"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. "

February 01, 2010

A quote by Lance Armstrong (paraphrased I believe.) Beyond the pain of exercising this speaks to me on all levels, especially writing. Exercise or writing, no matter how painful it can become, push through it.

Void over at Into the Void posted a quote on his blog the other day:
"Those who do not find time to exercise now, will have to find time for illness later."

He asked his stalkers followers to apply this exercise quote to writing and either comment or blog about it.  Exercise and writing are my two favorite loves.  Besides the hubby and kids of course...Well, unless it's screaming like a banshee, bouncing off the walls day then I reserve the right to put them third on my top fav's list. 

First exercise, I love love love exercise. *needle scratches record sound* No wait, I hate hate hate exercise BUT, (you only have a big BUT if you don't exercise) I love love love how it makes me look and most importantly, feel.  Alive, strong, healthy, free, happy, all positive highs I get afterwards.  I have a semi-strict schedule:  1 day per week - 1 hour trainer and 1/2 hour cardio, 1 day per week - repeat trainer session/cardio by myself, 2 days per week - boxing class, 2 days a week - 1 hour intense cardio (minimum burn 800 calories.)  

Included with that exercise, no heavy carbs after 3pm:  no sweets, breads, pasta, rice, or potatoes.  No don't freak, I eat all those foods, carbs are our friends but after 3pm they turn into fat.  They are like the cute little Gizmo, fuzzy, sweet, lovable, feed that booger after midnight and it turns into a nasty Gremlin.  REPEAT AFTER ME: Carbs are good, post 3pm carbs bad.  (If you want to know why, email me and I'll explain it.)

Now, back to Void's quote.  In the last two years I have been to the doctor...twice; skin rash and viral infection in my lungs.  As a matter of fact in the last 13 years of knowing my husband, he has gone to the doctor twice; a spider bite and a cold.  Our children, who are very active in sports, have only missed school once this year, 24hr stomach bug.  Despite tons of kids, friends and family surrounding us who are always sick, even dear friends who have had the swine flu.  Point being...Void's quote speaks truth:  take the time to exercise or take the time to be sick.  I choose exercise.

Now relate it to writing.  Just like exercise, if you're not writing you will lose your muscle, your strength, your skill.  Writing is the say way.  Some people say write every day, crap or not.  I don't agree with one blanket statement for everyone because we all live different lives.  But I do think, just like my physical exercise, you need to schedule it in or you won't do it.  The more time I spend writing in my WIP the easier the words flow.  When I take too many days off, just like when I do from the gym, I find it hard to get going again.  You would be surprised at how quickly your muscles will weaken if you don't use them.  Same with your brain.  (Try doing long division with your fourth grader and you'll figure than one out quick.)

Pick a writing schedule and stick with it.  Caitlin Kittredge wrote a great post "Write Here, Write Now."  Which I found out about from YA Highway.  A few things that hit home with me: set goals and just write.  Setting goals, whether 500 words a day or per week, set a realistic goal.  So you may start slow on the treadmill at 3mph (hehe, sorry Void) but at least you're on the treadmill.  You can always tweak your schedule and adjust it as your life changes.  But exercise or writing, you can't expect to get better if you're not doing it.

Your turn.  Tell me how Void's anonymous quote relates to your writing.

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  1. Well, put. I have my legs up on the chair next to me and my puppy laying on my legs and I am slouched down in my chair...I think I'll go workout at my sister's this afternoon. I run during the summer, but one cannot run in Michigan in the winter.

    Also, I started taking typing lessons, not just to increase my wpm, but to help create that flow between mind and finger that when missing, makes it hard to write.

  2. Wow, thanks for your open and honest kick in the pants. I needed that for my writing and exercise!
    Winged Writer

  3. I love the post. Very concise. I am glad to see you participate in this and share the love.


    3mph is only the "stretch my legs out" portion of my exercise. I gotta break in slow and make sure I don't break something. Once I get warmed up, I up the speed to 3.3 mph! So there! :P j/k

  4. When I was a kid, my parents cured most illnesses by placing a hand on my head and declaring me not sick. If I disagreed with their assessment, I was allowed to take an ibprofun before going to school anyway.

    That's how I write. Do it, even when you don't particularly want to. Tired, sick, whatever. It builds strength and character to keep going when you'd rather quit.

  5. Wow... Great timing. I was about to go into the living room to do yoga and Martial arts with my fiance and was about to start grumbling until I read this. Great post!

  6. Great post! I need some of that determination these days, and having a critique buddy like you helps keep me focused!

  7. Awesome post! Determination is always good.

  8. Jonathon – You’re so funny. I hope you and your puppy enjoyed your lazy morning. Typing lessons, I read that on your blog. Good for you, it’s faster than long hand for sure.

    Catherine – Glad I got you going. Hope you break Void’s 3.3 mph. hehe

    Void - 3.3? I’m still walking on 4.5, KICK IT UP BABY! You’ve got a tux to get into and we don’t want to disappoint the future Mrs. Void do we?

    Oh Dominique, that’s how I cure my children’s illness' too. Does that make me a bad mother? No, I’m building their character, right?

    Emma – in the words of my boxing coach…SUCK IT UP!

    Diana – I’ll whip your WIP right into shape. Send it on over.

    VS – Determination kills procrastination. I think I’ll brand that and sell it on t-shirts.

  9. What a great quote. I can totally relate to this in my writing. If I don't get it right the first time, the editing process is SO MUCH more painful. If I can take the time to write it right the first time, the rest of the process runs smoother.

  10. Great post! I agree, wholeheartedly, both with regards to the exercise and the writing. Gotta keep working those muscles or they get very, very soft.

  11. Exactly what I needed to read to get my butt to the gym today. And then come home to write. Thanks for keeping me on track!! :)


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