This week I have reached a realm of exercise as yet uncharted in my personal quest for physical perfection... or health coming close to vaguely resembling not terrible. I have already made comments about the French people's desire for sport, their inhuman ability to drink wine and eat pastry all the time without succumbing to obesity, and my own battle with a culture that embraces leisure without pervading guilt. How all of these interwoven elements don't cripple each other with the ferocity of a rebellious rat king is beyond me.
Regardless, I am doing my best to find some sort of a balance amongst these contradicting ideas, something near impossible for a rather obviously unbalanced person. I bought myself a nifty little hand blender so that I can make vegetable/fruit smoothies (I have always had a strange obsession with making sure I have enough green food in my life) and I have begun the epic process of "running"... "Running", which thus far consists of intervals of walking and running, dictated by the handy little couch to 5k app on my phone. In all honesty, if I ever attempted to run 3 miles flat out on my first try, I'm pretty sure my heart would explode. This week I had moments of what felt rather close to that reality. I am now up to my 10th time running, and my app (or sadistic devil-winged fairy harping in my eardrums) has me doing intervals of 5 minutes at a time. This may not seem like a lot, but trust me... To someone who used to spend her evenings as a child hacking up a lung and trying not to choke on viscous fluids, this is a real feat. It has been quite an interesting adventure in mind over matter.
I have long since taken note of the fact that two of the dominating themes passed down from my parental heritage are neuroses and narcissism. My brain's crippling ability to overanalyze, overthink, and pretty much overdo anything in life is only rivaled by my equally interesting tendency to really believe I should be the magical fairy queen of all. I have the astonishing ability to simultaneously think the very worst and the very best of myself. This would provide a large portion of my highly unbalanced nature. All about the extremes, always passionate on either end of the spectrum. My competitive nature follows a similar route. I don't like competition because I want to win outright or not play at all. The point, of course, being that when it comes to something like exercise or healthy eating, it's just about all or nothing. I have to focus on the idea of a half-marathon and drink crazy swamp-tasting smoothies. I also have to post my app results on facebook and write about it all on my blog. If not, I will lose all motivation and lose interest entirely. In essence, I shall be queen or relegate myself to peasantry. Narcissism versus neuroses. Like hallows versus horcruxes. The balance of health and lifestyle, embracing European mentalities of work and leisure, sport and pastry... Narcissism... Neuroses... Hallows... Horcruxes... Thus my wand will lead the way!