Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm Alive! And Surprisingly Preoccupied!

First off, my apologies for being gone so darn long. So much longer than I expected. Luckily, my ears cleared up on Saturday afternoon, and since I'd been cooped up in the house all of Thursday and Friday and most of Saturday, I was ready to get the heck out of here! I called Susan up and we spent Saturday night sipping pina coladas, eating a tasty steak salad, and we watched Stranger Than Fiction, all the while marveling at Will Ferrell's uncanny ability to be completely unlike himself. It was good to have a little girls night getaway.

Sunday was more of the same. I worked out first thing, spent part of the day reading and watching mindless TV, and finally headed out to Hastings in the evening to read all the magazines I won't subscribe to: The American Scholar, Bookmarks, and Writer's Digest in particular. Not that they're not worth subscribing to, but what would I do with my time if I couldn't sit in Hastings with free coffee and read them? That's a good time, my friends. Especially when I'm feeling stir crazy.

This week so far: planning for fall courses, gave UNT all of my money for my two library classes, and general week-day stuff.

Part of my preoccupation as of late--it's even keeping me from books to some extent--is a new fascination with exercise. This is weird stuff for me, people. I've always HATED working out. Particularly because Texas is synonymous with "hell" in the summer. This week, for instance, it's been about 102 to 105 every day. Therefore, since Daisy wakes me up at 6:00 every day anyway, I've started walking/jogging in the mornings from about 6:45-8:00 or 8:15. And it's become something of an obsession. Not obsession like bulimia obsession, but it's really become a part of my routine that I look forward to and don't want to end.

I throw on my running shoes, the coolest workout gear available without being indecent (tee-shirt and shorts...get your mind out of the sports bras), and take off with my iPod. In the past I've timed my walks or runs (almost exclusively walks now, bad ankles and a horrible knee from old injuries), followed a set route, always tried to beat my times, and generally made it far too difficult and pain-in-the-assy.

My motto this time is "just go." I cover my neighborhood 3 or four times, sprout off to a new route if I feel like it, I walk briskly and at a steady, strenuous pace, but not so quickly as to make myself hurt and want to die, and I walk for as long as I can or as long as I want to. What I've found is...I never want to stop! As I'm gliding along, sweating like a pig, heart pumping, ears filled with whatever happens to move me at the moment, my mind is completely uncluttered and I can think in ways that remind me of the throes of really good writing or the days when I could spend 7 hours in an art studio painting. It's like walking off my problems (and my ass). I'm just sort of amazed. I've never enjoyed exercise, outside, in the hot. Sometimes I even want to go in the evening too (although it's way too hot for as long a workout as I do in the morning). So, I would say I'm generally walking about 3 miles every morning, and if I go twice 5 or 5.5 (including warm up/cool down and extra stretching time for the bitchy joints).

When I get home from my walk I've been dashing over to the neighbors' house for 30 minutes to an hour of swimming time. Some of that is heavy swimming, constant, or sometimes I just float around and loaf. Either way, I have a great tan, I can take my pants off without unzipping or unbuttoning them, and I want to be outside ALL THE TIME. Kinda cuts into my computer time, but I'm enjoying the new hobby, the new motivation, and the change of lifestyle.

I don't know what's come over me, but I like it!

Now, if you need me, I'll be walking the neighborhood and waving at the neighbors.

Reading: Very little. I'm about halfway through Bonk, and I'm tiring of it.
Watching: Dan in Real Life arrives from Netflix today.
Listening: A LOT! Pete Yorn's Nightcrawler at the moment.


  1. That's great, Andi! I long to become addicted to exercise, but alas, it hasn't happened for me yet. But, I do love being outside no matter how hot it gets. Right now my reading has slowed a little because I've started knitting again. My obsessions seem to run in spurts and stops.

  2. I wish I could get that preoccupied by exercise. Am jealous.

  3. Good for you Andi - it's been a long long time since I've been a workout junkie!!! I just hope you find a balance between that and your blog, cuz I'd miss it if you worked your way out of it!

    My sympathies for the heat. It's about 75 and sunny, breezy here in Portland. I'd die in Texas.

  4. I, too, wish that I could become a workout junkie. Also, the movie Dan in Real Life is very enjoyable. I am glad that you are so happy!!!

  5. Finding something you enjoy doing is a big part of it. For me, it's being out in the garden wheeling away with the leg breaks. I definitely couldn't bring myself to jog for long, so it's a useful alternative, or would be if I didn't have to spend hours hunting for cricket balls in the nearby nettles.

  6. I know all about that exercise addiction. That's how I feel about riding my bike and paddling my kayak! I can't get enough. I don't enough mind (too much) getting up at 5 am so I can bike to work. The ride home makes it all worthwhile. Not so sure I could do that if I lived in TX, though. 105 is TOO stinkin' hot! I won't complain about our 82.

  7. Ah, that should read, "I don't even mind"

  8. I only wish I could become addicted to exericse! I used to be an obsessive walker, so I know what you're talking about. But when it became hard to fit into my schedule, I tired of it.

    I hope you like Dan In Real Life :)

  9. I so wish I could become fascinated by exercise, but my fascination for ice cream always wins out.

    Keep up the good work. I'm jealous.

  10. ltkhIt must be in the water, because I'm fascinated with exercise right now too. Not out in the sun - pasty white here, but treadmill, pilates or yoga nearly every day. It hurts my reading time, but I figure this is more important right now. Who knows if I'll be here again! I'm glad you are feeling better.

