The trouble lay in having to make too many decisions. With the gym, I just needed to drive down there, and then pick my poison: the treadmill or the elliptical. Now, there were far more choices. Would I work out in the morning or the evening? Which of three parks would I power walk in? Or would it be better to go for a hike? And then I’d have to figure out where to hike. And if I was going hiking, I needed to pack water, and a snack, and so on. Enter mental exhaustion.
Then there was the part where to exercise first thing in the morning, I had to get dressed, I had to smear myself with sunblock, and then of course, I was starving, so I had to eat breakfast, too.
After that, this being Tucson, it started to get hot. That will really derail outdoor exercise. Soon my six day a week fitness habit had devolved into three times a week workouts. If I was lucky.
There had to be a better way, and I found one.
Taking Gretchen Rubin’s wise advice from her book Better than Before about making my exercise habit convenient, I invested in an indoor rowing machine, specifically the Concept 2. Pricey, certainly—about three times the cost of my cut-rate gym membership—but I’ve been very happy with it.
Every morning now, except for Sundays, I get up and put on my exercise clothing. I head to the kitchen and make myself a mug of English Breakfast tea, spiking it liberally with almond milk.
Then, I get on my Concept 2, and row, row, row hard for 30 minutes. I listen to music, but it’s familiar music, so it’s good thinking time. Writers need lots of uninterrupted thinking time.
I’ve lost a smidgen of weight, but I’ve put on muscle and gotten stronger, and I notice everything is tighter, except my pants.