh why does this gym seem to have mostly beautiful toned bodies floating around and my prior ample body suddenly feels like the jiggling queen mary) then try to put on makeup while i’m still, let’s face it, sweating, grab the clothes – now pretty crumpled – and try to redress for work again. or do i go in with my gym clothes on…daring to duck into my office to grab the bag.. with my work clothes carefully folded and pressed, repeating everything to do with sweating, jiggling, showering and sweating and then try to dress for work with my clothes – now pretty crumpled.

i talked to hubby for years about getting a good piece of gym equipment in the house (ok, we have a pretty little house as houses go). NO. adamant he was. a dust collector. a clothes hanger. a useless piece of un-used junk.

last year – after a year rather flush with success – i had pretty much packed on a good 30 pounds since chemo, surgery and radiation. i was still standing and a survivor but a pretty chubby chick. tipped the 200 mark. which is not a good look for a 5’3″ person. i hate exercise. but i knew then and there that if i didn’t do something, i was going to die. how ironic to die of a heart attack instead of the cancer i had so fiercely fought. i did my usual intense research and after much discussion, it was agreed that it was ultimately my choice. and i committed almost $3k – yes, you read that right – and welcomed bertha – her formal name: big bertha – into my life and basement. a gym-quality ellyptical.

last may 28th, i started. 10 minutes. i walked 10 minutes. 10 minutes. and the next day i walked 10 minutes. there hasn’t been a day since i got her that i haven’t had to wake up and convince myself to go downstairs and walk. you’d think it would get easier. i will probably have a twisted-sister issue forever. but what has changed is that once i have started – and if i hear you tell anyone i said this, i’ll firmly deny it – i don’t mind. some days i like it. and do you know why? i sing. let me backtrack. at the beginning – i put on a headset and my ipod nano tucked into the holder and i screamed. i primally screamed. it was a little musical but it was screaming. i screamed/sang through 3 years of frustration, pain, sadness, anxiety, loneliness and nausea. and i kept going. now i sing. i sing very very loud. the neighbors hear 1 loud vocal track of disjointed bits of notes but with my headphones on i hear whatever symphony or band is playing very loudly. i yell at my family less. 10 months later i have screamed/sung my way (with some lifestyle changes in my eating habits) through 22 pounds. i learned how to sweat and not run away in fear. i can run at a moderate pace for almost 19 minutes. i did a personal best today with a 12.48 minute mile. pretty amazing for a girl who couldn’t walk for 10 minutes. i sang through all of it. ms. b. and i are wary friends. she is sturdy and faithful. i am faithful and sturdy. i try to go every other day.  mostly i keep going because i’m scared to prove hubby right. yes. twisted sister i am.   but trust me, no one is more surprised than me.


up and down and up and down
up and down and up and down

3 Responses to big b.

  1. Kathryn says:

    You paint this picture well! You are doing double-exercise duty with the singing because all of it increases your aerobic capacity. Way to go, Bean!

  2. You are awesome Beanie – nice job! I’m impressed.

  3. […] of sorts. one year ago, bertha entered my life and my house.  i wrote about bertha earlier.     i’ve been thinking a lot about the thought process that went into deciding to get […]

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