Exercise While You Work & Life is Hard (but oh so beautiful too)

When I gave you a tour of the chalet where we are living for the winter, I left out one part - Damien's "workspace".

That was his story to tell because it's not your typical desk, as you can see. Damien recently shared his Treadmill Desk story and set up on our minimalist footwear community site (say that fast five times) - Toe Salad.

Since I write about home stuff, my take on this is to say Damien's treadmill desk resides in our bedroom. Smack dab at the foot of our bed. The room is small, the bed is big (a king sized bed came with the chalet, we've never owned anything bigger than a double bed and a bed this big is just overkill). The rest of the room looks like this, notice how I cleverly excluded the treadmill to make the room look pretty.

So here's the whole scoop on using a treadmill while working on a computer.

Do I use a treadmill desk for writing? Nope. I don't spend nearly the amount of time on the computer as Damien does. And I simply can't imagine being able to concentrate and move my body at the same time.

Maybe someday but for right now I still park my butt in this chair to type. I do however use a keyboard similar to Damien's and I think it's better for my hand health with all the typing I do. You can find out all about that the video post. 

Follow Up to Moving Challenges post yesterday...

Wow, you people are so awesome. I felt like I was sitting around a table over tea and you were all chiming in your 2 cents about where to shop, how to reduce my grocery bill, Kindle vs. Kobo, and everything in between. Community. I honestly feel I'm building some of that here and it blows my mind a little. 

You know, it's difficult for me to share honestly the challenges I face because I do not like people pitying me. For goodness sakes, I am so blessed I feel kind of guilty talking about the challenges because I am not whining, honest. I spend my days hanging out with my husband and kids (our kids get access to their dad - all day), reading, skiing in the afternoons, making new friends, sharing meals cooked with love. I feel so blessed. 

This morning I read this post by my friend Emily and she really hit the nail on the head about one of the reasons I hold back in sharing the difficult parts of my life. Not because I want to project having it all together. But because I'm afraid I'll hear this, "That must be so haarrd."

But like my friend Emily says, hearing that is not very helpful. Though I know people mean well and I do it all the time myself, without even thinking!

Yes, life is hard. But making good things happen is hard work. Living with intention, going against the flow, is hard. Homeschooling is hard.

Taking your family backpacking is hard. Cooking and eating well is hard. Adopting a child is hard (can't speak from experience but this seems to be true). Raising children, period, is hard. Heck, using a treadmill while you type is hard (not that I'd know much about that).

But it's worth it. I don't know why we think life should be easy. It's not. But it is beautiful, and joy filled. And there is meaning in both the joy and the struggle. And moving a little farther, every day (sometimes two steps forward and one back) on the path you want to live - it's worth it.

So, I'm going to try to stop myself from saying (with good intentions), "that must be so hard". Especially in situations where people have made a conscious choice to go that route. There must be something else to say in response. I just don't know what it is. 

PS. That wasn't the feel of yesterday's responses, it felt like a coffee klatch of the best kind. Helpful, kind and chatty. Not "I feel so sorry for you, I can't imagine not having great English library service", because really there is nothing to feel sorry about. So thank you.

Filed Under

Resource Library

« Moving Challenges ~ Counting to 1,000 ~ Winter Ski Vacation
My Afternoon Ski »
  • Natalia

    Natalia on Feb. 4, 2012, 4:01 p.m.

    I have wanted a treadmill and desk for AGES! I think one of the things against it is there are three people of very different heights in our house who use the computer, so I can't see it working any time soon.


  • Leah Colbeck

    Leah Colbeck on Feb. 4, 2012, 5:08 p.m.

    Loved this, especially the last part. I also feel the same when people say I could never do that. It is meant to be reassuring but always comes across as a quasi insult. I live in northern Alberta and belong to a food co-op. Traveling often to the states I know thar goceries are way more here but my co-op saves me hundreds in a month. Not sure if there would be enough people where you live but we started ours with only five of us.


  • Kika@embracingimperfection

    Kika@embracingimperfection on Feb. 4, 2012, 5:33 p.m.

    When chatting recently and I was sharing about some health challenges we're walking through with my youngest I don't know if you said anything akin to "that must be so hard" but I do recall you asking, "So, what is the next step?". That was a great response. Most of us don't want pity but we do want to be heard and acknowledged in good times and those that are more challenging. I appreciate when strong women in my life just expect that I am up to the challenge and engage in conversation with me, maybe problem solve to some degree, offering their thoughts/wisdom. Sometimes, actually often for me personally, it is the process of talking an issue over that allows me to begin to see the solution or at least the next step.


    • Kika@embracingimperfection

      Kika@embracingimperfection on Feb. 4, 2012, 11:38 p.m.

