You know you should, but it’s just no fun

Ever notice that many of the things we know we should do just aren’t much fun? Or that the things we know we shouldn’t do are lots of fun? And therein lies the rub.

If the above statements weren’t true, there would be no need for the New Year’s resolutions I spoke of last week. Take exercise, for instance. We all know we should be doing it regularly. Why can’t we just naturally love it? Perhaps it has something to do with the pain involved, or all that sweating, that keeps us from flocking to the gym in droves, jostling for a spot on the treadmill.

For years, my motto was, “I am morally opposed to sweating on purpose.” When I finally ventured out on the road, driven by the fear of advancing cellulite, I distinctly remember thinking, “There has got to be a funner way to die.”

I sure wish I had Mr. Schrock’s passion for running. Rain or shine, hot or cold, by the noonday sun or the light of the stars, he is religiously pounding the pavement. He’d make a great postman, that’s for sure. You’d certainly get your mail faster.

Being a fair weather runner myself, I’ve been housebound for weeks, staring out the windows and waiting for spring. If I could get cranked up about windmilling on the side of an icy road while exposed surfaces (and some that aren’t) begin to freeze, I’d do it. Frostbite, however, is not my friend. So here I sit, trying not to think about the cottage cheese that has now passed my thighs and is heading for my neck.

Another “thou shouldest” that is hammered into us from every direction is the need for healthy eating. If the Food Nazis with their beloved pyramid had their way, we’d get nothing but rabbit food (i.e., lettuce), bird seed, and sawdust. And we would love it, too! Bird seed souffle with sawdust au jus? Sorry. Just not feelin’ it.

Why did Atkins have to go and run his yapper about the evils of carbs, anyway? I was perfectly happy eating lots of them until that whole show blew into town. Now that I’ve started reading labels, I’m a neurotic mess. They’re lurking everywhere, even in the most innocent-looking foods. I can’t enjoy a Krispy Kreme anymore without wondering what the carb count is. Ignorance is bliss, my friends. Ignorance is bliss.

Don’t we all know by now that we should have routine health screenings done? You know, like mammograms where they squish your chest flat in a giant vice, looking for lumps. By the time they’re through with you, there are no lumps left because all you’ve got is a quarter-inch shelf.

Or colonoscopies, where you go sunny side up to have your canals and waterways examined for cancerous polyps. We know we should do it, but it’s just not fun. Chinese tickle torture with a feather duster suddenly seems downright attractive in comparison.
A relative related once that he went through this harrowing experience and never saw the person who was inspecting his exhaust system with a fine tooth comb (or was that a wire brush). He said he was facing the wall, prepped and ready when the doctor came in, and he was facing the same wall when he left. Now, that would make the “Surreal Encounters of the Year” list.

Many people find that enlisting the help of friends provides support and accountability as they seek to establish new habits. While I prefer to suffer alone in my sneakers, Mr. Schrock enjoys running with buddies. Together, he and his sweaty band of brothers conquer the roads, solving world peace and the current financial crisis in the meantime. Next week they plan to tackle health care.

Certain things, however, must be borne alone. Years ago when Grandma Yoder was diagnosed with colon cancer, the doctor recommended that all the aunts and uncles undergo screening for the disease. My innovative Aunt Bertie wondered aloud if they could receive a group rate if the 10 of them lined up, held hands, and assumed position. Suffice it to say, no such family event ever took place.

Yes, these are all things we should do. No, this isn’t a barrel of laughs. But just think – adopting these healthy practices will help us all live longer so we can “not have fun” even longer! So bottoms up. Let’s get this party started.

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