WRITING THE WAVES
A few years ago I made a terrible mistake that ultimately affected my health. I allowed my passion to write to replace exercise, including swimming.
One day I went for a routine checkup. My doctor, who had taken care of me through years of anorexia, told me I needed to lose weight.
“Pre-diabetes and hypertension,” she said, “Rochelle, I know you love to write but get off the chair once in a while.”
Diabetes runs rampant on both sides of my family. My father died from congestive heart failure as a result and another relative went blind. Neither prospect appealed to me.
Averse to taking medication I opted, with my doctor’s agreement, to control my sugar with diet and exercise. My elliptical trainer came out of moth balls. I found a pool and religiously counted carbs. My numbers, weight and blood sugar, went down.
Exercise in no way takes away from my writing time. In fact, the pool is my think tank where more than a few story lines have emerged. There are still sedentary days when I neither swim nor write as I fight my tendency to “awfulize” and tread the waters of self-pity rather than meeting the challenges head on.
This morning, in the lap lane next to mine, a young swimmer battles the water. I feel a bit winded myself as I watch her. Arms flailing, she works hard to keep her head above water. I wish I could tell her how much easier it would be if she kicked less and let the water carry her.