I’ve never been a thin person, which has roots in genetics and dietary habits. However, in my early 20’s I was actually sort of happy with my physical state. I was not unattractive to the opposite sex, and I could bound up several stairs in the hospital (where I used to work) to get to a code blue or deliver a blood sample quickly and without losing my breath.
Sometime in making the transition from being a Respiratory Terrorist to Web Designer, I stopped exercising altogether, save the occasional trip to the beach (when one was available). This turns out to be bad for your health, and I ballooned. This rightly worryied my parents. But worse than my shape, my tolerance for physical activity was lessened. I don’t give a care what I look like, save to my wife, but being incapable of going up stairs or on a hike is an ego blow of the highest order. The regular racquetball has addressed some of these issues, and I can actually feel an increased tolerance for long walks and stairs. And most clearly, my tolerance for lots of racquetball has increased! Heh.
I despise exercise for exercise’s sake. I have envy who can muster enthusiasm for going for a run — which seems utterly pointless activity to me. Running seems like a means, not an end in itself, and certainly not pleasurable. But some people are wired to enjoy, or are willing to force on themselves walking, running, treadmills, exercise bicycles.
Perhaps as I age I’ll appreciate “just taking a walk.” But for now, I’m going to stick to racquetball. When summer comes, I’ll add bodysurfing and snorkling back into the mix.