Exercising My Right to Stay Home

What is it with these Florida people? They’re constantly walking, running, riding bikes, exercising in public and having flat stomachs.

My husband and I were trying to have a nice walk on the beach this morning and once again it turned into a big guilt-fest for me. I started out feeling pretty good, I’ve got my Starbucks latte, a hat covering my not-yet-washed hair, it’s not even 8 o’clock in the morning and I’m up and wearing shoes. Then the first school of bikes comes swishing by. These Florida people ride bikes. And not in the way that the Brady family rode bikes. No, these Florida bikers are all shiny in brightly colored spandex, they’re all hunched over gripping their downturned handlebars and they have racing sunglasses on. And they go really fast.

So do the runners. Their Nike color coordinated running outfits and whatever is on those black straps that go across their chests are soaked in sweat and they are moving.

We stand on the sidewalk holding tight to our Starbucks cups and our caps so as not to lose them in the typhoon that these fitness freaks create at the beach.

I run, but I don’t run like that. What I do isn’t even in the same category as what these Florida people are doing. Ask my neighbors and the lawn workers (who, by the way, should stop snickering and get back to work). After the first block, I look like I’m about to finish the New York Marathon. That is, if I can even get out there. It’s all I can do to find a sports bra that isn’t held together with safety pins. If they’re all dirty or broken, I opt to stay home and watch Will and Grace on Lifetime and eat chili cheese Fritos instead.

Our neighborhood has an exercise room, filled with treadmills, stationary bikes and things with black, chrome, pedals and pulleys that scare the bejeezus out of me. Believe it or not, there are people who actually go there to exercise! I see them in there when I go to pick up my mail and wonder what kind of lives these people have that they would leave their homes and go somewhere to exercise where there are no doughnuts.

I’m with my friend Rick, who once said: “I would exercise if they could come up with something I could do while I smoke and read.”

If people in the Midwest exercised half as much as these Florida people, the earth would surely slip off its axis, or at least vibrate a little bit.

I’ve been trying to do my version of running at least three days a week. And my husband is exerting heavy peer pressure to get me to dust off my bike and go bike riding with him.

I hesitate. What if we run into The Florida Gearheads or some other hard core cycling group? They’ll mow me down and make me spill my coffee and my Fritos.

Labels: , , , , , , ,