I am a big fan of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle. I have always wanted to be the kind of person who did them, as it always seemed to me that those types (the ones who could do them) were more intelligent; more sophisticated, and knew more about current events. There have been several times when I have sat alone at a café sipping cappuccino and racking my brain to try and figure out a five-letter word for “aromatic resin” or a four-letter word for “rope fiber” only to end up over caffeinated and none the wiser. It was not until a recent trip with my mother that I finally became one of “those people”.
My mom and I discovered an ipad app that lets you download archived crossword puzzles from the times. What that meant to us was a thousand different Mondays. For those of you who don’t know, Monday is the easiest and they move up from there. My mom and I went loco. We played on the plane, in the car, at my aunt’s house, before bed, instead of a nap, in the morning, at lunch. We couldn’t stop and we got good, real good. We even tried out a few Tuesdays and Wednesdays too. When I got home I kept right on going with my crossword mania and even though I am doing them solo now I am still rocking the house. I figure if I keep this pace I might become one of those Sunday people too! Then last night I could barely finish a Monday. I got stuck, really stuck. After about 60 minutes I realized it was useless (the left corner would have to stay blank), my bed called to me and I fell into a deep, deep sleep.
In the dream I was walking through a crowded gym. There were all these really fit people. There were women with six packs and toned yoga arms. There were buff dudes doing pull ups with 50lb weights tied to their ankles. There were elderly women with smiles on their face while jogging and even older men doing perfect versions of downward facing dog. It seemed as if I had stumbled upon the gym of perfection. These people were fitness gurus. I knew them. They were healthy and strong and confident. They worked out and it was as effortless as if they were born in the gym. I looked down at myself and I felt bloated and weak. I tried to do a push up but fell to the floor. I tried to run but the air turned into a thick fog, as thick as molasses and I couldn’t move. I was stuck and all the pretty fit people started to point at me. “You’ll never do Monday again”, they screeched, and that’s when I woke up.
The point of this dream? Have you ever imagined yourself as the kind of person who loves to exercise? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a yogi? Have you ever visualized yourself stronger or fitter or faster? Have you ever put someone on an imaginary pedestal because they were in better shape than you? That’s what I was doing when I assumed that people who can do the NYT crossword are smarter than me. Yes, I am sure that many of them are smarter than me (probably more than many) but a whole lot of them are just more practiced than me. That’s all those fit people at the gym are too, just more practiced. They weren’t born in a gym and this is not their first day. They have been doing it for a long time and that’s why they smile while they jog and bench press so much and touch their toes. They are not better or prettier or cooler, they just work out more.
So if you want to be the kind of person who likes to exercise, well then you had better start practicing. And if you find (like me) that you practice for a few weeks, feel great and then get set back (maybe you get tired or you can’t walk as far one day or you have to lower your weights) don’t worry. It takes awhile to get to Sunday, it doesn’t happen overnight. If you are wavering on a Monday and find that you have to leave a few clues unanswered, let it go. You have already become the person you wanted to be. You already are and always were; you just weren’t practicing. 8 letter word for health = PRACTICE.
Be Good to your Body, it’s where you Live