I’m working on so many things in this #40by40 journey. Several are related to my physical health. I’m generally a healthy person. I don’t get sick often, and other than the mess with my gallbladder I really haven’t had a ton of health issues overall.

But I’m getting older, and I’ve never been great at getting enough physical activity. Even as a kid, I preferred reading to running around. Why climb a tree when I can get lost in the streets of London? Why ride my bike when Anne Shirley is waiting?

I’ve realized that my body is less likely to stay strong if I don’t work out, at least sometimes. Working at the food bank taught me that I can do just about anything physically, with enough time and effort. My first day, I attempted to empty the trash bin. Ha! The bin by itself weighed over 100 pounds. It was on wheels, and the job required tipping it into the dumpster to empty, then rinsing it and putting it back in the room. I couldn’t even tip it over, let alone set it upright again.

But a funny thing happens when you use your muscles every day. They get stronger. By the time I left, I could empty the bin even when there were hundreds of pounds of garbage in it. Hefting 30 pound boxes all day didn’t phase me.

Then I returned to working at a desk, and I got lazy again. My muscles grew soft, and weakened. So now I’m fitting in a morning workout, with the goal to have one every day. But it’s hard to convince myself to get up and move when I’m cuddled in a chair with my coffee. Today I pushed through and did my workout. And after? I was sweating, but I felt GOOD. Even when my muscles get sore from the workout, I still feel better overall. My body is getting stronger. I take the dog on a walk, and going a longer distance doesn’t wind me. I have more energy and find myself opting to work on things around the house instead of crashing in front of the TV every evening (I still do that at some point, but not from dinner until bedtime every night).

Maybe I need to withhold coffee from myself until I work out… It would work, but I don’t think I want to go that far…