Last week, my 9 year old son almost pushed me to the edge and I expressed a satirical desire to smoke crack. My son, William, Jr, means the world to me but there are a few days where I used his body as a shake weight in my head. I never understood this horrific statement that my dad used to say to me as a kid until I became a parent:
"The more I teach you, the dumber you get!" - Leon Richardson, Dad
Typically, this statement was followed up with chain smoking and watching one strange vein pop up on the left side of his face. Miraculously, even in the dead of winter, you could see pools of sweat dripping down his face as his face would literally go into this strange hue of red. If he smiled, I knew I was already in danger. Unfortunately, like most children, I had amnesia within two minutes and my dad would bitch smack my soul to Jesus' door and give me the typical 1960 - 1990s song, playing on his favorite instrument, the belt, and sing sweet nothings of 'didn't I tell you to do what the fuck I said..." My ass was the hand that the tambourine would tap to every beat. Ah, modern day society might consider that to be child abuse. I prefer to avoid catching a homicide charge on behalf of my child because I actually love him. On days when I feel myself having an Ike Turner moment, I use the gym as my rehab.
Perhaps you are severely traumatized reading this blurb or nervously chuckling because you have a similar story, hopefully not traumatic. You might be wondering what the hell this has to do with my fitness journey, the joys of running, culinary work or anything in relation to what I typically talk about on my blog. Well, I wanted to give you my top five reasons why working out is my form of catching a homicide charge. I promise you weight loss is not on this list. Read and weep.
1. I Don't Have Time to Consider Indulging in Narcotics.
Although drug abuse is not a laughing matter, I find myself surrounded by mind numbing, soul sucking people at various times. It's worse when you are forced to interact with them. These people might come in the form of a family member that you occasionally have to smile and head tilt. Perhaps, this is the annoying coworker that insists on heating up her foul smelling fish in the company's microwave. Maybe she is STEALING your foul smelling fish that you wanted to heat up in the company's microwave. If you live in NYC and have to use public transportation, then you already know that this is enough of a reason why people would contemplate a sleepless night with marijuana. If you are unfortunate, the last example is something that you witnessed at 3AM on the D line. Nevertheless, the gym understands that I need a shut the hell up moment from stupidity. Let the weights be your therapist chair without the cushion.
2. Achievement Unlocked: Ultimate Sex Machine
Yeah, yeah, yeah...you lost 2 pounds today. Maybe you saw some gains in the mirror. Your booty might look kinda scrumptious. That's nice but you're a human being who's waiting to unleash your pelvic thrust 3000 with the stamina upgrade.
According to an article published on the Independent website, in one study, average sex time last around 5.4 minutes. I spent more time waiting in line for my Asiago Chicken meal at Wendy's. I can see a few men going 'nuh uh.' I'm not judging you. Shit happens. But if you're looking to build up your love muscles, work on that endurance in the gym (and I'm not talking about a quickie in the locker room unless you like that sort of stuff.)
3. I'm Not So Full of Shit
No really. It makes you regular. Oh, so you're really cringing now and I'm getting the dookey face but you managed to read about pelvic thrusts, my childhood flashbacks and times I contemplated smoking crack to avoid adulting. You judgmental bastard!
Regular exercise can reduce straining while dropping a log into the toilet and can speed up the process at the toilet unless you read books while relieving yourself. You might notice after a week or two that your metabolism is picking up, although some medical sources might debate this statement. To be extra TMI, I know that I am guaranteed to use the bathroom upon waking up, as well as 30 minutes after a full meal. It is almost guaranteed.
4. I Can Tune Out My Annoying Family for 8 Hours (I Still Love You If You're Reading This Post)
After a long day of daydreaming to drag your beloved family member round back and ending his or her life, you are might find yourself exhausted. My child and husband like to sing scores from the musical 'Mooommm, Oh WIFE!', particularly in the evenings or when I'm trying to engulf my soul into Facebook. Thankfully, I exhausted all of my energy stores to a point where they sometimes respect that the mom wife is tired. It is almost a running joke with my loved ones that I can fall asleep in the middle of a conversation, mid chew and unless it is a movie that really grabs my attention, don't play it after 8pm. When I work out regularly, I don't go through restless leg movements as much. I will take up most of the room on the bed. It's a woman thing.
5. I Feel Like a Better Human Being After I Exorcised Out Most of the Demons From My System
You read it everywhere: Exercise is great for your mental health. Working out battles anxiety. Your skin looks better. It might be a gateway drug to eating healthier. Oh, this list is long as hell. Try reading an article with 50 bullet points of reasons why my fat ass should live in the a gym and you know that most of this chatter is all about health reasons but what about just feeling productive.
Frequently, I joke about feeling like a walking ADHD patient at times because my mind is exceptionally busy. Frankly, I see things from a very abstract perspective most times and I constantly need to write things down to make sense of it all. If I don't pace myself, you will realize that I'm very scatter brained, which might translate to neurotic. When I am working out on a consistent basis, it actually slows down my thought process to a decent pace. I do not feel pressured to rush through a sentence or have a meltdown in the middle of a crisis. My patience level is ridiculously high at moments that I probably should tell someone about themselves and my tact is a bit better (sometimes...not all of the time).
CHEESE ALERT: I feel alive. Exercising makes me feel invigorated. Lifting weights, slamming sand balls onto the floor and running for endless miles while juggling the weight of the world in my brain is my form of active meditation. When I want to slow it down, I submerged myself in pole dancing or into my yoga practice. Hell, I love the ability to share a kick ass story and not all of them will be filled with pictures. I truly learned how to live versus surviving through exercising.
What does exercising do for you that is not related to weight loss? Share your blurbs with me. Happy trails!