Finally. It’s warm!
Nope, nope, nope, it’s freezing, snowing, wet winter! Woo hoo! We get some moisture!
Yeah, baby, warm! Today I’m wearing sandals and letting my tootsies out at last.
All right, a brisk, chilly wind and sandy brown air. Spring in New Mexico!
You know what that means—it’s time (I think… I mean, don’t you think?) to go outside and play.
Yard work counts as a great workout and so does digging in the garden. The wind is still a bit chilly on my ears for that so far. I tried it, but I have wimpy ears when it comes to cold, and when my neighbor offered to do it with power tools, I confess that I and my cold ears gratefully ran back inside.
My younger grandson loves going to the park and asks me if we can go almost every day. He’s six and of course, he never gets cold. In winter, I rarely say yes to the park. But the warmer it gets, the more hopeful his eyes look when he asks me, and so, yeah! Skate park! We didn’t have skateboards or scooters but we both climbed around on the skate stuff and walked across the rail that the kids do tricks on like a tightrope. Then went over to check out the swings and the climbing thingie. I thought I had my basketball in my car but I didn’t; we had lots of fun anyway.
That has always been my favorite kind of workout, well, minus the nippy wind in my ears. I love feeling that joy in movement, and I love playing with little kids because they so naturally embody that. They want to jump just to see how far or how high they can jump, and then they want to try it again to see if they can jump a little bit farther this time. Then they want to try jumping a little bit different way, to see what’s up with that.
They run everywhere because walking is just tooooooo slooooooow.
They aren’t thinking about calories, or that bear claw they ate, or how many times they fell short of their own fitness goals. They just want to move—in fact, they can hardly sit still. I aspire to be like kids in working out.
I used to be very self-conscious, especially in my 30s and 40s, (well, and probably in my teens and 20s, too) about trying out things that made me look foolish. I mean, I’m pretty sure I look like a pure plump goofball trying to scramble over the climbing thingie at the park, but I don’t let that stop me from doing stuff like that anymore. Why deprive myself of that enjoyment? Plus it’s fun to hang by your arms and swing your feet.
Last week, my daughters wheedled and cajoled a very terrified me into trying a headstand. “You can do it,” they said. “Just throw your legs up,” they said. “Channel your inner 12-year old,” they said. I was terrified of hurting myself, and totally convinced I couldn’t do it. I was really focused on my weight. I said—among other whiny things, “My inner 12-year old only weighed 100 pounds!” They finally got tired of waiting while I dithered, and each picked up a leg and hoisted me upside-down. Turned out it wasn’t so hard for them to do that. I had a mental image of them buckling under my weight, but they just flipped me right over.
Once upside-down, I could hold the position by myself! I would not have believed it. In fact, I really didn’t believe it. They believed I could, though.
All in all, I can’t decide if I would classify that experience as fun. I was so afraid of hurting myself! And I was convinced that these two Amazon daughters of mine would not be able to lift or hold me, but then my skewed mental self-image ran into reality when they lifted me easily. That headstand was an amazing feeling of accomplishment because my fear gripped me—my hands were shaking in adrenaline reaction for a long time afterward—but I could do it anyway.
My daughters caught a video which I’m sure (for them) was lots of fun. I don’t plan to let it see the light of day as it is mainly a shot of my butt while I fuss about how I can’t do it until my girls give each other the signal and boom. I’m upside-down. And shrieking. That video will never be seen outside the inner circle, where we can giggle about it privately.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.