Can I write an entire novel whilst exercising?
One of my good friends said the other day that he thought of me as sporty, and I burst out laughing. “Me? Ms faked various lively illnesses to get out of PE at school? Ms used to lie on the couch with a glass of wine, yelping as a mad electric shock thing zapped my abs rather than do a handful of crunches? Ms the first time I went to a HIIT class managed three stations before slithering to the ground like a glob of wet spaghetti?”
To be fair, as a teenager I danced and rode horses, when I lived in Vancouver a Saturday morning Grouse Grind was standard, and in Stockholm I think I spent more time on the water in a kayak than on dry land. Even in London, I ruined several pairs of shoes hiking for miles on end because every saved tube fare went towards beer.
But I never thought in terms of committing, progressing, or even of doing it on purpose. There would be long periods when for weeks on end I’d promise myself I’d definitely go to a step class or something “tomorrow.”
Then I tore my knee apart in a bad skiing accident, which forced me to be more or less sedentary for six months (on crutches). Suddenly it was going to take a lot more than a promise of “tomorrow” to get me back on track.
This ultimately culminated in about three months of daily panic attacks and over a year of various, lively, anxiety-related symptoms. There was other stuff going on with me at the time, but once I was diagnosed, I could look back and see that I’ve always self-medicated with activity. The periods I promised myself I’d get back to it “tomorrow” always coincided with life being a bit of an uphill battle, emotionally-speaking.
Even then, it still took a year to get on track, and there have been plenty of ups and downs along the way – including a memorable panic attack in the middle of a CrossFit session and a screaming match with a personal trainer who then followed me into the shower (don’t ask 😳🤣) It’s still not easy.
That’s one of the reasons for this project. To complete a draft by the end of the year, I will have to write/exercise at least five times a week without exception. I genuinely have no idea if I can do it, but I guess there’s one way to find out!