Monday, February 14, 2011

Fun or depression? This one is easy

The new Frank Gehry building (directly above)
in Lower Manhattan is quite spectacular
and especially photogenic. On my morning runs,
I often pass by a Gehry building on the West Side Highway (top photo).

I am glad to have made the 100-day anti-inertia pledge. It saved me from what could easily have been a Lost Weekend.

Sunday morning I re-injured my knee after months of knee rehab I devised and conducted on my own. I had carefully, slowly worked up to my old 3-mile jogging loop. I achieved that goal only last week. And…on Friday night just before Jim and I were to make a martini toast to the upcoming weekend, I got one of those emails that make you afraid to read email ever again.

Because of the injury and the email, I wanted to pull the shades and open up “Townie,” the mesmerizing book by Andre Dubus III I’m reviewing this week. Reading, especially when a book review is due Wednesday, is a great excuse to duck out for a long break. Another attractive option was a 12-hour Law & Order marathon. And the Saturday night dinner invitation I had once been looking forward to began to feel like maybe I’d be doing everybody a favor if I just pulled the covers over my head and waited to see if, as Jim suggested, “this too shall pass.”

But I’d just started this “break a sweat and defy inertia” vow. Wasn’t the pledge made for days just like these? The pledge: 30 minutes of sweaty activity daily. It is meant to keep me and those who join me moving because there isn’t enough time spent in mindless, joyful moving each day. The pledge gets you out there, doing things that approximate living beyond the desk and the couch. It should feel like play. The point is to get a little sweaty, feel good and have some fun doing it. Try not to think of it as exercise but as fun.

So, wanting to put the email behind me, I asked Jim if he’d like to take a walk on Saturday morning. We went all over Greenwich Village. We picked up roasted coffee beans at Porto Rico and fresh vegetables at Chelsea Market and doughnuts at Donut Pub. Undoubtedly the doughnuts were the best part. I had, over the course of the day, 3 or 4 doughnut holes, and it was great. When we got back to the apartment I spent at least 45 minutes cutting up lots of veggies for a salad I promised to bring to dinner — not that green pepper, cukes or sugar snap peas could offset the fat in those crispy doughnut holes. (Theory: doughnut holes are more delicious than a doughnut because there's more surface area to absorb hot fat.)

Sunday after my knee injury, I took naproxen to reduce the swelling and then we set off for Lower Manhattan to see the breathtaking Frank Gehry building under construction and the progress of the ground zero memorial. September marks the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the twin towers and the plan is to have some part of the memorial completed. More on this another time, but here’s a link to an article about the new Gehry building, published last week in the NY Times.

Good luck to everyone this week. I intend to keep posting about fun activities that get me up and away from the desk and the emails I can’t do a thing about.

If you would like to make a guest blog appearance to write about something fun you, please let me know. I’d like for others to share this space. Snow shoeing in Vermont or Dixville Notch? Line dancing in California? Kayaking in the Keys? Tennis in Montecito? There’s room for you here! I know you’re out there having fun!

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