Doing A Bit Of Exercise

When it comes to exercise, I’m not one to spend hours trying to perfect my body. I own a pair of dumbbells like this one, very quickly doodlewashed here, but I don’t really ever use them. No matter how many heavy things I lift, my arms remain rather skinny and nothing I do ever seems to change that. I might achieve a bit of muscle and definition for a brief time, but my body quickly eats it and I’m back to exactly as I was before. So, I gave up on lifting weights years ago. The only bit of exercise I’ve ever truly enjoyed was yoga. To be more precise, hot yoga, or Bikram yoga. That was amazing and I became addicted for a period of time years ago. What I loved was that, although my arms never grew larger, it made my body smaller to make everything match. Thin and consistent. That to me, was a breakthrough! Also, in Bikram yoga the resting position is standing or laying down, which makes perfect sense. Normal yoga employs a move called downward dog which required me to stand on my skinny arms with my ass up in the air. This is the least restful position I could ever imagine.

What strikes me as funny is hearing people chat or flirt on the street and ask the question, “Do you work out?” As if it’s not entirely obvious simply by looking at someone. But what they really mean is, do you have a hobby of perfecting your body like me. It’s a way of bonding I guess. For me, I’m quite content to have painting as a hobby instead. There are only so many things you can dedicate your time to, so if working out is the thing that makes you happiest, then by all means do that. But if you, like me, love painting and always finding time to make that happen, then simply eat healthier things, walk when you could drive, and take the stairs instead of elevators. There will always be a little moment to paint! I guess, in the end, I’m just a guy who likes to enjoy life and whether it’s my paintings or my body, I’m not interested in making a masterpiece. I just want to do the things I enjoy most and hope that in the process good things will come back to me in return.

Perhaps, that’s why I ultimately stopped doing Bikram yoga. As amazing as it was, the moves take a full 90 minutes to complete per class. In order to do it back then, I had to make it my only hobby. There are, after all, only so many hours in the day. Today, according to my doctor, I’m extremely healthy, but visually to those who “work out,” I would be considered perfectly average. I’m cool with that. I now have that time to paint and write and do the things I truly love most. I’ve learned that life is actually an exercise in making the right personal choices. No matter what trend is currently taking place or what your friends are all into at the moment, you have to form habits that work for you. If you want to be an artist, your habit has already been chosen for you. No matter what is happening that day, you feel that urge to create and make something new. Follow that feeling to wherever it takes you. It’s a daily habit that will make your better than you ever expected. And when you face that blank page, don’t worry about creating a masterpiece. You’re doing a bit of exercise.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Red Rose Deep, Cobalt Turquoise, and Payne’s Gray.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 24 - Doing A Bit Of Exercise - Chrome Dumbbells - Doodlewash

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 5 years ago

    I’d rather exercise the mind than the body any day! Both your painting and your philosophy for the day was refreshing and an exercise in mindfulness!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra!! 😃💕 Cheers to that! So happy you enjoyed this post!

  2. Mary McDonough 5 years ago

    Love the colors in the barbells. I agree it is wonderful to have the time to enjoy what you like and a master piece is not the reason to paint. It definitely is the process. Enjoying the moment.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 The process is definitely everything that matters and makes it all so fun!

  3. Sandra Gilbert 5 years ago

    I would definitely prefer to paint than exercise. Painting sparks joy, something I never got from exercising. So I try to eat healthy and behave myself instead. And yay me, it leaves much more time to paint. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Yay to that!! 😃💕 hehe… yeah… there are plenty of ways to be healthy. I choose a healthy mind and heart first!

    • Panda heart 5 years ago

      Wow that’s so amazing! <3

  4. 5 years ago

    I love this essay, and couldn’t agree more with your life philosophy!

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 years ago

    As happens so often, Charlie, you wrote my words and expressed my POV. I don’t mind walking but by the time I have time, it’s hotter than I can stand to be outside under the sun wearing out my shoes. Better to be inside painting or writing. As for yoga, I do the world a great service by not doing anything that causes my ass to be in the air at displaces so much space, that everyone nearby loses their balance and ends up doing the classic underdog position.

    I like your dumbbells – they’re a very pretty color and would look nice on my shelf.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      hehe! Thanks, Shari! 😃💕 Yeah, we were truly separated at birth! I don’t want my ass in the air either! LOL And I was totally pissed that after all those classes it was still a flat one… I never got that yoga butt everyone raved about. 😉

  6. SnehLata Maheshwari 5 years ago

    As you are talking about the yoga u know i belonging to that country from where the yoga started but it is good n only do light yoga . Some special yoga’s not for us only saints can do that but now its business n people keeps different names but original name totally different. Keep fit is the mane eshu. Lovely u do i also do daily n walk 5km 4or5days in the week.enjoy lie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Yes! Yoga comes from there! 😃💕 Yeah, daily walks seem like a perfect way to destress and get perfect exercise!

  7. Nay Aung 5 years ago

    Painting or doodling everyday is the best exercise for mental muscles.I think so,because may be I’m not a work out guy 😀

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      hehe… you and be both, Nay! 😃💕 Here’s to exercising our hearts and minds instead!

  8. Thomas Blanchard 5 years ago

    Great barbell … for a doorstop 🙂 LOL I became obsessed with running for a few years. I ended my time after challenging myself to running 6 full marathons in 12 months. The training involved required such dedication and the wear and tear on my body was hard to deal with. I had to give up endurance running and stick to smaller distances but eventually stopped all together. I too would rather exercise the brain these days.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Thanks, Tom! 😃💕 Yeah… I totally get the interest in those extra types of exercise, but could never develop it into a hobby like I did with sketching and painting. I’m happier this way I think though! 😉

  9. Yvonne Reeder 5 years ago

    I approve! **clapping hands** Being an invalid, exercise involves setting my motorized wheelchair at “hare” speed. 😂 I’m glad you have set your priorities where they bring you joy and time for that joy! ❤️

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      Excellent! Set that chair to hare speed and paint on then! hehe 😃💕 Does it really have that speed? Because that’s super cool. You DO more than anyone I know, so it’s not really holding you back much at all! 😉

      • Yvonne Reeder 5 years ago

        Yep – turtle to hare and every speed in between! I don’t get out much so my Learner’s Permit is still active. 😂❤️

  10. Elizabeth Metz 5 years ago

    As someone who’s idea of exercise is getting out of the chair long enough to refill a bowl of ice cream, I’m in awe of any kind of exercise.

    From now on, though, I’m totally going to refer to my daily sketching as “my workout”, even if it earns me some epic side-eyes from the more muscle-bound folks I encounter. 😀

  11. Elizabeth Metz 5 years ago

    Speaking of exercise (loosely, probably as a segue only in my own sort of twisty thought processes), have you seen the book “The Wander Society” by Keri Smith?

    I keep thinking that might be a way to combine actual moving around for non-ice-cream-related endeavors and sketching from life. (The whole concept seems kind of based on the psychogeography concept of the derive, walking with no clear destination, allowing your surroundings to kind of give you clues and vibes about where to go next. I thought maybe that kind of thing combined with small sketches of whatever seems significant at the moment might make for a really interesting record….and a reason to surgically remove my tush from the chair once in a while.)

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 5 years ago

      I’ve not heard of that, but that process sounds magical! You should totally try it! It would make for a very interesting record indeed!

  12. Panda heart 5 years ago

    Hey! This is an amazing blog! loved it <3 Wish I had that much followers too 🙁

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