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Posted March 04, 2012


Thomas Jefferson once said, "Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning."

I had to face it. If I didn't have my health, I couldn't write. And after weighing in and checking measurements after the holidays, as usual, I'd packed on a few pounds. So, now it's way past the New Year and after red velvet cake and all of the other casseroles and cornbread dressing I've scarfed down, time to tighten the belt and get back to work to adhere to my New Year's resolution. Get in shape.

But it's March. Yikes! My how time's flown.

Therefore, I decided I needed to work in some form of exercise every now and then because I sat on my fanny most of the time and didn't have an assistant to dictate to while standing up or while lifting barbells. And even if I dictated to an assistant, I would then miss out on the process of actually using a pencil or pen on paper or writing with a key board. And I truly liked writing with pen on paper some--especially for journaling--it just seemed to help get the creative juices flowing.

Also, I've always tried to pace myself when it came to writing. There were times when deadlines had to be met and hammering away at the keys was necessary. But I made myself a promise long ago; when there was nothing left in the cupboards from which to sip sweet tea but the measuring cup--I would take a break to run the dishwasher. I would never drink my tea out of a measuring cup. Mason jar?


Measuring cup?

Not gonna happen.

Way too tacky.

Perhaps what happened next was serendipitous. Another reminder that my body measurements were getting out of hand. Let's just say…I was growing. East and west. In the wrong directions! And I could save electricity by not running the dishwasher so often, but letting my health and weight slide the wrong way wasn't a good thing.

I likened the body to a car. There's a ton of maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Let the battery run down or corrode, the car refused to run. Exercise= necessary evil.

But get this! The unthinkable finally happened yesterday. Trying to get blog articles written ahead of time so I could luxuriate in working on novel revision, I did the dastardly. Filled the measuring cup with ice and poured sweet tea up to the 16 oz. line.


And since the old girth had expanded some, I was forced to walk a few calories off. Since I'd noticed the upper arms showed signs of taking on some swag, I pumped weights. It was all so boring. So, I pretended I was traveling in a wagon train headed West and had to throw out the heavy family heirlooms and cast iron skillets. Everything but the dutch oven and the measuring cup so the oxen could cross the next river without drowning. I'd need a dutch-oven so I could fry, boil, and bake, and the measuring cup was also multi-purpose. It's needed for cooking and could also be used for a drinking cup.

By then, the pain I was feeling in my upper arm muscles was of course caused due to the fact that I was having to help push the wagon up the mountain's steep grade before the oxen gave out and were dragged by the wagon back down the mountain.

And suddenly, I realized that I'd just created a scene in my head that could go in a story down the road!

Here's the summation skinny:

  • After three days of pumping weights you'll notice a difference in the arms. I would like to report that you'll be able to type faster because of the added strength, but that would be embellishing or stretching the truth--at least you'll notice a difference.

  • Though walking in circles or on the treadmill can become boring, try bundling up and taking long walks outside to get the heart rate up and blood circulating through the legs.

  • While exercising, your mind will still be working and creating snippets and scenes. If you're a workaholic, don't worry. Like a measuring cup you can also multitask. Create while you exercise. If you're that pumped about a project you're working on, carry a handheld recorder.

  • Next vacation -- try a real life wagon train trip if you don't mind eating little dogie dust.

  • What about you? How are you measuring up?

    Comments anyone?

    If you would like to comment or have questions about this article, email me vmoss@livingwaterfiction.com

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