This is why I don’t exercise.

I. Hurt. Everywhere.

Seriously, I just walked home from the Hauptbahnhof and must have looked like an 85-year-old. Not to mention getting up from my seat on the train which was a struggle. And it was  a struggle not to look like I was struggling. STRUGGLE.

I’ve never been the athletic type. You know how some people say they always got  picked last in gym class? I really, really, really always got picked last. It was usually me and the very overweight girl left standing there at the end of the kickball team selection. I was super-skinny as a kid, but hand-eye coordination has always been something that eluded me. Who am I kidding? Any coordination. I trip going up stairs. My glasses were always bent wonky because I routinely got hit in the face with stuff because I couldn’t catch to save my life. And running? Every time I try to run I feel like I’m going to die. In elementary school, a few girls had asthma, and I was pretty convinced I did too. My parents thought I was exaggerating and just hated gym class. I ABSOLUTELY hated gym class, but who wouldn’t hate something where they got hit in the face a lot and couldn’t breathe when they tried to run away? Seriously. Parents. 

Walking I can do. I will walk all day long. I will walk even longer if we can make stops for beers along the way… prime example, the Brauerienweg. When I was living at my parent’s house, I also used to go hiking all the time on the trails around our town. There was a four or five mile trail (depending which sign you read), and I usually did two laps around that. I would do that at least once a week, or up to four or five times, depending on free time and humidity/mosquito levels. I felt pretty good those two summers. On days when it was just too gross to leave the house, I did a couple of Crunch Yoga and Pilates videos that I could stream via Netflix, or walked on the walking treadmill that my parents had stuck in my room. That is probably the most exercising I have ever done in my life.

Before I moved abroad, I ordered actual DVDs of my two favorite workouts, and resolved that I would keep doing them. That totally didn’t happen… for several reasons.

  1. I’m lazy.
  2. Beer drinking is the national sport of the Czech Republic. Also, hockey. But I can’t ice skate. That involves coordination.
  3. I’m lazy.
  4. The CD drive on my computer died, so I couldn’t use it. I downloaded some other workout videos but wasn’t a big fan of any of them. 
  5. I’m lazy.
  6. I don’t like people seeing or hearing me exercise, and I shared airspace. What does that mean?

 Here’s my old room. Doesn’t it look nice and airy and bright? I bet it does. Here is why…

Yep. That’s the loft up there. Advantage: putting four people in a house for three and paying less rent. Disadvantage: never actually being alone. Ever. And on the other side of the wall is the living room, so if you were talking in any of those three rooms, everyone could hear you. Again, this is why I really appreciate my fortress of solitude these days.

Which brings me to today. As I mentioned last week, I have a new computer, and therefore a functioning CD drive. And I live alone. I’m still lazy, but after a long winter of eating cake every Friday, I decided I was out of excuses. I can’t keep rationalizing that my walk to and from the train station every day is a sufficient workout. Or the walks to meet friends. For beer. So over the weekend I decided to try and exercise. 


For some reason, I very much enjoy weight-loss reality shows. I used to loooove Celebrity Fit Club; God knows why. I also love The Biggest Loser but the cast this year (or the currently remaining cast) completely sucks and makes me want to staple things to their heads. I miss Jillian Michaels and Anna Kournikova; I feel like they would have bitch-slapped the hell out of all of the contestants by now.

Anyway. I used to do this workout semi-regularly, and I vividly recall the first time…

It was the summer after I graduated college. (Young and foolish). I was still living in Eau Claire, and working at the grocery store deli where I worked during school. I ordered the video, struggled through it one day, and went to work the following day pretty much not being able to walk. It was particularly memorable, because we were expecting a state health inspector in the next week or two, so my boss had ordered a top-down scrubbing of the entire deli. The cold case, the hot case (small restaurant in front of the store), the cooler, the freezer, and the kitchen. My friend and I were brought in specifically to spend our entire eight hours scrubbing that day, and I could barely stand. I had to get milk crates to sit on and needed assistance to get up and down them. Needless to say, crawling on hands and knees and scrubbing every corner was a disaster. One of our employees was a very sweet friend of mine who was studying to be a physical therapist. She kept saying that is was the good kind of pain and I kept saying I was going to kill her and she was a crazy person. Who runs for fun? Crazy people. 

That should have taught me not to bite off more than I could chew. But nope. Yesterday I threw the DVD in, and got through about 20 minutes before I wanted to die. (There are two choices: 30 minutes or 50. I picked 50 because I’m an idiot.) So I decided to stop it there and switch to something more my speed. Also, another reason. *Full discretion: I’m still not sure if there is someone living below me. I don’t think so because the balcony still appears abandoned, but I was also afraid of someone banging on my door to stop jumping around like an elephant (at one point you’re alternating 30 seconds jumping jacks/30 seconds some other form of torture) and making so much noise because it’s Sunday.* Some people get kind of fussy about Sundays here. You’re also not supposed to mow the lawn. Anyway.


So I switched out the drill sergeant for this…

This DVD was my favorite one at home. It was much easier than the boot camp nonsense, but you’re still stretching a fair amount of stuff that doesn’t get used when you…. drink beer. I was able to get through the full 45 minutes, but I’m sure my posture was completely shitty and I sure as hell didn’t do every rep. I guess that’s something to work up to. 

The hour or so of “work-out” was pretty much enough to render me useless today. At one point today I had to bend down and unplug my CD player from the floor jack and I damn near fell over in the process. That would have been mildly embarrassing in front of my students. And of course since there’s no way I’m going to be able to do the videos again today, that means it’s going to be difficult to make myself do it tomorrow. And the cycle of trying to exercise and failing begins.

This is why I don’t exercise. Also, ouch. 


4 thoughts on “This is why I don’t exercise.

  1. I really like this post. I smiled the whole way through. Rather you than me… though I have been thinking I should try running. I have the feeling that I'll need to mull running over in my head a while before I actually break out and do it. And I'll need running shoes…

  2. europe has made me 15kg/30+lbs heavier. carb central, not so cool gyms, etc. id love to work out in my room, but like your computer having a shotty CD drive, mine has a shotty hard drive that im too poor to afford so my computer just shuts down when it wants. blah. i need some inspo!

  3. That's another problem with exercise… you need all this nonsense equipment. And running shoes don't come cheap. At least not ones that you won't injure yourself with. I feel like I should get a yoga mat instead of just using a towel I throw on the floor, because the towel bunches up and gets wrinkly and so on. But I don't want to spend actual money on any of this. Gah. But I'll worry about that in a few days when I can walk like a normal human being again.

  4. Seriously. Why do they make the bread so damn good? I can't fight that. My inspiration is twofold: 1) I have to put on a bathing suit in Greece this summer and 2) I have to stand up in a wedding next summer. So it's not really inspiration so much as the desire to not look completely awful. Haha.

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