The more you move… the more you move

You know how there are these things that everybody apparently knows except you, and then you figure them out on your own, and you’re proud of yourself and delighted that you discovered this, and then you tell someone and they look at you like, “You’ve lived for this many years without knowing this? Psh!” Well, I’ve had an epiphany in the past couple of days, and if I tell you and then you get that “My dog knew that” look, first of all I can’t see you, and second you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ve discovered that the more you exercise, the more you want to exercise. In the past month I’ve exercised more regularly and with more variety than I have in years, and not only is my body feeling the full benefit, but it wants more. I want to exercise now. Not that I’m not still lazy. I’m not going out and running marathons every weekend or anything. And there are days when I just don’t do anything, despite feeling like I should. But within a day or two, I pull out one of my workout DVDs and start doing it. Or I sit down on my mat (which is always out, these days, and my bed is shifted to lie lengthwise along the wall to make space for it) and just stretch out a little. If I don’t, I start feeling like I’ve been compacted into a small package (usually in my chair, in front of the computer) for too long.

I think this need for increased movement happens more noticeably with activities like yoga and Pilates and dance, in which part of improving your body comes from always taking mental note of its state. I don’t remember feeling this way during high school cross country (then again, there are only so many miles I am capable of running every week). But with the primary forms of exercise I do now, the whole point is that I am constantly evaluating myself on a very detailed level, so that now even when I walk around town or sit in my chair or lie in bed, I am paying attention to my alignment and my movements. My tendinitis has intensified this attention to alignment. So these days I just feel a need to be moving all the time, and stretching. Someone recently commented on this. It’s becoming a part of my thinking. I don’t even sit in a chair or lie in bed to talk on the phone anymore; I lie on my back, on my mat.

Allison’s tennis coach eats one vegetarian meal a day, sleeps only three hours and has no furniture. I need my sleep, but I can understand the one meal and no furniture thing. It feels simpler to eat less often, and if you’re comfortable on the floor, why have chairs? Don’t worry. I’m not throwing out my furniture and I’m still eating. But there has definitely been a subtle change in what I view as my needs.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]