Easy Does It~ Staying Healthy and Deep Thinking


Kind of looks like a charismatic meeting doesn’t it?

Kind of looks like a charismatic meeting doesn’t it?


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.

Habakkuk 2:2

“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.


  1. I’ll vouch for the accuracy of your friend’s comments about exercise and writing, or any sort of problem solving, for that matter. I’ve had some of my best ideas when I was running or swimming. I think when you push yourself physically, something happens that spurs creative thought.

    • divoran09 says:

      You’re right. Plus any kind of moodling–walking slowly, gardening, sitting and looking out the window, can inspire as well.

  2. You GO girl! Zumba will be a BLAST.

  3. GOOD for you! You are on the right track. Walking is great but those other machines will awaken muscles you’d forgotten about and doing that is great for staving off illness and disease. Keep it up!

  4. elisestokes says:

    Great reminder. I’m assuming most other writers neglect exercise, too, because why use precious free time to work out when we can write instead. Who has time for a leisurely walk, right? Well, make time. Agreed, your body, soul, and mind need it, and who knows what creative juices will start flowing as your blood does.

  5. I think that aversion to the gym based on all the fit people there is a fear instilled in us in junior high school. What I have found, though, is that no one is really looking at other people. Everyone is thinking “Oh, what if I’m less fit and trim than that next person.” We just have to get over it.
    But if you don’t like the gym, one way I have found that works very well is to combine my workout with my commute, by biking 24 km to work. It takes about an hour, which is comparable to most people’s daily commute.

  6. PLEASE Please go to the gym. We are our own worst critics and think we can never measure up to the cute little pretty things jumping around like rabbits. But you know what? We don’t have to. This is OUR own personal journey and you must own it. Life is too short to be embarrased. You’d be surprised when you go to the gym how many people are actually looking at you quietly as their inspiration. You might think “Oh, look at me, I’m out of shape and older and it’s ridiculous to be here” and that pretty young thing is saying “Wow, if she can do it, maybe I can run that last mile. She’s amazing for starting this.” Think about it – you never know how you affect people, least of all, yourself when you give yourself permission to try new things. Good luck!

  7. I recently purchased a manual treadmill and love it! Since it rains a lot here in the Pacific Northwest it really helps to be able to walk inside when the weather is dreary.

    • divoran09 says:

      I’ve been up there on Marrowstone Island. I would need an indoor treadmill and one of those lights to keep me from getting depressed, but it is so beautiful there. Thanks for your comment.

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