Monday, September 01, 2008

Battle of the Bulge. Part Two - Suck it Billy Jean

Now that we’ve covered whence we’ve placed the finish line, let’s talk about my two prongs of racing-winning success: finding some way to get some exercise in my big, stupid life AND trying to moderate my intake of food without starving or getting very, very blue. And cranky.

OK, so not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I super-hate to exercise. However I do NOT hate to get some exercise if it’s a great big accident, say as a side effect of doing something fun. Remember tap dancing class? FUN! Also the biking to work and back? (sometimes damp but still mostly) FUN! These are some of the keys to my most certain and triumphant success.

Tap class starts back up next week. This is tappy, sweaty exercise that I most definitely love to do. And even though it’s getting rainy, and presently I just cannot find my rain pants, and also I keep having to go to these meetings out at the very far away new hospital which is too far for biking and also I really need to figure out some way to wear a helmet, STILL I will continue to be a bike-commuting girl. Including, whenever I can, doing a scenic route home that takes me about 30 minutes and be even more exercisy.

On top of those existing exercise super-genius plans I’ve got two more. The first? Tennis! Or, more accurately, “chasing yellow, fuzzy balls around a tennis court while explaining what it was that happened that last time which made it totally impossible for me to hit the ball even though it was right where I was. And I was swinging every which way. And did I mention that the sun was in my eyes?”

My Dad and I decided to invest in uber-cheap used tennis rackets (which came with fancy, zippy covers with shoulder straps that make us look like we’re totally good at this! Like the dudes that bring their own cue to the pool hall! Not at ALL dorky or lame!!!) and we’ve been going to one of the multiple free, common-use neighborhood tennis courts that surround my house one night a week. We go about 10pm (for we require an entire day of walking around and talking and just existing in the universe as our warm-up before we risk actual exercise, and also there’s generally nobody else there at that time.)

Now counting the two times that he and I have gone over the last two weeks I’ve only been playing tennis for approximately (wait, let me check this to be sure… yep, that’s what I thought) two weeks. So you can imagine how truly fabulous I am. Why there was one time last week where I served a ball and he hit it back to me! (yes!) Not only that, but I was feeling all kicky myself so I hit the ball back to HIM! (seriously!) Of course by then we were both too exhausted and amazed with ourselves to continue standing, and we did that traditional lying down on the court and wheezing thing that you always see on the Masters or the World Series or whatever that tennis championship thing is called. Which, by the way, I’ll surely be winning next year.

But the REAL key to my exercise success with the balls and rackets and very, very bright lights at 10 at night is the dozen or so times each week that I accidentally hit the ball pretty much right up in the air, way over the stupid fence that surrounds the courts (and which, by the way, is about 11 feet too short!) This gives me the opportunity to run to the single door in or out of the courts (sure, the fence is too small, but they sure didn’t waste any fencing on copious doors in or out!) and then roam around in the neighborhood around the court looking for the runaway ball. My rule has been that I have to run to get the ball and run back. Or at least run our to get it. Or at least run to the door. Or do that little hoppy thing when I first head off to get it that makes it look like I’m about to run, but then I don’t. or at least say the words ‘I’ll run and get it” when I hit it over, even though my Dad wasn’t for even a second planning to go get it. I’m pretty sure that saying the word “run” does burn more calories than any other word.

My other secret exercise weapon? Hot Hoola Hoop Action. I can say no more at this time.

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