It’s funny how I expect the universe (or God, higher power, call it what you will) to fully support me when I bravely make a big leap to force myself out of my comfort zone — but it dumps on me at every turn.
Such was my state of mind this past week. Instead of my usual chipper demeanor, I was full of negativity, bordering on the ultimate turnoff: self-pity.
In late July, my husband and I decided to move from our home of 15 years in Lake Stevens to Sedona, Arizona. We craved adventure, sunnier skies, and we looked forward to living near my brother and his blossoming family. Closing my health business in Mukilteo after eight years of busting my butt to build it up was not an easy decision, but we decided to embrace the unknown. Surely the powers that be would support such courage by making the transition smooth and joyous, yes?
The hell you say. While we made it to Sedona with relative ease, life has been a veritable nightmare ever since:
For starters, I came down with a nasty head cold en route. Then our moving truck “took a wrong turn” and got stuck somewhere in the Verde Valley, delaying our belongings for days.
We rented our Sedona house sight-unseen. The house itself is fine, but the decor can best be described as “A plastered Wile E. Coyote meets Hee Haw.” Thankfully, the landlord let us remove the swinging saloon doors, Roy Rogers chandeliers and otheratrocities.
Juniper bushes. There are exactly two substances on this planet I am highly allergic to: Codeine and juniper. And our rental house is surrounded on all sides by giant juniper bushes, rendering my schnoz an absolute terror.
No-see-ums. Who knew that No-see-ums, a flea-sized bug that feasts on human flesh, nest in juniper bushes? This explains the 40 plus bites on my legs and feet, which itch like the devil.
The heat. Of course, any yo-yo knows that moving from the Pacific Northwest to the desert in August is going to be tough, but I was not prepared for 100 plus degrees, day in and day out. Hiking the beautiful red rocks is not an option between 7:30 a.m. and midnight. Getting into my parked car with a 140 degree black leather interior is brutal. And when I attempted a happy hour martini on the patio, my cocktail was lukewarm in three minutes and I was swarmed with biting insects.
What does my pity party have to with fitness, you ask? Exactly this: I have not exercised in almost a month — the longest I have gone without in over 15 years. I am too tired, annoyed, itchy, blah blah blah. (Personal trainers are not exempt from coming up with brilliant excuses not to work out.)
Fed up with my lousy attitude, I finally signed up at the gym and put in a tough workout — and damned if I didn’t feel remarkably better. I loved waking up to the familiar feeling of sore, worked muscles. I hit the gym again the next day, and now things don’t seem quite so bleak. I have spring in my step, I stopped whining, I even laughed during a conversation with my brother this afternoon.
Make no mistake of it: Exercise rejuvenates and benefits not just the body, but the spirit, too. If you are feeling out of sorts, down in the dumps, let exercise pull you out of your funk.
I can almost see the bright side of things around my new home. Spending time with my 20-month-old nephew is an immeasurable joy. Moonlit walks with my husband are a new delight. And locals assure me that as autumn sets in, temperatures will drop, bugs will become scarce, and I will fall in love with Sedona and everything it offers.
Until then, I’ll spend Happy Hour on my living room sofa, martini glass in one hand, neti pot in the other — and I’ll shower in DEET every morning.