I'll admit it. I hate exercise. I abhore the repetition of straining muscle groups in the hopes of improving one's figure. Not that I'm knocking exercising for health's sake, not at all. I just can't stand the gyms, the weights, the push-ups, the sit-ups, the running. It's all so jarring and painful. I'm familiar with the addage of no pain-no gain, but why would I want to voluntarily put myself through pain in the hopes of not experiencing more pain later?
I've tried running....
(This is an outtake that became a joke among my friends. They like to call me "stick","twig", or "toothpick" so I figure this picture was appropriate. :P)
But I've found running to be one of the most painful exercises there is. It looks innocent enough and many people swear by it. I find it to be too jarring on the knees and ankle joints. That coupled with my tiny lung capacity makes for a poor runner.
Although my main issue is an aversion to pain, my secondary problem with exercise has to deal with the involvement of the mind. I've never been one to be able to "push through" pain. (To give you an idea of how much I'm squeamish about pain, my dad had to literally sit on me when I was kid to get a splinter out of my finger!) I prefer distraction. Which is why I find myself drawn more to activities that involve my whole mind as well as my body. I don't mean a mind-over-matter scenario where one has to will themselves through a difficult exercise. I mean something more encompassing, something that activates the creative parts of the brain whether it's through strategy or through physical art. So throughout the years I've done fencing (sport and SAFD style choreography), martial arts (shaolin kung fu, wushu, wing chun, tae kwan doe), dance (ballet, modern, tap, swing), and most recently hooping (hula-hoop dancing). All of those give my brain something else to focus on besides the pain my muscles and joints are going through to accommodate the activity.
Unfortunately, despite being ridiculously active in college, I live a sedentary lifestyle these days. Between my storyboarding, blogging, Photoshop work, driving, eating, watching TV/movies, or even dinner out with friends, I'm sitting all the time. That coupled with a laziness acquired from a couple years of being very very sick, I'm finding it hard to get back in the game. Now I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to doing fencing, dance, and martial artist due to the illness I went through and it's (seemingly) permanent effects, but I'm attempting to make small steps. I hoop when the weather is nice and try to go walking with my parents. I'm hoping to get back to doing yoga regularly as some forms are gentle enough on the body to not trigger my pain aversion, but good for keeping me limber. So here's some yoga to start off the new year!
Top: Nike via Rosss Pants: Nike Pro
All photographs taken by © Abrea Garwood 2011. http://abreagarwood.com/