I got rid of it. That stuff that hung around in the garage making me feel guilty? It’s gone. Today I took my golf clubs and my cross-country skis and sold them at the recycled sports gear store. Well, to be honest, I only sold the clubs. They didn’t want the skis. The fellow was quite polite about it, though. He said something like “We only sell more recent technologies. These have wax.” Oh, I see. I didn’t even know that waxed skis were passé! So, I donated them to the thrift store instead.
That’s it. I’m almost completely exercise equipment free. I already sold the treadmill a few months ago, and that was a weight off my mind. I still have some light exercise hand weights that I’ll probably keep and a bike that maybe one of my children will want, but otherwise it’s all gone, and I’m glad.
Like most people, I get enthused about exercise for a while, then I get bored. I’ve joined gyms, taken aerobics classes, learned yoga, walked, cycled, skied, golfed, and swum. The swimming part was years ago, though, and the bike, while more recent, was a bit of a disaster. First of all, I didn’t know which way round to wear the helmet, then I was embarrassed when I fell off the bike right outside my neighbour’s house. I couldn’t figure out the gears while actually cycling, and going up hills is pretty much an essential skill. So, the bike has been gathering dust for a couple of years now.
There’s only one thing worse than feeling guilty about giving up on exercising, and that is being faced daily with the detritus of one’s failed efforts. Every time I went into the garage or basement I was reminded once again of the equipment that I once wanted and later abandoned. It’s almost like seeing your ex.
I recently read that dating your ex is like buying your own clothes back from the Goodwill store. That’s how I felt about my exercise stuff. I really did not want to be reminded of my failed relationships with fitness activities. Sometimes I thought that I might eventually use those things again, and I am too stingy to buy new stuff when I’ve already have this perfectly functional, if dusty and aging, equipment. Eventually, though, I had to accept the fact that I would never use it again.
Having gone through months of resisting the urge to dispose of the skis and the golf clubs (because, you know, I might use them again) and then finally taking the plunge and driving them to the recycling places, it was quite disarming to realize how little they were worth. In my imaginings they weren’t so old, and they had cost me so much more. In truth, though, I was just hanging on to the dream of being a fit, sporty person. I will never have a perfect relationship with sports, or even a half-decent one, but I know when a relationship is over and it’s time to move on. Golf and skiing, you are history. Does anyone want a bike?