Thursday, March 17, 2011


Exercise is my frenemy. She is a friend because she keeps me healthy, but she is an enemy for being the other woman in my boyfriend and my relationship.

I couldn’t detest exercise more. If obesity didn’t exist as a truly frightening disease, I doubt I would care about exercising at all. I would be completely content to never run a mile again for the rest of my life if it meant that my body would never suffer the consequences. Oh, how I dream of this alternate reality.

I’m told that exercise should be a natural, pleasant element fused effortlessly into the everyday life, but to me, it is an excruciating pain that I whole-heartedly resist to practice.

Nick couldn’t be more the opposite. Nick is a workout fanatic - from playing college rugby, to lifting weights, to racing bikes competitively, he is head-over-heels for physical activity. He loves being outside. WTF right?

My attitude towards exercise is more than a simple love & hate dynamic. I see exercise as this smoking hot woman that Nick is cheating on me with. Except, he doesn’t realize why I’m so upset about their intimate relationship – instead, he encourages me to be buddies with her and try to get along! I am jealous of Nick’s affinity for exercise, and I wish he wasn’t so fond of her. Then, I wouldn’t feel so bad for hating her so much.

Sometimes I make an effort with exercise, but when I do, I make sure the whole world knows about it. I’m that obnoxious friend that will find a way to slip into the conversation that I went to the gym today, even if the fact has no relation to what we are actually talking about.

I am that same obnoxious friend that turns leisurely strolls into power-walking sessions when I realize I haven’t exercised that day. A lot of the time, Nick will be chatting away with an easy stride, and I will be shouting back at him over my shoulder. Then he throws it in my face that power-walking barely counts as exercise, and I might as well enjoy the scenery. Back to the gym, I am told.

As of a week ago, I started the 4 Hour Body diet and exercise routine, in attempt to revolutionize my health. The plan  enforces a "minimum dose" of exercise principal that sounds easy enough. So far, it’s been good, but we’ll see how long it lasts. Nick has his doubts that I will stick to it, but I am challenging myself to overcome his expectations (and my own) and actually do it. 

Being Cold

I’m not sure what exactly is wrong with me, but I am always cold. I think it’s a curse. Fortunately, this curse is a burden that I do not have to shoulder alone. Against his will, Nick is fated to bear it with me. Unfortunately, it has plagued him beyond the point of insanity. Good for me, but bad for him.

As much as I love San Francisco, I hate the weather. No matter the temperature, I am always freezing! It’s the fog, the mist, the rain, the clouds, the wind, or the breeze.

Or it’s just me.

I think I was definitely born this way. I remember hating to accompany my mother to the Alemany farmer’s market as a kid, because I simply couldn’t stand being out in the wind. I remember hating to shop at Safeway, because the refrigerated aisles gave me goose bumps. I remember hating long drives in the car with my parents, because the air-conditioning simply kills me!

I know that you, reader, feel bad for me. But I am not the one to feel sorry for. My poor boyfriend is the victim for having to deal with my disfunction.

You know, I never thought that I was abnormal until I met Nick.

He couldn’t understand why on earth, in 65-degree weather in the sun, I was cold?

He soon found out that taking walks in the park or the beach or around the block was impossibly difficult. If we did set out with me wearing a long sleeve shirt, I soon complained of needing a sweatshirt. If we did set out with me wearing a sweatshirt, I would complain of needing mittens. If we did set out with me wearing mittens, I would complain of needing close-toed shoes because my flip-flops were giving me frostbite!

Then, even in those instances where I’d be fully bundled up - with a hoodie, jacket, mittens, boots, and scarf – I would take one look at him in his tee-shirt and shorts and be cold again! Just the sight of his bare arms and legs would make my teeth chatter! I don’t know how he survives in such a little clothing outside in the open air, but even thinking about it makes me shiver.

No matter the season, no matter the hour, no matter the place – I am unchangeably cold.

If we are having a coffee date in Starbucks, I am shivering. If we are hiking in the mountains, I am shivering. If we are studying in the library, I am shivering. I have accepted that my life will always be such, and thankfully Nick is moving past his denial.

In attempt to rationalize my horrible condition, Nick believes that I have a circulation problem. This very well could be true, but I’ve never discussed it with my doctor. I am simply too embarrassed. Perhaps, more exercise would remedy this blood problem, but we shall talk about my aversion to exercise another time.

It’s kind of like how I was at band practice one day, and the drummer was wearing a ridiculous pair of bright red earmuffs. It was late spring, we were indoors, the heater was on, and giggling I was like, what is up with your earmuffs? As we poked fun, he simply replied, “I’ve just got back from a ski trip, and my core body temperature hasn’t adjusted yet.” Core body temperature? So funny and silly, I thought.

But sadly, my life has turned into a more dramatic recurring nightmare of this. I am a freak with earmuffs that’s continually adjusting from an imaginary snow, and Nick is a hysterical critic asking me why I am so damn cold.

Nick has learned to accommodate my temperature problems, but they are still problems. Me being cold is an inevitable, irreversible, irrevocable part of our relationship.

I know he wishes it wasn’t so.