Today was the first day of my new life. I finished work on Friday, spent the weekend at swim meets, and woke up this morning with the alarm at 7:30 AM. I had not slept well and I felt like shit. My first thought was that I needed to call in sick. And then I realized with a rush of adrenaline, "I'm retired!"
I jumped out of bed, downed my first cup of coffee and told my friend, Alicia, who lives with my husband and me, that I would be ready to start at 8:30 AM.
OK. So everyone wants to know what is my plan? And everyone has many, many unsolicited suggestions. I should hire a personal trainer. I should join a health club. I should take a water aerobics class so I won't hurt myself. I should join a senior track team so I can train and make new friends.
Let's just say that I know myself well, and none of these ideas would work for me. I am a recluse or hope to become one soon. I once told my therapist that I would rather clean and organize my kitchen cabinets than attend a party of my friends. It's not that I don't like people. It's just that I like them in very short doses and one or two at a time. I absolutely hate clubs, and the idea of sitting through another meeting makes want to run down the hall screaming and pulling my hair.
I am also dramatically stubborn and independent. Suggest a book that you loved and I won't read it. Give me directions and I'll take a different route, which I am certain is shorter. Recommend a restaurant and I know I will find fault with the quality of the lettuce or the texture of the lady fingers in the tiramisu.
So a personal trainer is out because I won't follow directions. A track team is out because I would have to be friendly. And the concept of be flailing around in water aerobics with other fat people wearing flotation belts emphazing our large girths reminds me of the scene from Fantasia in which the elephants dance wearing tutus.
So I am doing this on my own. I am using the block method -- four blocks of exercise each day, five days a week. Each block must be 20 minutes or longer. Any type of exercise is OK. Today I began with stretching with Alicia to a woman's relaxation CD, which reminded me of the first 12 bars of Grofe's The Grad Canyon Suite repeated over and over again. I kept waiting for the clip clop but it never came.
Secondly to the pool for45 minutes of water walking. Then home for wholewheat pasta with pesto, and then back to the pool for a twenty minute lap swim (I had to rest several times in between laps, but I kept going, if only at a snail's pace). And finally 20 minutes of ballet in the water. This is not to be confused with water ballet otherwise known as synchronized swimming. When I do ballet in the water, I do bar work using the side of the pool, followed by leaps and squatting stretches resembling a Russian dancer. All this is possible with the water supporting my weight and providing balance assistance. Thank God the pool is large and no one seemed to watching.
So how do I feel after all this? Hungry, but not the least bit tired. I feel elated, even a little manic. I am not sure how long this feeling will last. I know I will crash at some point. But right now I plan to go with it and not ask a lot of questions.