While the northern hemisphere is gearing up for spring break and are well into the second half of the school year, here ‘Down Under’ we’ve just started a new school year. It’s week three and routine is back. I need routine. During the summer I can write in short bursts but it’s not that easy although I am in love with my ear plugs!
As an author I sit a lot. Way more than my myotherapist is happy with but I find typing standing up a tad hard. I’m also over 35 and sadly, from about then and ever onwards, our body objects to too much sitting. Recently, my hips scream if I sit for more than an hour. Cue picture of me jumping to my feet, running down the stairs, making a cup of tea and doing circuits around the island bench while the kettle boils. Or pegging out the washing. Or walking to the mail box. Just moving in general.
When I was pregnant, I was a woman on a mission and I treated being pregnant as a job…have I mentioned I have a few anal retentive tendencies??? Anyway, I swam three times a week to be fit for labour and to be healthy for the baby. Once the baby came – job over- I stopped exercising. I’m not a naturally athletic person and I’ve had to work really hard at being a reasonable tennis player, and the thought of going for a run makes me sit down. But I know that to be creative, that to have a good work day, I need to exercise. The fact that I can talk myself out of it in a heartbeat is the problem.
Two years ago, the planets aligned. My youngest son started to take the bus to school so I lost the “walk to school” opportunity. However, the bus stop is next to a women’s gym. I had NEVER stepped foot inside a gym in my life. With great anxiety I walked in. Best decision I made. There were women there of all shapes and sizes and the fact that I am uncoordinated and fall over my feet when I try to raise my knee to my elbow didn’t matter. They just smile and said, “it takes a while to get it. You’ll be fine.” So I signed up.
I figured that DS2 had to catch the bus five times a week so I could attach my gym attendances to him walking out the door. Also, he is really bossy so he says, “Mum, shouldn’t you be coming to the gym?’ I love him to death but some days….
So I hit the gym three times a week and can be at my desk by 9am for my workday. I am more focused- ish (turn off the internet, Fiona) and my hips ache a lot less. Sure, when I’m tired, it’s hard to go but again my attendance is attached to a bossy 12 year old so I get thereJ If I don’t, I miss it. I miss the buzz I get, I miss the storylines running through my head or the manuscript problem solving that happens in the gym.
I think everyone needs to build some exercise into their day whether you’re writing or not and if you want to get started it doesn’t have to be the gym- I’ve done swimming, bike riding, walking and people tell me Zumba is great but I have that uncoordinated thing and figure I’d land on my face! If you don’t have a bossy 12 year old, then attach it to something in your daily routine so you can’t talk yourself out of it. I promise you, it will be worth it!
Fiona Lowe writes” romances for today” and her current release is a Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance. Single Dad’s Triple Trouble has a heroine who exercises occasionally. For more information about Fiona visit her at her website or on Facebook and Twitter