I’ll Never Be Lance Armstrong, but…

I’ve known forever that exercise is an important component of staying healthy, including mentally, since it alleviates anxiety.  I know that because I always feel really good when I finish exercising – and not just because I’ve finished exercising.  I’m not speaking out of…y’know.  There are studies.

Some particularly intriguing studies suggest exercise keeps cancer from returning.  I also somehow got the message – in this case, it’s a mere rumor, since I can’t track the source – that EXTREME exercise is even better than just ordinary exercise.

Everybody has their own idea of “extreme”, but in my case, it means that at least 5 times a week (it would be every day, if I didn’t have other jobs that get in the way), I walk the mile down the mountain – a literal mountain, by the way – to Sunset Boulevard, load up with groceries at Trader Joe’s, and climb back up to my house.  Do I “break a sweat”, which is apparently an important component of  ”extreme” exercise?  O, yeah.

I’ll never have the dedication to exercise that a professional athlete has, but there’s an element of commitment to exercising to keep cancer away that allows me, for the first time in my life, to understand how the Lance Armstrongs of the world relate to their bodies — something that never really clicked when I exercised to get into a particular article of clothing.  Before cancer, my dedication to exercise never lasted more than a few weeks or months.  And then I inevitably returned to being the lazy sot I’ve always been, down deep.

Without planning to make a commitment, I apparently did.  It’s a commitment to exercise as extremely as I can stand, so I’ll stay healthy and live longer.  I think what makes it different this time is that the road to exercise was organic to my lifestyle. Without trying to construct it, I formed an exercise regimen.

If you hate exercise as much as I do, you might want to aim for something that fits easily into your life, a “plan” that just evolves.  I’m not deluding myself into thinking I’ll ever have the body of a 25-year-old again, but I really like the idea that I’m doing more to protect myself against the killer that lurks.

Here’s the most important thing I’ve discovered about exercise: I feel better than probably any time in my life.  I still eat enormous amounts of candy and sweets between dinnertime and the end of the day.  But the exercise has helped me lose an entire jean size, something I haven’t been able to do since high school.  Yeah, you can be old and vain, at the same time, and I’m still here to prove it.

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3 Responses to “I’ll Never Be Lance Armstrong, but…”

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