Brenda Ueland, in If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit (I read elsewhere that she meant the Spirit of Christ) tells about walking five miles a day and how that is the most productive time of her writing day both in staying healthy and in deep thinking.
Most days I walk two miles. Do you like to walk? I love it, but when summertime comes, it’s too hot to exercise out of doors. I get up early to do it anyhow, but it’s still too hot. In the summer, biting flies love to sting the backs of legs, so I stick to the neighborhood. On rainy days, cold, or too hot afternoons I walk the mall. Sometimes I exercise in place to videos.
Yesterday I missed my morning walk, so in the afternoon when Bill said he was going to the fitness center, I said lightly, “Maybe I should go too.” I didn’t like my alternatives.
Bill was a bit surprised as I had made the statement at one time that I would rather go to the bad place than to the fitness center. I thought of tough jocks and sexy young girls, of the noise of machines, and TVs. Last time I was there, about sixteen years ago, the “trainer” had shown me around and questioned me. I felt I could never measure up.
“You don’t have to do anything, just look around, and see if you think you want to be there.” Bill said. I answered, “Let’s go.”
Bill got me talking with one of the bright young things at the desk. I asked questions and they took their time with me. They were firm, but good humored-in other words I felt liked. They gave me a schedule of classes and I asked questions. Did I have to talk to a trainer? No? Good.
Then I went and found Bill. He was through, except for the treadmill. He showed me how to run that scary machine, but I felt awkward and scared. He was patient and I eventually got to the place where I thought I might be able to get used to it. When I asked if he’d show me how to do the skiing one, he took me over there. Stepping on and off is tricky. The man next to us got a good laugh out of my heebie jeebies, but I soon felt I could use the machine all right. I signed up. Now, I’m thinking about the Zumba class. Should I or shouldn’t I. It has great salsa music or so I hear. I can always take my earplugs to tone it down. Spinning might be fun too. I can ride a bike as well as anybody.
“And the LORD answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that reads it.’”
Let’s all run, walk, or dance, writer and messenger alike, after all, writers are messengers, and a healthy messenger is a strong messenger. But take it easy and pray through to find the best way for yourself so that it doesn’t overwhelm you. Don’t forget to consider Zumba or Spinning.