Wednesday, January 6, 2010

in which the cold does not help

I keep running into fits and starts.. wanting to write, not wanting to write well. Having something to say, not wanting to say it to the audience I have, or wishing someone would listen who doesn't.

Japan is cold, and that makes it a lot harder to love.

I have work to do, but meh.. it's the sort of thing that no one is making me do. And it isn't like being in school, where no one was necessarily making me do those things either, but oh God, I had to do my best so I could impress any and all teachers and staff.

The motivation is low. I watched koi swim in really, really slow motion in the pond behind Iwa Jinja yesterday. It was a sunny, fairly warm afternoon (for December).. up around 8C or something. There is plenty to do, as an English teacher, as a student of Japanese language and culture (with an emerging interest in history and geography). There is always more to learn. There is also plenty to do just as a person with an apartment.. cleaning, decorating, improving. And I don't want to blame it all on the cold, because I know the cold isn't the only problem, but the cold really, really does not help.

I should excercise. I know that I used to say, I don't excercise to look good (that's just a happy side effect); I excercise to stay sane. I've always tried to be at least a bit regular about excercise and eating healthy, because it seemed to have such direct impacts on my moods. When it was autumn here, and I was generally happy, I went jogging every couple of days.

A couple of summers ago, I was hitting the gym really hard at least every other day. I was an emotional wreck, but I was in the best physical shape of my life. Somehow, it evens out eventually and we make it through.

I think excercise would help a lot now to make me feel more energetic. If I could spend a little time with raised heart rate, I would probably be able to apply a lot more of my other time to things like writing, reading, studying, planning, and all the other stuff for which the /want/ lurks just below the surface of this slow who-cares film. Instead of just preferring sleep. It's like being a hibernating creature.

Excercise would help. But it is so. Fucking. Cold.

There's a sports complex very close to where I work, and I'm thinking of going there to start swimming. They don't have machines, they don't have an indoor track, but they do have a heated pool. I've never considered myself a swimmer. In 2003 when I "decided" to "swim laps" "several times a week" with one of the girls in my major... I went once, almost drowned myself in exhaustion, and never returned. Then again, I never considered myself a runner, either (I used to wonder why ANYONE would find ANYTHING about running or jogging 'peaceful' or nice in any way), until I just started doing it in 2007.. because I had to. Because I was totally broke, but also totally lost inside my head; and I had the Nashville sidewalks. It got me out of bed-- because the earlier you got out in August, the cooler you could hope for it to be-- and it had to be the morning, because if I didn't jog, I would be too nauseous to want breakfast.

But swimming? Really? With the drying out of the skin, and the chlorine hair and the way you look at the water and think, aw, pools are fun, right? And then you swim like ONE lap and feel like you are about to die? According to Big Bro JET, they don't use chlorine. He said he thinks they said something about cleaning the pool with "sound waves"... yeah. I have no idea. But I may go this afternoon to check it out. Maybe if I start out slowly, it'll be okay.


  1. hey em, i love you, and i understand about the cold. it's getting cold here too- not as cold as 8c, but def colder than a peach growing weather. i understand about the whole sound body= sound mind. i need to get back into it too. it sucks the first few laps, but it only gets easier. talk to you soon cousin. :)

  2. I remember so clearly swimming laps in the winter of Interferon, willing myself into the warm (hah!) water, willing myself to swim 1 lap, then 3, then 3 x 3, then, eventually, 3 x 7, and feeling, when I emerged, proud, tired, invigorated, refreshed, exhausted. Do it, sweet child- do it like you did the running. You will not regret it.

  3. Do you remember that year I tried to join the swim team? laughable. But on the bright side, that was the thinest I have ever been :). I'm sorry its so cold, i hear you on that one. NYC has been enjoying the 20-30 degree range lately.

    I love you dear, fear not, you will find what works for you.