How Writers Keep Fit (Suggestions Welcome)
She’s ruined a (very nice upholstered) chair, the (somewhat nice) carpet and the (sorta nice) skin on my husband’s arms. Basically, there’s ample reason why she’s called The Reign of Terror.
However, there is one redeeming grace to The Reign of Terror. She gets my husband up and out of his office about 27 times a day. For a fellow who used to sit for hours on end, this movement strikes me as a heart-healthy alternative.
I, on the other hand, have found myself sitting for longer and longer periods every day. And I’ve also found that by the end of the day, I’m stiff and sore and my bones and back are creakin’.
For years, I’ve managed to fit exercise into my daily routine. Running after three kids? Check. Up and down in teeny-tiny chairs, caring for preschoolers? Check. Walking miles of halls, patrolling middle schoolers? Check. I’ve pretty much had running, walking, bending, stretching and twisting covered for most of my life. Until now.
Now, I sit.
Oh, occasionally I’ll get in walking when I’m running errands. And I climb the stairs to get to my office. But honestly, if I could find a way to install a dumbwaiter, I wouldn’t have to go ALL THE WAY DOWNSTAIRS to eat lunch.
And before you think, geez, Cathy, how lazy can you get? It’s not laziness (Okay, it’s a little bit of laziness). But mostly, it’s writing. It’s getting into the zone and not wanting to stop. It’s the drive to keep going because I know that if I lose the plot thread now, I may never get it back. It’s the primal need to feed the writing beast. More, more, more, my brain shouts and my fingers take off with a mind of their own. By the time I come up for air, it's time for supper. A very late supper.
I cannot be the only one out there who struggles with fitting exercise into the writing lifestyle. It’s a necessary part of the business, this butt-in-chair discipline. But I’m betting that there are writers who’ve come up with solutions to this problem. Unfortunately, short of taking over the duties of the Reign of Terror (and really, I couldn’t possibly deny my husband that pleasure), I’m at a loss.
So I thought I’d ask you to share your exercise advice. Do you set a timer? Do you drink a ton of water? Do you train puppies? What? What do you do?
My aching back wants to know your tips. And I might even stop writing long enough to try a few.
~Cathy C. Hall