I am, generally speaking, allergic to physical exertion. This has been an over-riding theme in my life for, like, ever. Actually, that’s not true. It’s been an over-riding theme in my life since I started driving. Before that, I rode my bike everywhere.
So since high school, I’ve avoided exercise every chance I got. As a reward for this forward-thinking behavior, I have slowly added another 50% of myself to me. My doctor once said “I’d like you to get your weight under 200 lbs.” to which I replied, “I’d like Breyers to stop making their Rocky Road ice cream.” But I digress.
In October 2012 we joined Planet Fitness, and we’ve been going more or less regularly since then. This brings me to the point of this post, because I’ve discovered a wonderful, magical benefit to physical exertion.
I get ideas on a treadmill.
When I first realized this, I didn’t know how to process the information. Gym class had always been negative for me; being picked last for every activity, having to change my scrawny body in the same room as buff runners and football players, being pantsed in front of pretty girls. So imagine my shock and awe when I discovered the treadmill was helping me write.
Here’s a reconstruction of the incident to the best of my recollection.
1) I stepped onto the treadmill and started it moving.
2) My body screamed and cried, begged and pleaded, and finally went into a state of shock.
3) As a last-ditch attempt to save my sanity – and I suppose to deny the reality that I was actually exercising – I went into some sort of fugue state.
4) My mind thus freed from the material constraints of my physical form, I thought up really creative bits for my current novel.
Oh, happy day! I began to write details and even whole scenes in my head. I’ve had the general outline of the novel for some weeks now, and parts of the next two novels in the series outlined as well. However, there are always details, and scenes you didn’t flesh out enough. I’ve found I can do most of that work while keeping myself healthy, and I can’t tell you how exciting that is.
And that gives me an idea for a story…