Archive for November 15th, 2010


Out of It

on November 15, 2010 in Misc 10 Comments »

It’s scary how fast I can get out of shape.

It’s not like I turn into a shapeless blob if I don’t exercise for a few days.  What bothers me is that if I don’t get in some serious workouts at least two to three times a week, plus some stretching/yoga-type stuff in between, I feel kinda stiff and my endurance drops through the floor.

Action movies and books never show their heroes having this problem. They can be held prisoner somewhere for months or even years and suffer death-defying injuries.  Yet when the plot calls for them to rally they leap back into the fray, their strength, endurance, and reflexes as perfect as ever.

Oh please.

This fantasy trait of most action heroes is a big reason why I’m SO glad I decided to give Layla serious injuries in The Compass Master.  She gets bashed up bad enough in a fight that for the rest of the plot she CAN’T run more than a few yards and CAN’T climb like a monkey.  Her sudden physical weakness also makes her feel dangerously vulnerable.

I should know, and not just because I suffered the same injuries Layla did.

Take this last weekend.  On Friday I wasn’t feeling so hot at work, so I skipped my usual half hour exercise in my work building’s very small gym.  Then when I went home I fell asleep at seven o’clock.  On Saturday I was still feeling sick so I merely did some stretches.  By Sunday I had recovered so I tried a full, real work-out.

I lasted half an hour.

What makes me feel worse is that I live in the jock state of the nation, Colorado.  I only have to look out my window to see runners pounding the pavement and cyclists dressed like they’re in the Tour de France.  I have co-workers who complain that they’re “only” participating in an upcoming half marathon because they’re not in good enough shape for a full marathon.   They go on grueling bike rides up mountain trails.

Me?  I run a few blocks and decide I’m good.

On the up side, I can certainly do some things with my body (and in public!) that they can’t do.  And only now am I figuring out what my real physical strengths are along with what might be my permanent “disabilities.”  The irony is, it’s so-called real “superhumans” who have helped to teach me the truth about my own body.

I’ll tell ya all about it next time.