Thought Tuesday

Toys Not Tools 

I applaud anyone who has consistent exercise motivation. I find that motivation ebbs and flows, sometimes I’m raring to go, sometimes I have to give myself a push and more frequently, I’m like a mountain, totally unmovable.

I decided I would try a “new” tool. I got a hypnosis cd and every night I listen to it. I know. It sounds crazy. I even went into it thinking it would never work, but I was desperate for some motivation.

I have to admit… it’s working. I may not be getting physical everyday, but I am doing so much better than I used to do. I don’t find myself dreading or even finding excuses to avoid it. I’d just find myself lacing up my shoes and jumping on the treadmill.

When I was a child, I must have ran around all day, playing with my siblings (I remember the mud pies and chasing water skippers the best), climbed rock piles that masqueraded as castles, swam in the Deschutes River at Tumbalo State Park, danced around like an idiot until I passed out. Back then, I called it play and it was fun. Now I call it exercise . . . and I loathe it. Indeed, every time I think about working out, my entire body forms the word, “Ugh!” What changed?

See why I need the motivation?

Perhaps I am not capable of using the words “fun” and “workout” in the same sentence. Exercise translates to drudgery and my mission is simply to get it over with as quickly as humanly possible.

Maybe it’s the boredom. Somewhere in my journey from kid to grownup, I went from mind-engaging, ever-changing, attention demanding activities to mind-numbing, repetitive movement. From kick-the-can to the treadmill. From jazz to the stepper. From play to exercise. Why?


As life became fuller and schedules get tighter, I found that I turn to the seemingly easiest, most efficient option to satisfy any fitness demands.

Maybe I need a better tool.

Last week my husband and I were discussing the sets I was designing and the need for a tool. I’m just not very good at drawing floor plan and elevations free hand. He suggested that I buy a computer program to help me. One problem. They are stinking expensive! I couldn’t do that.

He said, “Think of it as a toy, not a tool.”

That explains his spending. LOL. All those “tools” are not “tools” at all. They are “toys”!

However, there is a truth in making “tools” into “toys.”

Like it or not, most of us are not elite athletes looking to jump higher, sprint faster or pummel more defenders.

I just want to look and feel great, be healthy and have the ability to live life to its fullest.

However, I’m beginning to think that the more fun I can have along the way, the better. I need to see my treadmill as a “toy” not a “tool.”

“The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. The moment it arises, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.” — Mark Twain

Sit with children as they play and you will hear a joyful sound: the sound of laughter. Children can be counted on to make fun even out of unpleasant work. Time to make it fun.

Time gets some more “toys.”

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