Monday, April 17, 2006

Fit and fine!

I have always been vaguely conscious of the need to be fit and healthy, and have made several ill-fated attempts at achieving fitness. More often than not, Lady Laziness, and the Slumber Queen have taken over and played spoilsport to all my plans.

That is, until I got married. Now S has very strong opinions about good health and fitness. Since both of us love walking, we have walked a lot before and after marriage. But my idea of a walk is a stroll, smelling the flowers and enjoying the breeze, whereas S thinks that a walk should be walked wearing walking shoes and track pants and exerting your pathetic body as much as possible.

Well, in short, S took over the department of fitness in my life, and Lady Laziness and Slumber Queen bid goodbye to me, and Uncle MuscleAche said Hi. But S was not to be beaten. He advised me, coaxed me, cajoled me, preached to me, threatened me, but he made sure I exercised every morning, and went for a walk with him every evening. At his pace. Which is more or less like the walking race in the Olympics.

I grumbled, whined, made faces, made up fictional stories of pains and sprains, but S was unfazed. He made me walk longer and faster than I ever thought possible, and he was the one who decided when I could stop. My protests fell on deaf ears. I even tried escaping, taking off in the direction of home, when he wasn't looking. But he caught up with me and threatened to make me walk for half an hour extra, as punishment. I finally gave up and relinquished all control to him. I followed his regimen, but took revenge by reminding him every day that I can't feel any difference.

That is, until the short trip we took last weekend. There are some really beautiful roads in those parts, and we walked a lot and had a lovely time.

We had walking for some time on one of the roads, when we came to a steep incline. "Sigh! An incline", I thought, and braced for the strain, the pants and gasps, and winced in advance, dreading the pain that I was sure I would feel in my legs.

Then the miracle occurred. I glided, yes, literally floated up the incline. I even had to look behind me to see if I really had walked up myself, or somebody had pushed me. It was effortless! My legs were strong and steady, my breathing was just moderately faster, and my heart was not pounding away! I was thrilled. My legs were listening to me! They were under my control! I beamed with pleasure. We had to walk a lot more after that, but I strode on so easily and tirelessly, that I could not believe it myself.

At first, I hid my glee from S. Ego, you see. But I could not contain my happiness any longer. I burst out with it. Thankfully, he did not say "I told you so", but I could see he was pleased, almost like a coach would be of the medal-winner that he has trained.

And oh, before S pounces on me, let me clarify. I still have a long way to go. Had that incline been steeper, or continued for longer, I would still have huffed and puffed and my legs would have protested. But I have now tasted blood. The heady feeling of being in charge of your body is too wonderful to disregard. S now has an uncomplaining walking partner.


Akshay said...

nice blog.
keep walking.

Anonymous said...

When walking becomes too heavy take slow deep breaths,stretch your arms and wave them like the wings of a bird. You will feel like flying.

- Raaji

Anu said...

One of the best posts I have read!! Hats off to S, and okk.... you too!

Sanjay M said...

There's another advantage to keeping fit. At some unexpected moment if a person happens to trip and fall down, the damage is lesser - often minimal - if one is fit and flexible - the reflexes work faster and the impact is also lesser.

One might go to the gym for a week but then discontinuing it makes one put on more weight due to increase in appetite, when not done properly it leads to wrong muscles developing, etc. But in my opinion, walking is the most balanced sport - no dependencies on any fancy equipment or situation nor does it demand such rigid continuity.

Its great that you've started enjoying it... now instead of whizzing past it in a car, the whole world is yours to survey on foot (even when you're walking briskly)! :)

Manasi said...

have always been vaguely conscious of the need to be fit and healthy, and have made several ill-fated attempts at achieving fitness. More often than not, Lady Laziness, and the Slumber Queen have taken over and played spoilsport to all my plans." I could have written this and it fits to the T.
Everday my mom tries to make me exercise, "half an hour atleast", she cries. Everyday i decide that i will go the next morning. I once even washed my walking shoes to show her that i was serious abt it. But fate interviended and i fell ill.......... and now the pleas are stronger. I think I will start tomorrow!

Shruthi said...

Akshay: Thank you! Will do! :)

Raaji: Really? Should try that out next time!

Anu: Oh wow, thank you. and thank you :D

Shruthi said...

Sanjay: You are right! Plus there are a lot of other practical advantages too, like err...if you have to run away from a dog or something :)
Exactly! walking is the best exercise coz you can do it anytime, anywhere, without prior preparation!

Manasi: ROFL at "I once even washed my walking shoes to show her that i was serious abt it!! -- Oh so familiar :D
All the best, Manasi, and trust me, its worth all the trouble!

Supremus said...

I remembe having similar sentiments when I went Skiing this year hehe - Last year, I had just started on my workout expedition, and I found myself completely dehydrated, tired and unable to balance myself on the snow.

This year, a good 40 pounds lesser, much fitter, I could do the slopes, and enjoy skiing. And yes, it was the exact same feeling of glee I shared hehe!

Good going! I love hiking.. (or walking whatever u call it :D)


Viky said...


Are you sure S is not training you to run after the kids a few years hence...?

Sachin said...

Hey Shruthi, once again, great post! Enjoy reading your writing always. Somehow I can always visualize whatever you write about and identify with it.

My attempts at keeping fit sadly remind me of my attempts at keep a diary. Three attempts at each and all curtailed within a month! The only time I hit the gym at a stretch for more than 6 months was when I was doing my Bsc and I really did feel good about myself then. Guess its just plain laziness thats keeping me.

