The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome Kimberly Lang, as she talks about doing instead of mooching in her spare time...
My childhood and adolescence were spent in the dance studio** - ten ballet classes a week, plus rehearsals, performances. I was probably dancing at least twenty-five hours a week. I was in great shape (a little underweight, but lots of lean, toned muscle).
By the time I quit dancing, I was in college, with a part-time job waiting tables, classes on opposite sides of the large and hilly UT campus, and some nights at the club getting down on the dance floor. I was in good shape.
About the time my metabolism slowed down in my late twenties, I had a desk job and got pregnant, and while toddler-chasing is an activity, it's hardly a substitute for a proper exercise routine. By my late thirties, I had a shape. Rather like a pear.
While I was unhappy with the way I looked, the bigger problem came from inactivity and hours at a desk, hunched over the keyboard like Gollum (Picture me whispering "my precioussss" at a WIP.). My back hurt. My shoulders hurt. My neck hurt. I was getting headaches, and I didn't sleep well at night. Chiropractors and massage therapists were kind and helpful as they tried to give me relief, but the root of my problem came from the fact I wasn't exercising. Hell, I was barely moving.
"Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard" is great for getting a book done. Turns out, it's also great for turning you into a pear-shaped, pain-wracked insomniac with a pretzel for a spine.
Here's the thing though. I don't like to exercise. I hate gyms (they're full of gym rats and perpetually perky people and they usually smell). I joined a gym with the same enthusiasm I have towards root canals and a trip to the DMV.
It took me almost six months to find my groove. Treadmills and weight machines are evil, boring things, but group fitness classes (yes, taught by those perpetually perky people) turned out to be my thing. Specifically, a yoga/Pilates class that didn't require me to bounce or be too perky, but still made me sweat. So I started putting time in to it.
I rediscovered the endorphin release that exercise causes. Then I started noticing my shape becoming less pear-like. Whoa, I had muscles again. I had energy. My back quit hurting. My shoulders and neck quit hurting. The headaches went away and blessed be all the heavens, I began to sleep again. Like really sleep.
Suddenly, I had a hobby. Then it became less of a hobby and more of a thing. I got certified to teach that yoga/Pilates class I liked so much. (Yes, I am that perky fitness instructor. Go ahead and laugh. I'll wait. ~drums fingers~ You done? Okay. Moving on...)
Once I started moving, though, I found it was hard to stop -- even when I wasn't teaching my classes. I started taking ballroom dance lessons. I started walking the dog around the neighborhood instead of just letting her out into the yard. I took the stairs instead of the elevator. We've planned a ski trip for March. When I was asked to participate in the St. Jude Children's Hospital fundraiser walk, I said yes without hesitation. *
I'm not a gym rat (gyms still smell). I'm still one of the first to whine about how it's cold outside and there's a Mad About You marathon on TV and those cookies aren't going to eat themselves. But it's a habit now. I'm kinda addicted to those endorphins. These days, when I take a Time Out from the WIP, I'm more likely to be doing something. Something that untangles all the muscles, releases the tension, and gets me that sweet, sweet endorphin high.
What do you do on your Time Out? Do you go for an endorphin buzz, or do you prefer to unwind on the sofa, glass of wine in hand?
*My Give Thanks Giveaway. Yes, I'm raising money for St. Jude's. And I'm running a contest. Every $10 you donate to St. Jude gets you a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and books from nearly 20 authors. Go to walk.stjude.org/kimberlylang to donate and enter.
**My November release revisits those dancing days...
Kimberly Lang's latest book, The Million Dollar Question, features a ballerina heroine.
The man with the money.
Evan Lawford is the last person in the world ballerina Olivia Madison wants to ask for financial support - the humiliation of their last encounter has haunted her for years! He might be the one who got away, but for the sake of her art she'll plaster on a smile - and a killer dress - and play nice...
Except their chemistry is so insane that soon they're bypassing nice and going straight to all night long! The trouble is, resisting Olivia's charms has never been Evan's strong point, and when a girl's this intriguing there's a fine line between a minor relapse...and a full-on addiction...