Revising My Blob-ish Lifestyle

Before Covid, I had destinations. I walked.

In early Covid days, with Bali completely locked down, I did qigong, yoga, and surfed the net for workouts. I had to keep my body moving to manage the trauma. I couldn’t concentrate. The only thing I could focus on was movement.

That lasted about two months. Then I started writing again – and sat.

I sat through the last six months of 2020 and the first six months of 2021. Here we are in July and I’m a blob. Granted I’m a flexible, strong blob thanks to my continued dedication to yoga, But even though I haven’t gained weight, my flesh has settled into a new arrangement. I’m totally shapeless from my sagging seventy-one-year-old boobs to my flat buttocks.

It’s not that I can’t hit the pavement and hike around Ubud. I don’t have to battle tourists. There’s no traffic. The air is unpolluted. But I’m not one of those who can walk aimlessly just for the sake of walking. I need a purpose – a goal.

Without somewhere to walk to, I can’t make myself do it.

A week ago, as I was staring off into a sky puffed with cottonball clouds, I heard a sound that has become so familiar over the years it’s part of the morning music. My neighbor was jumping rope. He’s as faithful to his routine as I am to yoga, but that’s where all similarity ends. He’s ripped. His calves are knotted with muscle and there’s not an ounce of unnecessary flesh anywhere. Okay, he’s fifty, and he’s been doing this forever. But the light went on for me as his rope slapped the floor.

Faster than you can say Amazon, I was online with the Indonesian counterpart to that mega-store searching for jump ropes. There were choices. Some were plastic tubes with flashing lights. Others came in glow-in-the-dark colors. I settled on utilitarian black with ball-bearings in the handles, guaranteed to make the rope turn with a mere flick of the wrists. I put it in my cart and clicked the buy button. A message flashed on the screen. You need two more items. I puzzled over that for half a second. The rope probably didn’t cost enough to warrant shipping. It was about $5.

There isn’t an English language option on this site so rather than confuse myself, I added two more jump ropes to my basket. This time the order went through. Delivery July 6th.

They arrived yesterday, July 1st. I love that about Lazada – they under-represent and over-perform.

The ropes were long enough to accommodate an eight-foot supermodel, but they were adjustable. I spent the afternoon customizing one of them to my 5′ 2″ height, then tucked it beside my workout clothes and promised myself I’d start tomorrow.

Tomorrow arrived this morning.

My neighbor jumps non-stop for an hour. I decided I would set the timer for two minutes jumping, one minute resting, two minutes jumping etc. A nice, easy start. I spread my mat on the terrace, set the timer, and assumed position. Jumpjumpjumpjump – too fast.

I stopped, reset the timer, and started again. Jump…jump…jump…jump… Still too fast. One more reset. Jump………..jump……….jump……….

Heart pounding, I sat down to rest and revise my expectations.

After numerous stumbles and fumbled starts, I found a combination that worked – jump for thirty seconds and rest for 60. I kept that up as long as I could which today was about 15 minutes.

What a workout. I had no idea. And I also had no idea how little stamina I have. This rope has arrived just in time.

I’m not discouraged. It’s the kind of challenge that excites me. I don’t have to meet my neighbor’s level of endurance. OMG. Never in a million years! But I can and will keep at it until I can do two minutes non-stop without going into cardiac arrest.

There seems to be an added benefit. After that brief but intense exercise, the rest of the day I’ve been supercharged with energy and my mood is elevated in spite of the news that Bali is going into another lockdown July 3rd. The Delta variant has reached us and numbers of new cases have spiked from weeks of double digits to 311 today. That’s heartbreaking for the struggling economy and the millions out of work.

But the sad reality is, lockdown doesn’t actually change much of anything for me except physically meeting up with a friend in an outdoor restaurant. As of tomorrow, restaurants close to all but pick-up and delivery orders. Seventeen months later we’re back to square one. But I’ll tell you what… When this is over I’ll have the endurance of an ostrich.

**The ostrich runs at 30 miles per hour and has the endurance to keep it up for hours on end, thanks to their remarkable anatomy that minimizes effort while running. Having evolved on the plains of Africa, they are well-accustomed to the heat as well.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diane Struble
    Jul 02, 2021 @ 14:50:56

    Had to laugh as I remember when we would jump rope for hours. How things change! Actually, you look good. The jumping routine is always a plus. I suppose you were not able to get vaccinated yet. Delta is in all 50 states here, but the vaccines are effective against it.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. shanemac
    Jul 02, 2021 @ 16:27:17

    Girl, you’re awesome.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Anonymous
    Jul 02, 2021 @ 19:45:49

    I think it sounds like a fun new challenge for you. I’d try it but don’t think two fake knees would support the effort. Enjoy! S

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Pat Malcolm
    Jul 03, 2021 @ 09:20:21

    Good for you! At one time my fourth grade students worked the timer and counted to see how many jumps I could do in a minute, then did it themselves. Thanks to a disability and resulting fairly sedentary lifestyle I can just manage some beginning tai chi and very modest walking. But you inspire me. I could do better!

    Liked by 2 people


  5. Alexsandra Trevor
    Aug 02, 2021 @ 00:10:42


    I loved your post and impressed you are jumping rope. It’s not for my knees, but good for you! So – will you never be able to leave, even if you wanted to because of the lockdown? Or do you still entertain the idea of coming to Mexico?

    I’m in San Diego now, and met up with my family as they had a vacay planned here and it was so fun to spend time with my tribe for a few days. I’m housesitting for a friend of mine in Oceanside for a while longer, then back to my.humble abode in SMA.

    Barb Milstien is in Penestanan now packing and shipping some things back to SMA as that seems to be where they want to settle for now. Not sure if you two know each other or not but a 10 yr resident of Bali.

    I love seeing my friends here but feel like USA is not my vibe anymore after living in.other cultures. Great place to visit though. I was intending to buy a van and do the National Park tour this time, but a couple days before I arrived the mechanic’s checkup proved to be a no go and I abandoned the idea. It”s all okay…. maybe another time. I’m even considering buying a small vehicle for SMA for exploring outside SMA. I walk in town.always as there as the exercise. I have inside my complex. Very, very unusual amenity there! I feel I should take advantage of it. I have quite a list of places of interest 2 hours outside SMA to experience. on your plans.

    Abrazos, Alexsandra

    On Thu, Jul 1, 2021, 10:49 PM writing for self-discovery wrote:

    > writingforselfdiscovery posted: ” Before Covid, I had destinations. I > walked. In early Covid days, with Bali completely locked down, I did > qigong, yoga, and surfed the net for workouts. I had to keep my body moving > to manage the trauma. I couldn’t concentrate. The only thing I co” >

    Liked by 2 people


    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Aug 02, 2021 @ 15:33:37

      Thank you for the wonderful update! I understand the feeling that the US is not your vibe. There are so many amazing places in the world. If it weren’t for family and friends there I wouldn’t be drawn back.

      You asked if Mexico is still on my list. There have been so many unexpected twists to the plot of my personal story, I’ve decided to live in the moment until there is less uncertainty in the world. It’s almost impossible to plan anything right now.

      I will indeed keep you posted!

      Liked by 1 person


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