NaNoWriMo Fatigue…or, How Two Old White Men Motivated Me To Exercise


God, I didn’t realize how exhausting pounding out 3,000 words/day can be. My eyes are red and exhausted, and my brain can’t process anything more complicated than nursery rhymes right now. If my most recent posts sound a little disjointed and not a little, ah, stupid, that’s why.

The good news is that tomorrow is the last day I’ll be crunching out the big 3K. Starting Monday I can dial down to the more reasonable 2K/day goal, and I can focus on other things besides writing. Like reading and research. And writing more coherent posts for my blog.

Of course, as B. helpfully pointed out just now when I complained about the difficulty of writing 3K/day, “Well, that’s your work.”

Oh yeah, I forget that sometimes. I wouldn’t have this any other way, right? After all: A bad day writing is infinitely better than the best day at the office. Leave it to B. to put things into perspective.

To help ease some of the tension of late (I’ve also been working on a couple of freelance assignments lately, plus doing research for my other blogs and the book), as well as to get my sorry ass back in shape after a brief hiatus from running, B. and I joined the gym last week. The weather’s gotten too cold, and the days too short, for us to do much outside.

The facility is pretty decent, offering a fairly large selection of machines and free weights as well as some relatively old cardio machines. It is, however, run by the hospital where B. works and has a well-established cardiac rehabilitation program as well as less-than-junior-Olympic-sized lap pool. They offer lots of low impact aerobics and water exercises, and given the significant senior population in this area and the historical mission of the place, the majority of the clientele appears to be members of the Senior Set.

Not a big deal, of course, although sometimes I wish they offered more Spinning classes (the only ones offered are at 5:30 in the morning on weekdays, and that’s just too damn early for me), maybe a kickboxing or karate group. And I was thinking that it would be nice to see a few more gym rates remotely close to my age.

But I overheard a conversation the other day as I was doing some calisthenics on a gym mat near the free weights that made me rethink the whole senior environment issue. I then realized that, hey, maybe having a bunch of guys with baggy knees, creaky bones and balance problems may be just the motivation I need to get myself to the gym more regularly:

Man #1: (overheard nearby as I was doing push-ups) Boy, I remember when I used to be able to do that. (I gathered that he was referring to what I was doing).

Man #2: Yeah, me too.

Man #3: (sigh and laugh) That was a looong time ago.

Man #2: If someone had told me to drop and give him fifty, I would have done it. Can’t anymore.

Man #3: Yeah? I used to do one-handed push-ups.

Man #2: Really? Wouldn’t that be hard to balance?

Man #3: Well, you put your hand in the middle [demonstrating with his hand].

Me: Well, at least you could do fifty. I’m doing a good job if I can do twenty right now.

[Everyone ignores me. Typical when you’re a small Asian woman in a mostly white, conservative town. Anyhoo, I digress.]

Man #3: Yeah, this is what I should’ve been doing more of all those years, instead of spending all my time sitting at a desk at the office. [gestures to the double-arm row machine he’s sitting on] I wouldn’t be having such a hard time with this now.

Man #2: (nods sympathetically)

Me: (looks at the two men, one tall but stooped, walks very slowly, and with a limp, the other short, fat with a big belly, and the aforementioned creaky knees. Resolves to never, ever skip a day’s exercise again)