Screaming On the Inside

Exercising will be the death of me

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

As Wisconsin enters a newly mandated “Safer at Home” style of life, many of us have been confined to our homes. 

Naturally, I am going a little stir-crazy. A few weeks ago I felt like I was drowning in work and school. Now, I have an unprecedented amount of free time on my hands.

As COVID-19-related content dominates the headlines, I also can’t help feeling a little hopeless. 

So, this combination of boredom and paranoia must be combated before I completely lose my mind. 

How have I chosen to combat these issues? Exercise.

Before you, my dear reader, assume this is about to be a positive article — know that you are very wrong. 

Because guess what: I hate exercise. It’s horrible. How people actually get addicted to this stuff, I’ll never understand. 

My entire body has been in agony for the past week. My boyfriend keeps telling me, “Oh, it’ll get better after you get used to it. The pain only means you’re getting stronger.”

OK, boomer. If I don’t have abs by the end of next week, then it’s not worth it.

The morning after my first workout, my entire body felt stiff. It hurt to sit up, raise my arms, walk and breathe. 

The sad thing is: my workout was not very intense. I did half an hour of yoga, then some simple exercises — leg lifts, 30 seconds of planking, Russian twists, bicycle crunches and squats. 

The reason I experienced so much pain afterward is simply because I am weak and pathetic. 

No — I did not “feel good for the rest of the day.” Why do people always say that? I felt like I had been steamrolled.

Regardless of the misery and agony, I made a commitment to myself. I knew this would be the perfect time for me to make exercise a daily habit, rather than something I do sporadically to combat my severe lack of self-esteem.

So, I have continued with the workouts every day for the past week. Some days are harder than others. Some days I push myself more than others. However, not a single day has gone by where I didn’t hate it. 

I know some people might read this and be a little judgy. Some people might even think I’m a pathetic weakling. 

Well, you’re right. Good call on that one. The other day I concluded my workout by laying on the floor and staring at the ceiling for half an hour as I contemplated life and my strong cravings for pasta.

Unfortunately, those strong cravings for pasta are the problem. I’m a boredom eater, and I’ve been real bored lately. It’s a dangerous situation.

Thus, I exercise. Someday I plan on working my way up to running. However, considering that my last run ended with me laying on my front step and panting like an overheated dog as I tasted blood in my lungs, I have a feeling I will not enjoy that either. 

We’re all trying to make the best of this new quarantine-driven way of living. Zoom meetings, 1,000 piece puzzles and working from home have all become the new normals of everyday life. 

The isolation and boredom certainly have me screaming on the inside, but finding new ways to keep myself busy has been helpful. Even though I hate exercising, it is something that helps me pass the time and, unfortunately, it really is good for me.

So, as the days drag by and there seems to be no end in sight, I recommend shaking things up a bit — to the best of your ability. The only way to combat the impending nationwide Cabin Fever is by remembering that your life doesn’t have to come to a complete stop.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected]