My exercise track record (ha!) has never been very good because it turns out that I basically hate exercise. Oh, sometimes I can fool myself by feeling virtuous or find a certain form of exercise that is borderline-not-loathsome to me, but basically at my core I feel about exercise pretty much the way I do about cleaning the bathroom. It is important and sometimes you have a nice feeling of accomplishment after you finish, but it is not a diverting pastime. However, it must be done. Except of course, that I have NOT been doing it recently. (The exercise, that is. My bathrooms have been fairly presentable for most of my adult life.) I hadn't the slightest interest in playing sports when I was little, preferring piano lessons and reading and playing inside, although I did do an anomalous stint as a cross-country runner in high school. I internally moan whenever a sports analogy pops up in a sermon at church, which is probably inappropriate considering they are actually in the Bible. Anyway, part of me wishes I were not this way; if I felt about exercise the way I do about science or sewing, I'm sure I would be thinner and healthier and somehow more outdoorsy and low-maintenance, all things I think I would like.
My avoidance of exercise has not been helped in recent years by the fact that we never quite found room in the budget for a gym membership while we lived in Connecticut, the land of the obscenely high cost of living. The gym at Yale was quite expensive for non-student employees and other options around town were no better. I did however have a few brushes with physical exertion while we lived there. When I was pregnant with Grace, I went to this dorky pregnancy exercise class once a week in a building right by the hospital. I'm sure it was good for me but it was pretty odd. They structured the class to mimic the progress of labor so you started out with low-key calisthenics on the floor and stretching and then ended with higher-energy cardio dancing. Ah, a whole room of giant pregnant women dancing around to cheesy pop music... I did go on lots of walks with Grace, first in the sling and then later in the stroller, at least when it wasn't above 85 degrees or below 40 degrees. (I will ALWAYS choose being outside in cold weather over being outside when it's hot.) And then last fall I started running, motivated by the crisp New England autumn, weight gain brought on by Grace's gradual weaning, and perhaps some vestigial instinct in me for physical activity. My running came to an end, however, at the confluence of events that included getting pregnant and the ensuing misery, putting our jogging stroller in a moving container, and the advent of summer.
Now, however, I have the YMCA! I have two, actually, since we live about equidistant between two branches. We'll have to see which one we like going to better. The YMCA seemed like a better choice than a commercial gym because the childcare is better and we can do swimming lessons and whatnot for Grace. Oh, and it's cheaper, which is always good even though our budget is in a much better place here than before we moved. I really liked the looks of the one I went to today; it's kind of small and tucked away in the neighborhood and the child care area looked really nice. I think I'm going to start out with something nice and low-key like yoga or water aerobics since I am 20 weeks pregnant now and have not so much as gone for a walk since we moved. What? Me, lazy? No, it's just that I am fairly certain I would keel over in a dead faint if I tried to make it down the block, felled by the 102 degree heat. Darn summer.