Wait, I like exercising??

Hello! If you are a really regular reader of this blog, you’ll remember that I’ve written here before. I wrote about my love of swimming, a very meaningful return canoe trip to Killarney Provincial Park, and about how I didn’t like walking, but I thought maybe it was feminist.

Well, I think it’s time I update you. I know it’s time I check-in with myself about how I’m doing with this whole exercise thing because well, how I’m doing has changed, a lot actually. About 2 1/2 years ago I had right hip surgery to repair damage that dated about 9 years back (to when I was pregnant with my 2nd son). After that surgery I started exploring walking on London’s beautiful trails. For the first time, really ever, I was able to enjoy the experience of walking. I learned that I needed a walking pole to help with balance on slippery surfaces, and I got some yak-trax for my shoes. I even enjoyed walking on ice! This was progress.

I also started pushing myself, in tiny ways, to try new things. It’s weird how for me, as middle age and motherhood has settled in, I’ve become timid. Now I’ve never been a boldly active person, but my “mom” role seemed to cement that I was the one that got left behind on adventures sometimes. Since I don’t downhill ski, that does still happen but I’m trying to get a little daring.

Here’s a picture of me jumping off a (smallish but huge to me) drop into Charleston Lake in eastern Ontario. I was so terrified, once I was in the water my husband asked me if it was fun and I screamed “NO!” So I decided to do it again so I could actually notice how it felt and it WAS fun.

Taking the leap at Charleston Lake!

I think the thing I’m most proud of is that I bravely took a sled ride down the steep hill near our house. I did that in 2021, on a day when there was loads of snow so the sled was slowed down a bit. It was definitely scary but I was so glad I did it! You can see me in my snow-covered glory on my Instagram page.

So I guess what I’m saying is that as my pain decreased post-surgery, I started taking a few small risks. And I’m found that I really can enjoy some exercise. I know that for many of you sporty blog readers that might seem an odd thing to say, but exercise has never before felt like a pleasant, or if I’m being honest, a safe experience for me.

Well that has changed now, and I actually enjoy some sports! So I wrote Sam and asked if I could contribute some writing exploring my experience. I’m doing aquafit regularly now and that is a whole other story that I look forward to telling you about it. I think I’m going to be sharing my story about once a month with you. Tell me about your experiences with finding your way in exercise – I’d love to hear them!

Amanda Lynn

Amanda Lynn Stubley is a folklorist who teaches writing and communications at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. In addition to teaching, she is a musician performing with The Heartaches Stringband.

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