How many times have I declared, YES, AT LAST, I HAVE STARTED EXERCISING AGAIN, I DID IT, I AM BORN ANEW, A WOMAN WHO EXERCISES AND MAKES HER DOCTORS PROUD and then like two weeks later I miss a couple of days and never exercise again?
That is, until my therapist Jedi mind tricks me into starting the routine again, I do it, I proclaim from the mountain tops that, YES I AM A NEW WOMAN, and the cycle repeats?
It’s been quite a few times now, right?
WELL GUYS WHAT, Y’ALL.
I AM A NEW WOMAN.
I HAVE STARTED EXERCISING AGAIN.
But this time is totally different—I swear.
Last year I moved out of my parents’ four-story townhouse into an apartment with my friend Amy. We live on the third floor, and it’s been a game changer. Sure, carrying groceries up sucks (hello, Instacart!) but having my laundry and my kitchen and my family room all on the same floor as me—all within feet of me!—makes me not only less exhausted but happier.
All of this backfired a little bit when COVID started. Now that I wasn’t walking around at work, I wasn’t even walking out and up and down the stairs to my car every day, I was barely moving at all. I was confined to my tiny little home.
A couple of months ago I saw an Amazon sale for a piece of exercise equipment called a Cubii. It was like a stationary bicycle—but just the pedals. I’d seen stuff like this before, but nothing this secure and efficient looking. AND this has an app!
I liked the look of it, it had good reviews, and after watching a dozen videos about it, I hit buy. It was pricey, but c’mon! It’s an investment in my health! Plus it was $100 off!
The Cubii arrived a few days later, and there it sat. In the box. In my apartment. For weeks.
I mean, I was sort of exercising by osmosis. Just having it in my vicinity, it was like I was burning calories, y’know?
(I have since been informed that (1) that is not how exercising works and (2) that’s not even how osmosis works. It’s been a while since high school biology, I’m doing my best.)
In October I dragged the piece of equipment out of the box, set it up, and told myself, just 10 minutes. You got this.
And it was really easy.
Suspiciously easy. I mean, it was only on the level 1 for resistance, but still, it was so easy.
See, I think the Cubii is designed to be a piece of equipment you work out on for hours absentmindedly—set it at a low resistance level and pedal while you do send emails and take meetings. It’s designed to fit under your desk, so it’s like the seated response to standing desks. (By the way, I now know that exercise isn’t Of The Devil, but standing desks most certainly are.)
Now I’m not using my machine that way—but I don’t think there’s a “wrong” way to use it.
Every day I do a 20 minute work out on the highest resistance of the machine. For 20 minutes, I either turn on my TV or get a book and pedalpedalpedal and at the end, I’m tired, not fatigued, but this is the first time since I was a kid that I haven’t had a violently angry reaction to exercise.
The exercise is light. I’m not panting or drenched in sweat like I have with most exercise as an adult.
But it legitimately feels like I’m rewiring my brain to not abhor body movements.
And because there isn’t a negative association, I’m doing it consistently. And I’m doing eagerly, without dread. I don’t feel normal until it’s done.
Sure, I’ve exercised consistently in the past. I have exercise logs saved in my notes app to prove it. But those logs are accompanied with little side notes like “cried while doing it” and memories of being absolutely miserable.
I’m not miserable with this machine. And I never thought it would be possible post-POTS to move my body without feeling miserable.
So I’m really excited about this. It’s been a hugely positive change for me–it’s a source of pride, to check off that exercise box every day. Even if it’s not high intensity or running marathons or anything like that, it’s so much more than what I’ve done in the past.
Progress is built through consistency.
Note: this post isn’t sponsored, I just really like the product and like sharing things that I think will help my fellow POTSies.