They say that the best way to stick to an exercise regime is to find an exercise that is right for you. (I've always wondered who 'they' are, but apparently 'they' know what 'they're' talking about most of the time). So, anyway, I've never really questioned 'them', and I have tried many many types of exercise trying to find the best fit for me - trying to find something I would want to stick with.
For instance, one time I took a kick boxing class. I really did enjoy it, and I was feeling pretty tough and empowered. I would go to the class and punch the bag, and the mitts - then wear the mitts while people punched me. I would kick stuff, and imagine my annoying husbands annoying face.
I was feeling like an Amazon princess - like somebody better just dare mess with me. I was a strong, tough, crazy b**** just looking for a fight. So, yeah, I probably could have stuck with kick boxing, except the trainer hurt my feelings. There I was feeling so talented and belligerent - punching a bag in a group. Then the dude says for everybody to do a hop in between punches - turns to my group - points a finger at us - and says "except you three - you don't hop, just punch." I looked at the two older women in my group, and realized I was in the sucky group. I've never been in the sucky group - not in anything!
Another time my friend R convinced me to go to some crazy exercise class with her. She kept going on and on about what a great class it was, how it was a class she wouldn't miss for any reason, how anybody could do it at their own level - yadda yadda yadda. Now, I should have been suspicious, because R is the type of person who loves painful sweaty activities. She is the type of person who enjoys sore muscles. I'm pretty sure that is she was a six foot 300 pound man, she would love tackle football, grunting and banging helmets with other players.
Still, she promised I would love it, and I believed her. Well, I can't remember the name of this class - but I called it 'The Hell Class' from that day forward. It was awful. You had to go around to all these different stations and do all these ridiculously difficult exercises for three minutes a piece, then switch, then switch, then switch - and this went on for an hour. Plus, every time I stopped, the instructor saw me and said something encouraging - just pointing out to the entire class that I was slacking. It was one of the most horrible hours of my life - I was all nasty sweaty, and every single muscle in my body hurt - and I for one do not enjoy sore muscles. So, yeah, that one didn't work out for me either.
Then there were the kangaroo jumps. If you have never heard of kangaroo shoes - you have got to look them up. They're kind of like tall roller skates, but instead of wheels, they have these big springy things on the bottom.
So, whats happens is, you strap on your kangaroo shoes, and go hopping around your neighborhood. It's kind of a slow motion hopping motion, while taking exaggerated long strides. Some friends bought me these kangaroo shoes as a gift - they both had some, and the plan was that we would all go out hopping around the trail together. Here was the thing about the kangaroo shoes. I felt like we should be wearing short shorts and colorful striped tights - then people would have thought we had just hopped out of a Dr. Seuss book - and they probably would have captured us and tried to put back.
The only form of exercise I have ever stuck with for a prolonged period of time - the only one I keep returning to - is walking. I don't need any special equipment, I don't need to join anything, I can do it any time of the day - for any length of time, I don't get sore, and I don't get sweaty. Call me fat. Call me lazy. But walking is the exercise for me.