I spent most of the morning shoveling my driveway. The snow was up to my knees. It was hard physical work. I have several aching muscle groups right now – arms not used to lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, legs not used to repeated bending and lifting, and tummy muscles I didn’t even know existed and can’t quite figure out how they were involved in the process.
But it was also the most satisfying workout I’ve had in a long time.
I am not somebody who enjoys working out. Going to the gym seems utterly dumb as far as I’m concerned. I tried jogging outside once and it was one time too many. I got up at six in the morning for this? Ugh.
Comparatively, shoveling snow is fantastic. It’s a workout I actually enjoy. I hate sweating through some pointless activity like a hampster on a wheel. I love looking back over a driveway I’ve managed to clear through my own physical efforts and feeling like I’ve accomplished something meaningful and tangible. I hate coming in from a workout all pink and sticky and gross-feeling. I love coming in pink and frosted like a cupcake.
I want to become more physically active, really I do. I’m trying hard not to make it all about weight loss because I don’t think that goal will serve me well, though I know I’ve put on a few extra pounds from my recent levels of inactivity. I’ve been pudgy all of my life, and I get trapped in some really destructive ways of thinking, like “I’ll earn the right to go to parties/get my picture taken/feel sexy/be happy when I look ten pounds skinnier”. No. Fuck that noise. I have that right now. And I’m trying to get rid of old patterns of thinking that fail to recognize that right.
But I also know that exercise is supposed to boost energy levels, and that I need. I would love to have more energy. I also know that exercise will help my body to work better because I’ll be more fit, and that will help me with everyday tasks like running for the bus or climbing the subway stairs or shoveling the next snowstorm.
But here in Toronto we don’t get massive snowstorms all that often. Which makes shoveling snow a less-than-dependable workout strategy.
That means I’m searching for some other strategy that I think is fun.
I love being in the water, though swimming laps is a little bit tedious. Water polo, perhaps? Or water volleyball? Some kind of pool sport? I’m a little nervous about getting involved in any kind of sporting league, being the kind of person who always got picked last for every sport, ever.
I’m thinking about trying out roller-skating or rollerblading, but I’m not sure whether I’ll enjoy or do well at them, and I don’t want to shell out the money for an activity I might find tedious and annoying. I learned my lesson after shelling out over $100 on a bike and some cycling equipment because I thought it was impossible for anyone to not like or not be good at biking. Turns out I don’t like it and I’m not good at it. It’s literally a pain-in-the-ass activity. Maybe I could find somebody who already has rollerblades or a place to rent them and try them out. (In the future, I mean, some time when there aren’t four feet of snow on the ground.) Any suggestions?
Other than that, and short of moving to Antarctica and pushing the snow around my glacier on a daily basis, what kinds of activity do you recommend? Are there any non-athletic types out there who found an exercise they think is actually fun?