Monday, September 28, 2009
At the dog park on Sunday morning, I watched a group of older men form in the soccer field that stands between the park and the middle school nearby. It was 8am, and slowly the team members arrived, most already dressed in random, mismatched soccer uniforms, their movements slow in the early morning quiet.
One of the men took a solo lap around the field to warm up; another did toe-touches by the farthest goal. They greeted each other while nearby a few women set up lawn chairs, an umbrella, and ice chests.
I sat on the bench with George and wished I had the motivation to get up early and exercise. Sure, I do get motivated sometimes, but the least small thing will get me out of the notion. For example, right now my bike riding is on hold because I’m angry at my bike. I had gone on an early ride recently, with my new bike that seems to be temperamental, and in the middle of an intersection when I stood to increase my speed, the gear slipped and I almost had a huge crash. I don’t know how I didn’t fall to the ground, but I did end up with bruises and a horribly stiff neck the next day.
Motivation to exercise should be in my blood, because I have some extremely athletic family members. My half-sister runs marathons, and so does my cousin Dan, who even moved to a new city just to train in the best location possible. And my Uncle Jim used to get up super early every morning – no matter how early it had to be – just to get a run in before work every day. He's in his late 60's now and plays on a hockey team with his son.
When I performed for a living, I stayed in shape because my job gave me exercise every day. And boy, was that nice. Now I take a ballet class now and then, or walk George for a couple of miles, or ride my bike when it doesn’t piss me off. But I sure wish I were one of those athletic types who doesn’t feel slightly out of place when wearing cycling gear.
There is another dog park nearby where recently I saw a group of senior citizens running a 5K race. I happened upon the finish line, where one at a time a runner crossed the finish to the spattered applause of a couple of race workers. I couldn’t help but be inspired by these motivated seniors – they obviously were out there for the personal accomplishment, not for the glory!
I have professionally-fitted running shoes, a new bicycle, drawers of ballet tights and leotards, and if I dig hard enough I might find my old rollerblades. But still I sit at the park and just watch the other more motivated people run by in their jogging gear or sweating out on the soccer field nearby. So if any of you see me sitting there, would you please tell me to get off my a--?