It’s been several months that I’ve used my elliptical. Part of it is that the Ol’ Man has been sick with diverticulitis; he’s been very cranky and a drama queen about everything I do from eating (“must you swallow so loudly?”) to working out (“that constant swishing noise is giving me a migraine”).  He’s feeling better, and now he’s in the middle of planning and planting his garden. His gardening hobby is expensive, but it does have its benefits–I get my cherry tomatoes and arugula for my salads, and when he’s out at nurseries in search of seeds and plants he’s out of the house for at least two hours. That means I can swallow, and workout.

If you Google “exercise and creativity,” you’ll see the research that if you exercise your body, you’ll all also see a surge in creative activities, problem-solving, stress reduction, etc. So here I am in my pyjamas, writing a la Truman Capote (in bed, the laptop sits on a bed tray). I look up and there’s my $700 elliptical. My workout clothes are hanging from the handlebars, the heart monitor is resting on the console, and I have the freedom to get on it and ellipt away the extra 8 ounces I gained from last night’s homemade popovers, and get my creative juices flowing to work on an article and later on Julius.

I don’t know whether exercise makes me a better writer or not, but I know that after a hard workout I feel like I can take on anything. My thoughts on the elliptical or treadmill are usually, “when is this going to end? I hate sweating.” But once I get into the groove and I’ve hit my target heart rate zone, my thoughts tend to go to Julius or the article I’m currently working on.  And when I’m finished–sweaty and breathing hard–I’m always amazed of how relaxed I feel. But there’s more to it. I feel like I can take on the world. The article doesn’t seem so daunting; Julius calls out me to add or rework scenes.

After nearly four months of collecting dust, it’s time to grease those pedals and handlebars, and take it and my brain for a spin, and maybe if I avoid popovers it will help me lose those blasted 8 ounces or more!