I’m the Klutzy Athlete and I’m taking on exercise. I’ve always shied away from exercise and team sports. In fact, I started life with two left feet that became progressively more pronounced the older I got. I always envision myself as Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing when in reality I dance like Elaine in Seinfeld.
Not gifted with natural athletic ability for exercise? Welcome to my world. Does this mean I don’t exercise? Absolutely not. Of course, it’s not pretty when I workout. I constantly manage to trip over my own feet, and I’ve made an art of falling. My most spectacular crashes are when I’m mountain biking. Most often I fall when I’m attempting to stop. I’ve done a header over the handle bars while trying to move over for other bikers. I’ve come to a complete stop, lost my balance and crashed onto a rock that left a bruise on my thigh the size of Mt. Everest.
Have I given up? No, I climb back on and keep peddling—with plenty of whining and complaining.
I used to worry about looking foolish, but I’ve decided not to care what anyone thinks. And if I get laughed at, so what? I tend to take myself too seriously, so I’ve made a conscious choice to lighten up. I’m also a firm believer that a little public humiliation builds character. So, even if my body isn’t in the best shape, my character is getting a workout! I also happen to like this body I was given with all its flaws, inelegant as it can be, and I want to keep it in the best condition I possibly can—that means exercise.
Why Do I Exercise?
First and foremost, I’m not a quitter—ever. Second, weight control. A healthy body means maintaining a healthy weight, and exercise is a necessity for me. Third, I get to see all the wondrous places that only a mountain bike, a hike, or snow skiing can take me. Fourth, I exercise with family and friends, which makes it more fun and gives me time with people I care about.
Over the years I’ve tried many, many different activities from hiking, kayaking, waterskiing, kickboxing aerobics, yoga, volleyball, cross-country skiing. Snowshoeing is my latest endeavor, which was fun and easy to learn. Now all I need is some snow!
What’s next for the Klutzy Athlete?
Skydiving? Doubtful as I’m not fond of heights, but I might give racket ball another shot or maybe tennis. What’s the worst that can happen? A few bumps and bruises and a little more public humiliation. I’m sure my character could use improvement. What’s important is to stop worrying about what others think and get moving. Go out and walk, listen to the birds, shake off a lousy day at work, breathe in some of that fresh clean air and you’ll feel better. Trust me when I say, if I can exercise, anyone can.
What’s keeping you from exercising? What’s your worst athletic experience? Come on, share. I guarantee you’ll feel better, and there’s always someone who’s got a worse story to tell.