I was watching some old episodes of Lazy Town today and watching Magnus Scheving (pronounced “ski-ev-ing”)do his thing. It amazed me when I learned that Mr. Scheving can actually do in real life all those fantastic stunts he did on the show. Then I came to an episode where Ziggy, the short chubby candy-loving puppet on the show, decided he wanted to be a superhero, like Sportacus. Unlike so many adults, Sportacus didn’t tell him, “you’re too little”. He encouraged him and helped him practice. He did the same when Stephanie asked him about the kinds of exercises he did. He always encourages the kids of Lazy Town to stay active and healthy. That’s my idea of a true hero.
Then, as I was busy fixing dinner and trying to dig myself out of yet another depressive funk, something occurred to me. Sportacus almost never refers to himself as a superhero. In fact, during the pilot, Welcome to Lazy Town, he called himself a “slightly-above-average hero,” which I thought was cool. This was Mr. Scheving’s fun way of saying that anyone could be a hero. Then I thought, “I don’t even have to practice being a hero. I already am one, just by being my kids’ mom. I can become a ‘slightly-above-average hero,’ like Sportacus, by continuing to keep up with my daily chores, even when they feel boring and take better and more constant care of my body.”
In the show, Sportacus is always moving and he always finds fun new ways to do the things he does every day. I can do those things, too. So, here’s my list:
- Keep moving. Don’t sit still for longer than a minute or two. The longest Sportacus ever sits still is the length of time it takes to read a book. Even then, he finds active ways to do things like reading that would normally keep him stationary.
- Start slow. Sportacus told Ziggy to practice every day and take it step by step. So, start off with about 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise and work up a little at a time.
- Eat healthy. Sportacus seems to be a pretty strict vegan. I don’t have to go that far, but I can eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and I can choose to have a single vegetarian meal a day.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sportacus says that the main source of his energy is a good night’s rest. He goes to bed religiously at 8:08 pm every night. I don’t need to go to bed that early, but I should be in bed by ten at the latest, since I’m usually up at six the next morning.
- Stay alert. Thanks to his crystal, Sportacus always knows when someone needs his help. I don’t have a crystal, but I have a good pair of eyes and ears and I can make sure I’m never doing anything that can’t be dropped easily.
- Smile. Even when Sportacus lost his memory, he was always smiling and cheerful.
- Avoid eating too much sugar. Sportacus has a “sugar meltdown” when he eats too many sweets, which means he loses all his energy. He prefers something he calls “sports candy,” which refers to apples. I experience something similar after eating too much sugar, though not as dramatic. In any case, Sportacus says that too much sugar isn’t good for heroes. He’s probably right.
- Stay hydrated. Exercise can dehydrate a person quickly. Be sure to drink lots of water before any aerobic exercise and to drink at least, if not more than, eight regular-sized glasses of water a day, with ice if you can get it. Sportacus has a water dispenser on his airship and the water usually comes out in a cool-shaped bottle that has a loop on top. Sometimes, he’ll drink the water out of a cup and sometimes he’ll drink it straight from the bottle. If it’s in a cup, he nearly always adds ice.
Anyway, I’m doing really well and, unlike Sportacus, the only real enemies I have to contend with are boredom and resentment. I’d sure love to be able to post before and after pictures later when I’m more fit. I hope I’ll be able to sometime. Wouldn’t that be great?