Too Lazy to Exercise?Blogs-contributors, Everything Changes, Featured Article — By Kairol Rosenthal on February 19, 2012 at 4:25 am
After climbing the stairs to the L platform I am so out of breath, I can’t talk. This is pathetic. Aside from having two tumors in my neck, which have no impact on my lung capacity, I’m not sick. I’m just lazy.
I’m a skinny, out of shape weakling. I hate to exercise and I always have. Most of my life I was a dancer and choreographer, but I never considered that exercise. It was simply my profession. Since my first surgery I’ve had balance and dizziness issues that prevent me from doing a lot of dance movements. I feel like I’ve been evicted from the heaven of the dance world and am walking among mortals who have to face the drudgery of jogging, yoga, and stair masters. I find exercising utterly and mind numbingly boring. I detest it.
I’ve tried many strategies to get myself to exercise. Positive reinforcement: I read clinical studies showing the benefit exercise has on cancer patients. Negative reinforcement: I imagine myself as a hunched over old woman with osteoporosis from lack on exercise. Guilty reinforcement: I think of all the young adult cancer patients I know who are too sick to walk the hallways of a hospital. Creative reinforcement: I scout out new corners of my apartment that I can rearrange as a space to do work out videos. Retail reinforcement: I bought a nice pair of Adidas this summer to encourage me to walk more. Practical reinforcement: I parcel out in my mind how short 20 minutes is and that I can set a clock and make it happen. Writerly reinforcement: I wrote tips in my book Everything Changes on how to get back into exercise after surgery and treatment. In the end, education, tricking, willing, and convincing myself to exercise isn’t working.
As a cancer patient, I’ve learned that sometimes how I think and feel about something doesn’t really matter. Sometimes in life you have to force yourself to do things whether you want to or not, like having surgery or radiation. So if exercise is boring to me maybe that just doesn’t matter. Just do it. I’m lazy and unmotivated? So what? Just do it. Maybe this is why Nike’s slogan Just Do It really stuck. Perhaps it appeals not only to motivated athletes but also to lazy consumers like me. I originally thought that writing this blog post outing my slothy lifestyle would shame me into exercising. I don’t think so. No trick is going to work for me. I just have to do it.
Do you have a love, love/hate, or hate relationship to exercise? How does illness impact your exercise choices?
Check out Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s for tips and recommendations on how to safely exercise after surgery and treatment.
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Too Lazy to Exercise?
Please check out Kairol’s book “Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20’s and 30’s” at Amazon.com by clicking here.