Because I’m close enough to forty and have spent the last fifteen years of my life completely and utterly dedicated to my family in such a way that long ago dreams have died a slow, painful near-death only to be resurrected by a mid-life crisis, I was jumping for joy when my husband bought me a subscription to a rock climbing magazine for my birthday.
Anyone who has a subscription to a specialized magazine makes them, you know, legit. The first issue arrived in my mailbox and I was so excited, I nearly strapped on my climbing harness and sat cross-legged outside eating a granola bar and drinking kombucha tea for kicks, to feel like the youthful outdoorsy person I longed to be.
Technique, climbs, and gear dominated the majority of the pages. There was a recipe for some rice ball thing I laughed at because I could imagine packing them in school lunches and visualized them sailing aerodynamically across the cafeteria. Maybe I was just too old for this stuff, or at the very least too seasoned in the maternal part of my life. Or maybe I just needed to let myself go and embrace this hippie dippie Cali-style of the young, tan, and exceedingly well-proportioned people for at least a few minutes. Forget school projects! Who needs grocery coupons! I’m not worried about trying to figure out how to be at three different places at the same time this week! I’m too cool for that! I’m a rock climber!
But then, the coup de grâce. The section that snapped me back to reality. The fitness section.
I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. The article was all about how you don’t need a gym to get a good workout. They listed a few exercises that were basic. You don’t need a gym to do pushups or situps. You can easily do tricep dips on your kitchen chairs. All of these I know made good sense. The article then continued to say that a good way to get weight training and a good cardio workout was to, and I quote, “run up the stairs carrying a full laundry basket.”
Or at least that’s what I think it said. I was laughing so hard that I was in tears and potentially ruined the page. Even now I think of all of this super “hip” rock climbers filling clothes baskets with organic cantaloupes and fancy shoes that cost more than all of ours combined and running up and down the stairs.
I especially think of think of it when I’ve made five trips up and down the stairs, carrying laundry baskets full of the dirty (and eventually clean) socks and underwear of the people I truly love. I usually do it at top speed so that I can snag at least four minutes to myself to read a magazine.
Cross-legged. Outside. Until the dryer buzzer goes off.