I think it would be safe to say that many people who immediately before or just after beginning the swinging lifestyle, start an exercise program. I like to think that the choice to get in shape is twofold. First, we want to look more attractive for any potential partners, increasing our desirability and our odds (we hope) of playing. Secondly, by choosing swinging we have already re-evaluated our own self-image, and maybe have decided that part of our self-image might need a little sprucing up.
Not long after “the talk” when my love and I started to discuss possibilities of non-monogamy I decided there would be some changes in my life before the fun really began. The first of which is I would stop drinking. This is not to get all AA on everybody because in fact, I really do not feel the 12 steps apply well to me or my outlook. For those people they do work for, that’s great! I am glad they are effective, they just didn’t work for me. I did however read a great book “The Tao of Sobriety” which I recommend to anyone who wrestles with demons, and as a great resource to manage the voices in your head. Shortly after my love and I visited the club for the first time, I had my last drink. I’d like to say I never looked back, but there was more than one time at the club, I really wanted a drink, something, anything to ease the anxiety. I cannot imagine a more difficult environment to stay sober in, than swinging single and alone. Fortunately my club is BYOB and as I didn’t bring any, I didn’t get any.
The other health related change is beginning a C25K (couch to five kilometer run) program for which I will have to thank my love’s new dom. The program takes a couch potato (like me) and slowly…painfully ramps up running/walking, so that at the end of nine weeks you should be able to run a 5K. It took a little longer than 9 weeks. During week three, my phone app crashed and I started over again from scratch. Now I have to be honest here. I live on top of a hill, so everything is downhill when I leave, but so… uphill to get back. More than once I thought I would cough up a spleen, but slowly, gaining confidence and strength I eventually completed the program and am currently looking for a 5K to run. This is the first exercise program I have ever completed, really the first one I have ever started. I feel better about myself upon reaching this goal and now that I have done this, I can do other things I would not have previously expected I could do.
The most personal reason for all of this, is a matter of…stiffness. I was diagnosed two years ago with Type II Diabetes, and being me, I did my best to ignore it, or maybe pretend it will go away by itself. As my son says “Denial is so… cute!” Between the Diabetes and the continuing alcohol abuse, I found Mr. happy was not responding as it once had. I tried the standard prescriptions but my erection would still come and go. My doctor then asked me if I would at least listen to an exercise program. I told her, ”OK… I’m listening…” I now run every other day weather permitting, three miles or so and am trying to do Tai Chi on the off days. I’m a little less successful there. For some reason I have a schedule I can achieve on running days… get the kids out to the bus, sweats on, running shoes on, ipod on, let’s go! I can’t seem to groove that way on the Tai Chi. Maybe it needs a better soundtrack. I usually run to Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (title track removed, last thing I need when running is a ballad). The ramp up and timing is nearly perfect for me, with a short cool down after Dave Gilmore’s last solo. I am probably healthier now than I have been in years (though my doc does NOT approve of my lifestyle choice). I cannot argue with the results. Blood sugar is down to nearly normal, same with blood pressure, and Mr. happy is up…sometimes. I think I have to come to terms with the fact I am not in my twenties anymore, relax my expectations a little more and take some of the pressure off. During my last playtime, my erection kept going up and down; a little suck, gets harder, a little break, gets softer. Up and down like a carousel, but a hell of a lot more fun (for me).
I don’t know if this is going to get easier, both swinging and stiffness, but I am content for the moment to let things take their course. It will happen or it won’t, and obsessively worrying about it is only going to make it worse. I am going to try and take Cooper’s advice about not thinking of it.
“Don’t think about elephants…” says the man in Inception. So what am I thinking about now? Elephants. The trick I have found, is to let the thought of elephants enter your mind; observe your mind thinking it. “At this moment I am thinking about elephants and that is ok.” Then watch it pass by, and watch for the next thought to take its place. It might be, “God this woman I met at the club tonight is hot! I think it would be a whole of a lot of fun to play with her!” and elephants might not ever touch my mind for several minutes. But if they do, they do. This was supposed to be about health and swinging and I end up on elephants and Inception, I hope rambling isn’t a misdemeanor when blogging.