EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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A Year of Living Positively-Day 199

It rained heavily most of the night and well into the morning. I rose around four o’clock to offer B assistance in getting out to the street and into a taxi with her luggage. It turned out that she did not need it because her department staff came to her aid and called a taxi at that hour. (Wow! I don’t think I’d get that kind of service from our department staff!) I went back to bed and woke up again around seven-thirty to see it was still raining a lot.
 
I keep telling myself it is alright to have days like this doing nothing in particular. It is healthy. It is, after all, vacation period nowadays and I should enjoy it.
 
I wonder if I’ll have to battle apathy over the summer, though. I used to get like that living the way I did before I moved to Korea because I was forced into stretches of inactivity given the lack of work and income. I should be alright. Actually, the Japan trip is only a month away, and there is work to do for it and the KOTESOL meetings in the meantime. I am sure I’ll get impatient with any dull drums and get some work done on the writing front as planned. Also, I am committed to the gym. This concern about apathy is on my mind because I toyed with the idea of going to the gym just to jog on the treadmill for a short while. I know it is best to let the body rest for one day after a workout, and do workouts on alternate days, but I think that doing some light alternative activity would be fine. I thought I might just walk the two blocks or so over to the school sports field and jog there, rather than go up the hill. Then again, the school fields are always made of loose dirt and it would have been pretty mucky over there, so I hung back. The gym is open until eight in the evening, so there is still time. I really am lazy at this point. Besides, it is boring to sit on the cycling machine or work the stepping machine or run on the treadmill. See? I can find excuses. Am I apathetic about it, or sagacious? Well, that is what most people go through when it comes to exercise, right? Paying for the gym membership, however, is a motivation in that I would be paying more than necessary if I did not go to the gym at least three times a week and I do not want to waste my money.
 
Generally, I have never seen myself as an apathetic person and I doubt that anyone would describe me as such. I am probably just fretting for nothing, uncomfortable with my own state of stasis. Anyway, I did some push-ups and plan to do a few every day, because the arms and shoulders are very weak. I thought I would do some skipping out in the hall but I need to buy a new rope. I am certainly more physically active than most of my peers. I do manage to stay relatively active, walking a lot and doing this and that from swimming to hiking, from biking to gym workouts. It is just not routine or regular. No, I am not an apathetic person, in general. I think about what is happening in the world. I avoid adopting a typical middle class attitude and turn away little luxuries and most of my peers and colleagues indulge in preference for spending some of my time on causes and participating in trying to facilitate important social and political changes. Furthermore, my mind is used to being very active—more active than many people around me, for I like brain and creative work. The issue I am raising today is my own lack of commitment to regular systematic exercise. On that point, I am a bit lame.
 
I have to say that exercise is a lower priority than earning an income or activism, as far as I am concerned. For one thing, exercise takes up a lot of time if you want to have a routine every day. Even if transportation to the exercise site is not an issue, there is the necessary time in changing clothes and showering and grooming. Besides, you cannot rush the exercise, especially regarding activities like weight lifting or stretching, or you risk injury and render the movement ineffective for strengthening and toning the body. I tend to go through phases of exercise depending on my schedule. Going somewhere and completing an exercise routine and cleaning up then returning home is a good way to use up some of your day when you have a lot of time on your hands. That is how exercise tends to happen for me. Also, I tend to alternate my choice of types of exercise. In the spring, it was swimming once or twice a week. Now it is the gym. I have the time now and I live next to the campus where I can get a membership at less than half the normal price at a commercial fitness center and without going very far to use a gym. It is convenient for me. I have the time and I do not have very much work to do, or even if I was writing three or four hours a day.
 
About choosing the gym at this point: the arms are getting terribly slack, so bad that I want to cover them up even though it is summer time. Anyway, a gym workout can have all the necessary component for the optimum physical activity for the aging body. Everyone 50+ should be going to the gym four times a week. A full workout, to meet the needs of the aging body, should include cardiovascular workout and stretching to maintain flexibility. Also, it is important to use weights for toning the slackening muscles and strengthening the bones, especially the joints, and fighting the loss of muscle and bone. Those are the reasons why the gym workout is best.
 
I have not had a good schedule for going to the gym really, until now. Last semester, I worked from morning into the afternoon without the “donuts” of spare time that would allow for getting a workout between classes. Rather, I would often finish work around four to five o’clock, if not later, when my energy was down and I always felt I needed a good meal. I would therefore leave campus after work. My weekday schedule is nearly completely clear now, and the fall schedule leaves me two mornings and one afternoon, plus my spare day without classes, when I will be able to fit in gym workouts.
 
I should relax about this issue of having days with little “production.” I should remind myself about my character, tendencies and preferences, and have faith in myself that I will not waste the summer days. Of course, I should remain vigilant, but I do not think apathy is one of my problems. Just look: we have arrived at day 200 of this blog! I am continuing on the path I have constructed for myself. I am on track and I am productive in producing the kind of things I want and expect from me.

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