I have to admit that I didn’t really believe that it was good when I heard about it. And I heard about it very often and for a very long time. I always thought to myself, ‘what if…’, but I quickly found an excuse not to do it. It’s not that I had never done it before, it’s just that every time I had tried doing it, it didn’t feel good at all, on the contrary: it made me feel tired, sticky, grumpy and humiliated. Come on, you know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve done it at least once or twice… Ok, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about exercising!!
How hypocritical can one be? I should know, because I made it a habit of telling my students how much learning English resembled exercising. “Do you expect to go to the gym once and become Mister Universe? So, the same happens with English, you have to stick to it and practice to build your knowledge, just like you build your muscles by practicing weight training“. They must have thought “Oh, yeah, what do you know about exercising? I’ve barely even seen you standing! You’re always behind that desk!” And they were right.
Recently I realized that if I wanted to be taken seriously by my students when I told them to do their homework, study, read, or whatever, I had to practice what I preached: I had to start exercising regularly. Oh, yes, because I had obviously exercised before. I even own a treadmill, for crying out loud! The difficult part for me had always been the ‘regularly’. You see, being a Gemini, I’ve always been interested in a gazillion things, all at the same time. Things have always come and gone quickly, and I’ve loved doing them for the whole 10 minutes they lasted, but it dawned on me that one thing has always been present through all my changing interests: ME. I’m always here, wherever I am. I’m always myself, whoever I am. So I should be taking better care of myself, because the only person I’m sure will be with me till the day I die is ME. And if I don’t want to be dealing with a stiff, limp, non-responsive body sooner rather than later, I’d better get off the couch and get a-movin’!
That did it for me: I decided to make time and room in my life, once and for all, for exercising. I picked running, because I had done it before and had kind of enjoyed it. Kind of. I’ve been practicing it now for a few months, and regularly too, at least every other day. And the truth is: it feels just great. What I’d been hearing all that time was true! I just hadn’t given it enough time! Now that I do it on a regular basis, I actually miss it when I’m not able to run! Can you believe it? I certainly can’t.
But don’t think it was easy. I had to give up a lot in order to fit running into my hectic schedule, like my beloved TV shows, my knitting, baking cookies, sometimes even being with my husband. But it’s all worth it. I’m running longer and farther than ever. And in February I’ll be participating in a race in São Paulo. True! Watch out! That thing that’s passed zooming by you in the street might just have been me! And I dare you to keep up!
Here are some links about the benefits of exercising regularly:
And here are some vocabulary exercises on Sports and Fitness.
Sticky – How you feel when you sweat
Grumpy – bad-tempered
Get your mind out of the gutter – Don’t imagine dirty things
Hypocritical – Someone who says something and does something different
Resemble – Be similar to
Practice what you preach – Do what you tell other to do
Treadmill – An exercise device consisting of a continuous moving belt on which a person can walk or jog while remaining in one place
For crying out loud – Used to express annoyance or astonishment
Gazillion – Very large number of something
It dawned on me – I suddenly realized
Stiff – Hard, not flexible
Limp – without strength or firmness
Hectic – Chaotic
Beloved – Dearly loved
Zooming – To move rapidly
Keep up – To match your competition
Need more help with this text? Why not book a class?