Skinny Daily Post


Bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. Oh how easy it would be to just not get up and move! And last night, I didnít move, and no amount of self-talk got me out of the chair.

I do have a defense, however. On Sunday morning, I was bitten by a yellowjacket [a kind of hornet]. And Iím extremely allergic to them, ending up in the emergency room. Lots of drugs later, I still felt the effects yesterday evening. For once in my life, I paid attention to the docís orders, which were Ďlimit activity until recovered.í So I decided that I needed the rest.

But as I sat there relaxing and thinking that I should be either riding my bike or going to the gym, I realized that this was the way I had lived! Just coming home from work and sitting down. Maybe doing bills, reading a book or the paper, or knitting, or talking on the phone, but sitting.

And then the red flag flew. THIS WAS COMFORTABLE. THIS WAS PLEASANT. And maybe I needed to take this break more often. Oh dear.

The next thoughts were about the fact that, after a certain point, I was completely unable to get up and move, and that Iíd done an enormous amount of work to get myself moving again, and I couldnít go backwards. Just not an option.

It was time for a gratitude check, just for the simple things. Gratitude for being able to take a walk, to stand in the shower, to talk for several minutes without running out of breath. To be able to go to a museum, a movie. The list goes on and on and on.

So, bottom line, the break was necessary to take care of myself Ė and thatís not always easy. But over the long haul, taking care of myself also means moving. Overcoming that inertia, pushing myself to get started.

Simple physics.

7 thoughts on “Basic physics

  1. stretchy says:

    Hope you are feeling tip-top soon. I really have become dependent on your posts.

    when lethargic, I sit on the yoga mat, or lie down and stretch. It feels like lounging around, and it is relaxing, but it can be great for posture and flexibility. I learned every little bit helps –where did I learn that? (On .

  2. jane says:

    stretchy – you made my day! thank you…. we put our comments out there, and sometimes we know we help, and sometimes we wonder.

    i’m much better today. thank goodness. in fact, i came home and sat out a thunderstorm, and as soon as the sky cleared, i rode a little more than 5 miles in 30 minutes on my bike. it felt GREAT!!!!!

  3. Greta says:

    Sometimes I take a day off too, but it does not worry me because exercise is such an important part of my life. My dogs and hubbie are my biggest motivators. Every morning we are out hiking the hills behind our home. Any of these “new” habits like exercise and eating right can feel temporary or not fully integrated with our life so that it can feel scary to suddenly find ourselves embracing an old “fat habit”. I am glad you were able to pull yourslef together the next day and prove to yourself that you had not quit, you were just taking a needed rest. A few years ago I refused to quit aerobics classes despite shin pain and I ultimately gave myself shin splints so bad that I could hardly walk. At times it is really the RIGHT thing to take a short recovery break.

  4. Lisa says:

    At the same time, having to take a break can be SOOO frustrating – in addition to beign scary. About three weeks ago, I started having shin splint pain doing an aerobics tape. I forced myself to take a complete week of rest. Now, for the past two weeks I have begun swimming and walking (gradually increased to about 2 miles at ~3.0/hr). I also bought supportive footwear (BIG THANKS to Juju for her previous posts and resources on finding good ones!).

    I am really bummed because I know it will take weeks to return to my old exercise intensity. But I know it’s the best thing for my body. On the plus side, I have noticed definite changes in my body in the past two weeks, as well as aches in previously underutilized muscles. I guess my cloud has a silver lining. ūüôā

  5. Jonathan says:

    I also feel sometimes as though if I take a break from being active that suddenly I’ll sink into a chair and find that its so comfortable and easy that I’ll just never get up again. Your post just put into words that feeling and helped me examine it. Is the key here to figure out how to be active and rest when necessary, but never ever to give in to mere lethargy?

  6. Rachel says:

    1. Often after a week of rest people find that they return FITTER than they were before.

    2. If you find a week of enforced rest ‘scary’, then you may want to think about whether you have an unhealthy, all or nothing, attitude to exercise.

  7. jessica says:

    I have just found this website and I’m totally addicted to it. I blog at – it’s about all aspects of my life, but mostly about weight watchers and the 60 lbs I’ve managed to lose off my frame over the past 2 years.

    I always say “Overcoming inertia is the hardest part of any task,” so after I read that above, I just had to post.

    I, too, used to come home and just SIT. For hours, for days, for weeks… I cannot imagine going back to that life now. I hurt my ankle over memorial day and it’s still not back to normal, and it’s driving me freakin’ crazy.

    Anyway… thank you for your continued inspiration and insight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: