April 3, 2007 at 8:28 am
When I first graduated from college, I entered a period of my life where my learning was no longer institutionalized. It was up to me to seek out new knowledge simply because I wanted to and not because I needed to write a term paper on the topic the night before it was due. I suppose I could write a term paper, but who would I turn it in to? My old professors would probably get worried if I started slipping five page double-spaced essays under their office doors and started hanging out in the parking lot saying I used to go here. That’s what MFA programs are for!
No matter how much weight I lose, I’m always learning new things about health and fitness. For example, I just bought a new pair of running shoes because my old ones had worn through the inner lining on the heel. This has happened before and I just assumed my feet were deformed and misshapen and narrow in the heel. I was just grateful I didn’t have cloven feet or have to nail horseshoes onto my hooves. It’s so hard to find a good blacksmith these days. But as I was tying my new shoes, I decided to lace them up all the way to the top instead of stopping on the second to last hole as I usually do. I’d never laced my shoes up all the way because that made them too tight to slip my feet into in the mornings without having to untie and retie the whole thing.
Yes, I am too lazy to tie my shoes. Take it as proof that even lazy people can lose weight.
After I laced my shoes up, I ran on the trail and realized my shoes were clinging tightly to the back of my foot instead of being slightly loose as they had always been. I felt like a dope. Too bad the conflict in the Middle East isn’t as easy a problem to solve as that was. I don’t know how many hundreds of miles I’ve traveled with my improperly laced footwear. I can only hope two years from now I don’t discover I’ve been doing something equally foolish like drinking water from the wrong side of the cup, at least when I wasn’t trying to get rid of the hiccups.
One of the things that was so overwhelming about starting a new diet and fitness regime was that there was so much to learn. It seemed impossible to figure anything out without getting a degree as a registered dietician, which sounds like it would require more term papers and schoolin’. I had no idea how much protein, carbs, fat, or sodium most foods had when I started eating right. Was I absent the day in health class when they taught this? I only learned cottage cheese was high in protein last year. Don’t get me started on the complexities of oatmeal – steel cut oats, quick oats, rolled oats, instant oats. There’s a 3 credit hour class right there. And did you know there are two categories of squash, winter and summer? They’re just like the fairy kingdoms! I just found out zucchini qualifies as a squash, which shocked me as much as the time I found out my uncle is a Republican.
In other areas of life, if you don’t understand a topic you can hire someone to understand it for you while you do fun things like play video games. Lawyers and accountants make their living understanding complex systems like the legal system and the tax code so we don’t have to. But when it comes to health you have to figure out the complex system of your body by yourself. You can’t pay the smart kid $20 to do your homework. You can’t hire someone to eat and exercise for you. I am frequently blown away by how much some of my fellow bloggers know about how the body responds to different forms of exercise or their vast food and cooking knowledge. I feel like a dumbf*ck sometimes in comparison.
I don’t think I ever get to graduate when it comes to health and fitness. I just keep adding more credit hours and majors to my coursework. And I’m stuck doing homework for the rest of my life. But at least now I know how to tie my shoes.