I don’t much care for exercise. I never really have.
I hear people say how invigorated they are after a run, or how their body just craves movement after a long day.
I am baffled. I have never, ever felt like that. Not even as a child. Maybe when I was very small, before conscious memory, but most of my childhood involved sneaking around until I could find a quiet place to read my book, so I’m doubtful.
But the reality is, getting exercise is the only real way to keep your muscles strong and responsive, and to keep aging joints loose and as mobile as they’re going to get. Now there are lots of ways to exercise. Dancing is great exercise. Hiking, biking, walking the dog. If you can find something you enjoy, absolutely do that.
I’ve never been able to find something I really enjoy. So I’ve settled for maximum result with minimal pain. Both figurative and literal. Iron will now sees me in the local rec center pool for mornings a week. I have to work hard not to resent it. It feels like it takes up so much time for other, more interesting things I could be doing.
I can’t read or write in the pool.
It does do the job though. I walk in the shallow end. Buoyancy takes the weight off my knees, but moving the water adds difficulty and builds strength. Adding floats lets me bring my arms in on the action. I’m there with a collection of regulars, most of whom are older than me, but we’re all friendly. I’ve even made some good friends in the pool.
I was grateful during some recent travel that I’ve been putting in the effort. I was able to navigate long airport hallways and getting in an out of small seats much more easily than this time last year.
Me and my creaky knees will see you in a pool then.