Saturday, November 26, 2011

How I Exercise

After approximately 10 years of VERY little physical exercise, I've begun swimming laps somewhere between once and three times a week for thirty to forty five minutes.  It feels wonderful. Endorphins, flatter stomach, and a weight drop of about ten pounds are some of the most obvious rewards. 

Swimming is one of the most joyful activities of my entire life. I learned to swim well as a child. (Thank you, Mama and Daddy and Camp Martha Johnston and the Elks Club). I even took water ballet my fourteenth summer and some of the flips and twists and turns I now enjoy come from  these lessons.

The last time I exercised my body steadily was from 1996 to 2000 where I journeyed from a klutzy white belt to a disciplined powerhouse of a brown belt in Okinawan Karate.
This has influenced everything in my life.  

I exercise my goats some, but not enough.
 As you can tell, they are quite fat.

I exercise going to the chicken coop several times a day looking for eggs. Then I get even more exercise as I look all over my yard for the undisclosed destination where the wild chickens lay. Their eggs are a real delicacy. I haven't seen any in two months or more, but I look almost every day.

I exercise my temper on occasion. Too much, I am sure, because it is quite fit.  Lately I've been trying exercise silence or at least letting my husband have the last word.

I exercise my right to vote every chance I get.  I've exercised my right to peacefully assemble to protest the war in Iraq several times.  I've yet to exercise this particular right in the Occupy Movement, but they have my attention.  Police violence against peaceful protestors isn't exactly my idea of how power should be exercised.

I exercise my freedom of religion, attending the 
church of my choice most Sundays.

I exercise my right to free speech, but I try to use it judiciously. My intention in writing is not inflame others, but for my words to help people find common ground. My purpose also involves helping others' voices be heard, especially my husband's voice. He is a common sense genius and he is a catastrophically combat wounded Vietnam veteran.

Back in my younger days, being just a kid in the sixties, I watched our country burn, I saw riots in the streets, saw presidents, would be presidents, and civil rights leaders assassinated.  It made a deep impression on me, as did rock and roll. Believe me, growing up in Macon, Georgia, home to the Allman Brothers, there has always been a judicious amount of rock and roll.

I'm a child of the sixties and came to age in the seventies which left me a rebel without a cause. I never used to look twice at military types, having decided early on I was a peacenik.  Then in my thirties I began meeting all kinds of Vietnam veterans and listening to their stories. Then when I was thirty five, I fell in love with one who, to me, had the most riveting story of them all. I pledged to tell his story. He agreed to let me. I exercise this agreement all the time. 

I don't much exercise the right to bear arms. I don't like them, don't trust them. I trust my self defense techniques I learned a decade ago much more than I trust myself with a gun.  I did get a rifle,  for home defense or in case a rabid animal gets in my yard, but I hope to never use it.

All and all, I exercise a great deal. I hope you do too.

all art by Carole Dixon

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