In the annals of the strange and weird . . .

Have you ever heard the phrase “your mouth is writing checks your body can’t cash?”

Yeah, something like that happens to me when my brain is telling me what exercises and sports we should be doing. My brain, for reasons entirely unknown to me, seems to think that I should be an athlete. I can’t even SPELL athlete without spell check to remind me how it goes.

But here we are, in the post-Christmas just-turned-2017 haze, and my brain is trying to entice me back into athletic endeavors. I hesitate to use the term “New Year resolution” when I refer to this phenomenon, because I have a much more practical and important reason for getting more exercise this year than just the turning over of the secular calendar.

Because, of course, my thyroid lobe removal of November revealed a small area of cancerous cells hidden inside the stupid lumpy thing, and I am now officially a cancer patient. Which is faintly ridiculous, as this cancer is a hypochondriac’s dream: it will most likely allow me to die of a heart attack or a stroke or by getting run over by feral hogs long before it kills me, but in the meantime it will allow me to obsess legitimately over every swollen lymph node, wobble in my vocal cords, or other weird symptom that I can find.

So, this brings me back to the “checks I can’t cash” part: I’d like very much not to “cash in my chips,” so to speak, until the last possible moment, and definitely not until all my kids are grown. So I need to lose some weight, pronto, and, more importantly, I need to get myself in better cardiovascular shape.

Which leads my delusional brain to suggest all sorts of schemes for getting fit. It loves to linger over couch-to-5k running plans, although my knees are rivaling Kellogg’s Rice Krispies for snap, crackle, and pop these days. Then it reminds me that I do own a very nice bicycle, so why don’t we start road racing? Road racing? Leaving aside the fact that the mental images boggle the mind, I don’t own a road racing bike at all. I own mountain bikes or hybrids with big knobbly tires. Where are these ideas coming from?

Of course, this is the same mind that has dreamed up a million impossible schemes that I have actually been able to pull off. Maybe I shouldn’t dismiss it out of hand. I have always dreamed longingly of being able to bike for long distances– my favorite Outward Bound trip to dream of in high school was the one where they biked down the Pacific coast. I didn’t have a bicycle from the ages of 12-18, mind you, nor was I in any sort of shape to bike that far every day, but my brain was already displaying its amazing ability to ignore reality in pursuit of its goals.

So, here I am. With goals. My brain actually came up with a reasonable goal, when it wasn’t saying “Hey, let’s go on a bike trip from Amsterdam down to Provence despite the fact that I don’t have A) the money, or B) the fitness level, or even C) a passport.” My immediate goal is to lose 10% of my weight by the time summer vacation comes around. Which is a pretty reasonable goal, given the length of time between now and then and some fine-tuning of my thyroid hormone levels by my endocrinologist.

The rest, well, exercise is never my thing. It’s especially not my thing considering that I seem to feel all sorts of nerve pain that most people don’t feel, for reasons still not understood. You should see my dental visits, they’re a laugh. Why, yes, doc, I still feel that. But anyway, exertion brings on pain, which is something I try to avoid. BUT . . ..

I really do want to live to be an old grandmother with a horde of grandchildren whom I can spoil completely and teach bad habits like staying up all night playing video games and drinking too much Coca Cola. Okay, maybe just one Coca Cola and the rest as tea or something, but definitely I want to be able to be there for them. Everyone needs an eccentric grandmother who doesn’t give a fig for convention. So, it seems that a steady diet of pain and discomfort and exertion is in the cards for me.

Thanks a lot, brain. Maybe you could have actually gotten me to exercise BEFORE it was going to be such a huge pain in the . . . ear?

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