I don’t exercise for good health. For me, exercise is mostly driven by persistent negative thoughts about my body. I exercise because I don’t want to be floppy. I exercise because I don’t want my ass to end up at my ankles.
It’s why I like my elliptical. It promises to correct any and all jiggles from any and all body parts.
It’s also supposedly good for the cardiovascular system.
I should want to go on the elliptical because I have lungs. Lungs are important. Right up there with the heart, brain, and liver. Organs you need, are hard to live without, and nearly impossible to replace.
Considering that my default state is motionless, considering that I sit in a chair most of the day, considering that I pull on a vape five or six times a day, you’d think lungs would be high on my list of priorities.
Cardiovascular concerns are low on my list.
I think about my lungs sadly sometimes, often as I walk up the minor hill to the mailbox. I know they’re not the bright, shiny pink of virginal, healthy lungs. I know that I am cardiovascularly weak. Knowing that doesn’t get me off my chair. I am not currently motivated by long-term health concerns.
In part, it’s an eating disorder thing. I have issues with the way my body looks. The eating disorder is motivated by fears of a saggy ass. The eating disorder does not care about saggy lungs.
It might also be a sexism thing. Maybe the placement of definition over health considerations is tied to societal expectations for women’s bodies. Few care if we’re breathing well. It’s more important to have the lungs show up in a pretty package.
It could also be an advertising thing. We’re here to consume, after all; it’s the thing that’s supposed to drive our lives. Buy your way to happiness and contentment. And I do spend a lot of time on the elliptical thinking about how much better life would be if I had a treadmill.
God forbid I go for regular walks that stretch longer than the five-minute round trip for the mail.
Of course, if I go for a walk, I could run up and down the stairs that connect this subdivision to the one up the hill. That would sharpen the thigh definition.
Any benefit to my lungs would be an unintended side-effect.
A nice one, and one my brain tells me I should consider important, but ultimately irrelevant to my current thought patterns.
My motivation is coming from the wrong source.
In many ways, it doesn’t matter.
Why you do the right thing is often less important than doing it.
I climb on the elliptical to build a perky posterior. But I was absolutely chuffed to hit the ten-minute mark without any shortness of breath.
Sometimes you need the right thoughts to get to the right actions.
Sometimes it’s the other way around.