Editor’s desk: Planning in reverse – walking, yoga, getting dressed

POSTED September 10, 2023 IN

Wow, what a tumultuous year we’ve come through. It has been unlike any other in my life and I know for millions of others. Along with you, I’m looking forward to the turning of this pandemic that has stopped us all in our tracks. The good news is that it has given us a moment to reflect. The bad news is that so many families are in bereavement over the loss of their loved ones.

For me, along with a small team of colleagues, I’m most grateful to be continuing to produce and host the New Dimensions program series. This work remains an inspiration to me and keeps my brain synapses firing in good ways.

I’d like to mention one particular interview that stands out. Hersch Wilson is a 30-year veteran volunteer firefighter-EMT from New Mexico. I highly recommend his book: Firefighter Zen: A Field Guide to Thriving in Tough Times which is all about approaching life’s inevitable emergencies with the intention to remain calm and act creatively. Synchronistically, two days after this interview I was once more packing up for another possible evacuation from a threatening wildfire in Santa Rosa.

On a more personal note:

As we enter a new year some of us make (and on occasion keep) New Year’s resolutions. The following has no socially redeeming qualities; it’s a personal lament.

Some of you know of my aversion to exercise except for when it involves some competitive game like tennis or ping pong. I know it isn’t fair to my body that my brain finds exercising boring which leaves it at an extreme disadvantage by my lack of willpower and general sloth. My tolerance for spending hours at a time at my computer is remarkably impressive (but not in a good way). Hours can whoosh by without notice as I check email, write program descriptions, prepare for an interview, and produce new interviews. And this doesn’t count the many times I’m doing searches on google which leads me into the primeval jungle of distraction. My desktop is closely related to the rabbit hole into which Alice once plunged.

With this realization, and because of the alarming rise in numbers on my bathroom scale, I figure that I need a new exercise regime in order to reverse this trend.

So, this is my light bulb idea: I’ll set my alarm and at the top of each hour get up from my computer and go walk around the block. Once around the block is about all that I can tolerate even with the additional distraction of listening to a book on my iPhone. I figure, if I do this at least 6 times a day, I’ll have done a half-hour of exercise a day.

So, today, being the first day of the rest of my life, I’m ready to begin.

Uh-oh, good as this plan might be, I notice that it is already noon and I’m not even dressed yet. Hmmmm, wonder if this plan has a few flaws and needs some tweaking. As someone once said, “Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house.” Rather than going to my computer to check email first in the morning, maybe I need to get dressed when I first get up.

As I imagine myself opening my closet it brings up the dilemma of deciding what to wear plus my body is stiff in the morning. Ah, a solution just popped up, I notice a press kit (yes, I’m still on my computer in my PJs) touting “Chair Yoga for Seniors.” Maybe, first ask for a review copy of that book—then solve my problem of stiffness in the mornings—then make a commitment to get dressed in the morning—then launch my plan to walk at the top of every hour.

Yikes, I think I’m stuck in reverse. Hope I’m not backing over a cliff.

News Flash: Just had an email conversation with a friend who also loathes exercise. She gets up each morning and walks briskly for 45 minutes on her treadmill. With no need to stop off at her closet and still in her PJs, she has only to put on her walking shoes.

This gives me the light-bulb idea to research getting a folding treadmill that might be kept in my small apartment which takes care of my having to get dressed. Stay tuned for further developments. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be safely walking, doing yoga, and continuing my art project which is using my body as my canvas for getting dressed every day.

May the Universe guide you and your loved ones through the new year with grace, inspiration, connection, and good health.

Peace & Joy
-Justine Willis Toms



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