  11. The first word in my previous post is It not Itkhit. I think the word verification thing went nuts.

  12. Isn't the heat horrendous? I heard on the news that out of the past 12 days, 11 have been over 100. Ouch.

    And I can totally see being hooked to exercise...as long as it's outside whenever possible! I got spoiled in Montana because Mount Helena was right outside my back door and I could go for a hike whenever I wanted--which, if I was stressed, or about to fight with my ex, or something--was the perfect thing to clear my head. Usually for the first 20 minutes I wouldn't even think, really; just walk and listen to my music.

    Here, although I am lucky enough to get free membership to a really nice gym through my work, somehow spending time there is not as appealing as hiking up a mountain, breathing the crystal clear air (ack! can you tell I'm homesick?!).

    Sorry to be so long-winded...but just wanted to say have fun and I empathize!

  13. I quote liked Stranger Than Fiction when I saw it in the cinema. Definitely an interesting idea. Snap on the exercise thing. I joined the gym at the beginning of the month and am really getting into the classes. I do yoga on Satudays and fit in step, LBT, some weights and whatever else takes my fancy when I am not away with work. It has a tiny swimming pool and I nearly always do at least a couple of lengths after exercising and relax in the jacuzzi. It definitely decreases reading time, but like you I find it much easier to take off my jeans!

  14. I love walking, it's such a way for me to think things through...sometimes my best ideas come out of a long walk! Great way to get to know your neighbourhood in different seasons too!

  15. I've had an outside summer, too. I have found myself sitting on my porch swing for hours and hours and hours, reading mostly, listening to the birds, watching the squirrels tease the mockingbirds, with a wonderful breeze blowing off the Gulf.

    In fact, I've got a half hour before my inservice this morning....

  16. I don't seem to have an addiction to exercise, to the dismay of my waistline. I did do Jazzercise for a while and will try to get back to it once I feel comfortable enough leaving my youngest in the babysitting room.

    Stranger than Fiction was a good movie and my husband and I both enjoyed Dan in Real Life (both from Netflix, of course)!

  17. Exercise; that's the kind of addiction to get. Thanks for the recent comment on Sushi. I've had a chance to look at your blog a little and I really like what you've got on there!

  18. I'm also a workout junkie. I get all depressed if I don't get my workout in. It really helps with everything--mood, energy, sleeping, etc.

    And woot! You're the first blogger I've read today that isn't suffering from the summer doldrums. If I had a prize, I'd give it to you.

  19. bravo for you on the exercise! you make me think (a little bit) about getting up and walk/jogging myself tomorrow morning. :-)

  20. The enthusiasm here makes me want to get up and walk . . . but I'll probably just stick with yoga . . . in the meantime, do let me know what you think of Dan In Real Life. I loved it.

  21. When I was first ill, almost two years ago now, the doctors recommended that I walk for at least an hour an day to help release some of the harmful chemicals that had been building up in my body. And like you, I'm now addicted to it and really feel deprived if for any reason I can't get out there. How does Daisy feel about all this exercise though? When I used to walk a lot years ago we had a dog who would occasionally just get sick of it all and go home by himself. I'd find him waiting for me at the door when I did eventually get back.

  22. Thanks, Lisa! I've never really been much of an outside person in general until the last year or two. I still don't enjoy ridiculously hot weather, but I like being outside in the morning and in the evening! And I know what you mean about spurts and stops. I'm right there with you.

    LOL, Sassy. It totally took me by surprise.

    Terri, thanks! I will definitely find a balance. I'm working on it now. It helps that my outside activities are so limited by the TX heat. :)

    Beastmomma, I loooved Dan in Real Life. Steve Carrell is so great. The guitar part broke my heart.

    LOL, Stu. Enjoyment does have a big part to do with it. When I was an undergraduate student I would go to the fitness center at the university I was attending. There was a stationary bike on the 3rd floor, and I could watch lacrosse practice down below. That was hours of entertainment.

    LOL, Les, I would looove that 82! And when I get a chance I'm buying a bike. I looooove biking. Love love love, and it's so easy on my knee and ankles.

    LOL, Tammy! I still have that fascination, too.

    Amen to that, Kristy! My only problem is I get bored by indoor exercise. If I can't see the scenery change I'm bored by the whole thing. Really kinda limits my options in this weather.

    Jen, the mountain hiking sounds amazzzzzing!!! I looked at job possibilities in the mountains of NC before I moved back to TX in fact. Love the area. And I can see why you'd be homesick!

    Rhinoa, the jeans thing is a big payoff, yes?!

    Logophile, great point. I do come back from walking with some great ideas sometimes.

    Deb, we have a huge porch and I usually kick out and cool down for a while after my morning workout. It's so nice to watch the neighborhood go by, and we have plenty of birds in our birdbath in the mornings.

    Stephanie, I love anything remotely related to dancing, so I'd probably totally love jazzercise.

    No problem, Lucky! Thanks for stopping by.

    Chartroose, if you read my next post I might not get that prize! LOL And yes, it's a great way for me to stave off depression, too. I need my endorphin rush in the mornings.

    Jules, I hope you got your walk/jog in! It's so refreshing. :)

    Andi, I loved Dan in Real Life, too. Steve Carrell can break my heart with one pouty face.

    Ann, Daisy is usually home with my mom and her dogs. She's generally scarfing down a bowl of breakfast about that time, and she waits in my bed for me until I get back. We play fetch when I return, and she's totally happy. lol

  23. I swear the older I'm getting the more I cannot stand this Texas heat! Ugh.
    Good for you for getting out there and exercising! I go to a gym but lately I've been feeling lazy. Send me some of your energy will ya! :)

  24. I also HAVE to have exercise on a regular basis, otherwise I sleep even less and more irregular than I do. I have an exercise bike and when I'm on a job I try and stay in a hotel with a gym and/or swimming pool so that I can get rid of my excess adrenaline!


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