Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Insensible Exercise

Once in a while, in the process of scrubbing the toilet, I reflect that this is something that Alexis Colby would never do.  Neither would Alicia Florrick, Diane Lockhart, or Annalise Keating.  But I don’t mind; toilet scrubbing is part of my Insensible Exercise Routine.

Insensible Exercise:  Exercise that burns calories of which one is unaware because one does not think one is exercising.  Insensible exercise includes (but is not limited to):  doing dishes, ironing, cooking (110 – 160 calories per hour); making beds, mopping, sweeping, vacuuming (170 – 240 calories per hour); scrubbing toilets or showers and changing sheets (250 – 350 calories per hour.)  I figure I burn as many calories during my Insensible Exercise Routine as I do during my Sensible Exercise Routine.

Insensible exercise is the reason I do not mind walking between my car and the store when I go shopping.  It’s the reason I return my shopping cart to the designated shopping cart area instead of abandoning it in the parking lot.  Insensible exercise is good for the body.  However, I have learned that not everyone appreciates this easy and inexpensive way to exercise.

On my first day of class at Cal State Fullerton, all of the regular parking lots were full and the only spots left were in a field adjacent to the campus.  There was row after row of vehicles so it took about ten minutes to find an empty space.  I parked my car and hustled to class, a good twenty minutes away.  At the end of the day, I returned to my car, tired and drained from all of the insensible exercise I had done that day.  There was a note stuck on the window.

“If you park in front of me again, I’ll break your f***g head.”

I looked around, shocked.  My car was not parked in front of anything; the parking lot was nearly empty.  This note was obviously written by someone who did not appreciate the insensible exercise of backing his car out of the parking space.  He apparently had wanted to pull through and felt I should have instinctively known this and found another parking space.  I was annoyed and then grew angry.  How cowardly of this person to leave an anonymous note on my car!  He (the handwriting screamed “male.”) should have waited for me in the parking lot to express his outrage in person.

But then I reflected on my situation.  Did I really want to confront an insensible exercise hater in the middle of a deserted parking lot?  No. So I tried to understand his position.  He, like me, most likely had a long day listening to lectures and taking notes.  He was tired, hungry, and just wanted to go home.  He was looking forward to the pull through, and instead, he got the back up.  I can understand that–I like a good pull through myself.  But in terms of calories burned, I don’t think backing up takes that much more energy than pulling through.  And his vehicle was not a fifth wheel where a pull through is a pearl of great price. 

No, he was just a grouchy college student who did not want anyone to park in the space in front of him.  But I can remember him more charitably if I think he is one of the thousands of people who do not do insensible exercise–like Alicia Florrick, Alexis Colby, and Diane Lockhart.

Note to self:  If I were obedient and accommodating, I would have never again parked in front of anyone in any parking lot lest I inadvertently park in front of Note-Writer.  Fortunately I am neither.

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