But finally I joined gym again post countless threats and cajoling from both my mom and wife (having a physiotherapist as wife can surely "motivate" you!) along with my brother. Today was my first day and even as I write this my whole body is refusing to move without that dull throbbing "first day of exercise" ache.

But methinks I'd better go on with it this time. Don't want to look like a slob alongside my wife, am sure she'll not want to walk with me or might say "I'm not with this guy!".

Anitha said...

Walking not only keeps your body fit but also helps to keep your mind fresh and healthy.

Whenever I feel bored or dull my husband suggests me to go for a brisk 10 minute walk in the park near our house and .... yes I am out of boredom

Shruthi said...

Suyog: Wow cool! And that reminds me, you were supposed to be working on a post describing how you achieved that feat :D

Viky: Ha ha! :D Though if the kids are anyway like him, he will be better suited to do the running ;)

Sachin: Thanks :) I see that I am not alone in my agony :))
A physiotherapist wife? That's excellent motivation indeed - in fact, it surprises me that you have not started yet ;)
As for diaries, when I do decide to keep one, it goes wonderfully - and then suddenly one fine day, I stop writing just like that. Haven't been able to decode that mystery!
All the best! :)

Anitha: Yup very true!! During exams, my mom used to send me on a walk every evening with my dad - to keep me lively and confident. Exercise supposedly releases "endorphins" which cheer you up!

Anonymous said...

suprising! What a coincidence. Finally found a play ground in my area and went for a walk today morning with hubby. Feeling very fresh and feel my legs tingling. :)


satyapriya said...

True physical exercise really gives you the strength and confidence. Lazy, that we are but more than that lack of motivation in both of us, me and my husband, dont really work out. But I believe in the fact that if you do something together not only the health improves but also the bonds become stronger...good going!!!

Nirwa said...


I need to get my lazy self out of the house too!! I need some motivation..

I like walking, but its painfully hot out there :| even in evenings - must wake up early tomorrow.. :|


Shruthi said...

Vidya: Wow thats great! Just yday you mailed me saying that there are no parks around, and today you got one :) Great, keep up the walking! ;)

Satyapriya: Ah you have a very good point there. How true! :)

Nirwa: Ha ha.. we always look for reasons, don't we? In winter, its too cold, in summer, its too hot, in the rainy season, well, its too rainy :D Get up and get going, lazy girl! :D

LAK said...

Full credit to S, I must say. Well, to you too for bypassing your ego and thaking him! Keep walking---you are on the road to lifelong fitness.

Shruthi said...

Lak: Yup, thanks Lak! :)

chitra said...

Ahem...uncomplaining in all other respects too I hope :)!

p.s Mail elli?

Anonymous said...

First of all - Congrats on discovering your new elixir of life(Chitra still holds the copyright to these words) :-).

Was wishing you could share the mail which you sent to know the finer details......though some of us know the bigger details.....;-)

Shruthi said...

Chitra: Well, umm.. not exactly :D

Anon: Now, which anon are you? :O Please let go of the suspense and reveal your identity :)

Sarathy said...

Walking?... No, no, no... You have to run to stay healthy. Do you know the truth...that...the best medicine is 'sleep'. It is a great refresher. My favourite pastime is sleep. Don't sacrifice sleep for a walk. +)

Nirwa said...

I wish I had removable feet.. so that while I am on the Net, my feet can go and have a little stroll or jog outside..

I wish I had all detachable body parts.. :P That way, I could be the multitasking kween (too much Ekta, you see :P)

If only wishes were horses.. :P


Supremus said...

hehe - that post is definitely in the works ;-)

Swathi said...

tat was such a sweet description of an otherwise boring topic - jus with tat slight dash of humour.
but the sad part was that the link u have provided doesnt seem to work :(

Shruthi said...

Nirwa: Ahhh. how much I have wished for things like that :D

Suyog: Yeah yeah lets see :)

Swathi: Thanks! :) And hadn't realized about the link :O - thanks.. corrected.

PRIDERA said...

Similar ideas that we share ... instead of walking, I am attempting badminton ! you might have read my association with sports

Aparna S Mallya said...

wow, guess what, my hubby is also an 'S' and i'm still the lazybones i was b4 marriage ;)

Sanjay M said...

There's another interesting aspect to this post. I wanted to write a seperate post and crosslink to this one but I'm hopelessly out of time so I'm just making a note here in an existing one.

Many times we feel that we are not progressing at all. But its really good that you kept going, without any expectations, inspite of the lack of immediate visibility of your progress... requires a certain amount of trust (in your case, trust in S) to continue to do this!

When the going gets tough, the tough get going! - could apply to many other aspects of life as well :)


Apart from that, some more notes on walking...


This is an idea I picked up from a speed reading book: for a few days, walk much faster than you normally do… not just by rapid paces, also by taking long strides and breathing deeply. It may be tiring at first. After a few days, relax and walk casually from then on. Your new casual speed will be much faster than your original casual speed. Take care of your posture: keep your back erect, allow your arms to swing freely, and regulate your breathing by taking deep breaths, and try to keep your mind in the present instead of letting it wander around… esp important while crossing busy roads in Bangalore!! Advantages of walking fast: its good exercise, and it saves time since you get wherever you want to go faster.

Walking is ideally done in the morning, but if you’re like me… you’re never awake to see the light of dawn… so it’s a good idea to always create opportunities for walking at any time - for eg choosing the staircase instead of the elevator, alighting at the third bus stop instead of the first one next to home, etc.


Shruthi said...

Pridera: Cool! I love badminton :D

Aparna: Heh heh.. but is he a fitness enthusiast? :)

Sanjay: Wonderful observations! Thanks, Sanjay :)

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