I haven’t been to the gym for almost a year now due to a back issue that can be aggravated by comfy chairs, fast movements, and alas, tumbling on mats. (Still kind of angry about that, but that’s not the point of this post.) After about five months or so of not being in the gym, besides putting on a few pounds, I realized I was feeling “old” when I got up from my chair, walked across a parking lot, or took a walk with the dogs–almost as if my body was forgetting how to function on a basic level. Wobbling about in a parking lot like I was on high-heels scared me, so I got an elliptical a few months ago. I liked the idea of a no-impact workout, and I figured I could spare ten mintues a day, right?
I’ve been working on it for just over two months, panting, pushing, breathing hard, trying to go as fast as I could in as short of time as I allowed myself. It was kind of fun. (Me? Competive? Naaaah.) and there were some clear improvement in times and distances. It was a challenge trying to figure out where this new excercise fit into my day: morning, afternoon, or evening. The gym had always been at night, so shifting to a morning workout was hard, but that’s where it naturally fell. Slowly my balance improved to where it had been, and I no longer felt like I was walking funny or as if my legs didn’t know what to do.
Yesterday, though, something deeper clicked as I worked out. My brain and body finally got what was going on and decided to work together. I found a slightly slower pace than I’d been pushing myself, a slightly higher resistance, and, like magic, it worked. The huffing and puffing stopped, the achy muscles shut up, the sweat came on as the body decided to cool itself, and I could just . . . run. Forever. Of course I didn’t run forever, but for that time, it felt like I could. I found my pace or zone, and I am eager to get on my elliptical today and find it again.
This is nothing new. Athletes have been finding their pace since we were on the savanna running down prey. The only reason I’m bringing it up now is because there is a pacing to writing, too, and it takes a lot longer than a few months to find it. If you are having a hard time finding it, you might take a few weeks and study the other patterns in your life and see where twenty minutes a day fits in better. Some people write better in the morning when the brain is rested, some at night with the entire day of experiences to draw upon. Recognize what works for you, and put yourself in that place when it’s time to write. Soon, your brain will recognize what you are trying to do, and the creativity will flow as soon as you sit down and you won’t have to struggle to find it. Really. I’m not kidding! No more staring at blank pages, trying to begin.
Right now I know that a lot of you are participating in NaNoWriMo, which is like a marathon of writing. Your natural pace is likely a lot slower, but when you find it, you can write forever–page by page, chapter by chapter, all the way to the triumphant end.
I kicked my keyboards butt yesterday, and cranked out 22 pages to make up for Monday’s no-count. Today I am going to drop back to my more comfortable pace. I’m exhausted! (grin)