by Janis Patterson
I dislike exercise.
A lingering back injury from a crash many years ago, an abomination of sweat and an inclination to indolence all add up to the fact I don’t exercise. Which is bad.
It’s especially bad for a writer, as we tend to sit in pretty much the same position for long stretches of time, and that’s not good for our bodies. Also, a number of us have chairs that aren’t good for us. When I was young and poor I wrote for years sitting on a dining chair. Uncomfortable, absolutely no back support and at the wrong height. Needless to say, I didn’t get much done, either. I was always stretching or getting up because I wasn’t comfortable.
Oddly enough, though, that might have been good. I did get up. I did move every half hour or so, but I didn’t get much writing done.
Nowadays they have standing desks and treadmill desks where you can walk and write at the same time. I shudder at either prospect. I cannot stand for long periods of time. Also, when I walk, I walk and when I write, I write. Although I have friends who swear by their treadmill desk for me they are an accident waiting to happen. I am naturally clumsy; sometimes when I write I get so involved in what I am writing I have to remind myself to breathe. The thought of what could happen at a treadmill desk is downright alarming.
But we do have to look after our health. My solution is a simple kitchen timer. I set it for anywhere from half an hour to forty-five minutes, and when it goes off, I get up, walk around the house for a minute, go to the kitchen (which is at the other end of our long old ranch-style house) for some coffee, do a little cleaning or picking up – anything to get me moving for five or so minutes.
I do have a good chair which, sadly, is so old it is falling apart. I need a new one, but I have had so many bad office chairs which seemed good when I bought them that I hesitate to go shopping for a new one. No, that’s not right. I hesitate to go spending for a new one. Money, as it is with most people, is an issue. I did find the perfect chair – and it costs roughly the same dollar amount as did my first car. Needless to say, that chair’s not gonna happen! At least, not for me, not now.
So – I will go on with my raggedy old chair as long as it holds together and my half hour to forty-five minutes routine. Luckily kitchen timers are cheap.