The Strenuous Life

My husband is doing sets of burpees interspersed by work and other normal movements of the day. I don’t count his burpees but there are plenty of them. I am not even sure when he decides that it is time for another batch. Seemingly at random he just begins the jumping back push-ups, and jump ups. He stops after he has exhausted whatever reserves he has within himself.

It is an impressive display of fitness. And health. (Yeah, it’s also an attractive display of husbandly prowess that I am watching while pretending not to. So sue me. I find him attractive.)

By contrast, I haven’t exercised since leaving Memphis to travel to Denver three weeks ago. For the first time in weeks I long for a bit of movement. Which is a sign of health for me as well. Though, not as impressive as Steve’s compulsion to break out into a set of burpees with the frequency of a Broadway diva’s compulsion to express her thoughts in song.

I won’t return to the JCC until I’m pretty sure that I am not flinging flu virus all around me. But today I will make use of my spinning bike for a bit.

Steve fervently believes that strenuous exercise is the cure for many things. I think he drank a bit too deep from the Teddy Roosevelt cup of knowledge in his grad school days, but there are worse things to fill one’s mind with than the thoughts of our ‘manliest’ president:

I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.

–Teddy Roosevelt

All of this is to say that I am feeling better. My mind is clearer. My feet want to move. But I still can’t talk and I’m filled with contagion that needs to clear out.

I regret that I missed the opportunity to hike in Colorado and New Mexico this trip, but perhaps we can arrange for other opportunities later this year.

In April, I head to Las Vegas, Nevada for a short story intensive with Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Perhaps I’ll take a trip into the mountains while I’m in the West. I love my Memphis swampy/bottomland forest hikes and look forward to resuming them, but Rocky Mountain hikes have a special quality to them that I miss.

I hope you are enjoying whatever passes for strenuous exercise in your life, whether it is as gentle as kneading bread or as mystifying as breaking into burpees for no reason whatsoever.

Be well, friends!

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