      Ok, one more thing. We probably each rub others the wrong way at times with our comments without meaning to. So, it goes without saying (doesn't it?), that we need to be careful to not take offense easily or allow ourselves to feel the frustration and then forgive. It is like when someone dies or is suffering, isn't it better to say SOMETHING than ignore them because we don't know the RIGHT thing to say?


  • Wild Granma

    Wild Granma on Feb. 4, 2012, 7:28 p.m.

    how about.."wow, that is so awesome" or "good for you" Maybe they are not saying how hard it must be for you but how hard it would be for them to live like you, wishing they could and are secretly jealous. I just started, at the ripe old age of 55 to work at being self-sufficient/organic, grow your own food, cook from scratch and I had someone comment "you have a lot of energy you could do...blah blah". I stood up just a tad straighter.


  • Michelle

    Michelle on Feb. 4, 2012, 10:04 p.m.

    Renee, I am in real need and you can help me. Do you have any shampoo bars left that you can sell? I only have a few weeks left on mine and now I am spoiled (like you are with pens) and I just have to use this shampoo forever. :)

    Would it help if I begged?


  • Jennifer @ kidoing!

    Jennifer @ kidoing! on Feb. 5, 2012, 2:01 a.m.

    I love the treadmill. We just got one (and are burning a hole through the belt running on it like crazy - yay), but I just have my ipad on top. Ok for reading and a little typing, but nothing uber productive like Damien.

    I have a question for Renee and all the thoughtful FIMBY readers:

    For all of us who choose this "swimming upstream" type of life - why do we choose it? I know it makes me happy to live like this and I can see life no other way, but it is hard (sorry - heehee) and perhaps there are many shortcuts that might lead to a life just as happy (maybe?).

    I've been wondering why when I always make a choice, it's the one that requires more thought, more time, more effort, more energy, etc...


    • renee

      renee on Feb. 5, 2012, 4:27 a.m.

      I don't know Jennifer. It's the way my life has been for so long now I just think it's normal  (smile) - to choose the path of most resistance! Have you read Walden? It's so good and speaks to much of this (Thoreau was even vegetarian, which I I know you would appreciate). "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away." I'm pretty sure this is where we get the phrase "march to the beat of your own drum". But I feel this is a better option than leading a life of quiet desperation (Thoreau's famous - The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation). Sometimes when I don't have the answers myself I look to other people's writing to help me express it. Thoreau does that for me. 


    • Kika@embracingimperfection

      Kika@embracingimperfection on Feb. 5, 2012, 5:16 p.m.

      I have pondered this very question. I've wondered sometimes if it is partly a personality thing. I know for me I've ususally not chosen the "easiest/most direct/approved route". Not that I went looking for battles or to make my life harder but there certainly is a stubborness in me to forge my path and not just accept status quo. Sometimes I have made mistakes but I don't regret them either... at least I learn from them. Better that, I think, than just blindly following. In addition, by stepping out and doing things that maybe didn't follow the safest or prescribed route I have experienced great blessing and joy. I only know how to be me and believe that I was knit together in my mother's womb, like this, for a reason!


      • Jennifer @ kidoing!

        Jennifer @ kidoing! on Feb. 5, 2012, 7:47 p.m.

        Your comment that you were made this way is very interesting.

        I always thought much of who I am was environmental and a result of the experiences during my childhood. But, I do wonder. My younger brother (oldest of the three bros. and closest in age to me) lived in the same environment and is a completely different person than I am.

        Also, I am a Leo (strong-willed, determined, confident) and I think that may play into it.


        • Kika@embracingimperfection

          Kika@embracingimperfection on Feb. 5, 2012, 8:31 p.m.

          I do think environment plays a role - I know that I admire my parents' choices to go against the flow in many respects. And yet, I have many siblings and we are so very different from each other and hold extrememly different views on some areas of life depsite being raised in the same home. Anyways, super interesting to discuss and think about.


  • Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable on Feb. 5, 2012, 2:48 a.m.

    So as I am reading this piece, I am saying "yes" out loud! Renee...you just put my thoughts into words. No matter how you cut it, life is hard. At the end of the day we have to live by our convictions and values. Happy and hard have always seemed synonymous. Thank you for such beautiful insight!

    btw...LOVE the treadmill desk;)


  • Jeanine

    Jeanine on Feb. 5, 2012, 2:51 a.m.

    Agreed and appreciated reminder. :) PS I love your hubby's desk...but even being the multi-tasking-goddess that I consider myself, I'm not so sure I could manage that!


You can subscribe to comments on this article using this form.

If you have already commented on this article, you do not need to do this, as you were automatically subscribed.