Last spring I wrote about how difficult it is to make time to exercise.
Is there anyone who hasn’t heard that exercise is important? Who hasn’t heard that people who exercise are healthier than couch potatoes? It just isn’t that easy. When you make a list of everything that you need to do in a day, estimate the time required to do those things, and discover that the reason you never seem to get everything done is that you’re trying to cram 33 hours worth of activities into 24 hours, something has to give.
We set priorities. The most important things happen, the less important things fall by the wayside.
The year before my RA diagnosis, I had finally figured out how to make time to exercise. I signed all my kids up for swimming lessons, planning that I could spend time in the gym while my kids were in the pool. Truth be told, it wasn’t that my exercise was a high priority. The priority was for my kids to learn to swim.
Then we discovered that in this particular facility there are over one hundred kids wait-listed every session because there aren’t enough classes (and you have to pay to sit on the waiting list). The only way to guarantee your child a spot in a class is to volunteer. Interesting definition of volunteer.
I volunteered to teach swimming lessons. Ignoring the obvious (if I knew how to teach swimming, my kids wouldn’t need to take lessons), I attended orientation. Type-A that I am, I then purchased a book on how to teach swimming. I talked to everyone I knew who had ever taught swimming lessons. I wrote lesson plans. And I spent nine months teaching swimming lessons.
Instead of spending time in the gym, I spent time in the pool. I would tread water for 45 minutes as I held little-tykes heads above water, swim laps for 15 minutes, then repeat. I didn’t mind not being in the gym, pumping weights. I love swimming.
Two keys that I learned from this experience:
- exercise must be a priority or it won’t happen
- find something that you enjoy doing
Hopefully it won’t take me another six months to write part 3