A Lying Liar

I am, quite possibly, the worst liar in the whole wide world.

Last week, we did a little quiz with a couples group from our church, and one of the questions was something like, “What’s one thing you appreciate about your spouse?” and my husband answered, “She’s always honest.” And it’s true. We’ve been married for almost 22 years, and he knows: I just don’t lie.

I even suck at telling benign fibs, like pulling someone’s leg with a joke, or planning a surprise party. If I even try to fool my husband about something, I turn into a giggling eight-year-old.

In fact, there’s only one area of my life where I fling all honesty to the wind. When it comes to exercising, I lie to myself like a politician with a fishing story. It’s the only way I can get my butt out the door.

I may have mentioned (a time or six) that I am now forty and have had two babies in the last five years. So, you know, my body has kind of set sail on the Good Ship Lag & Pop. (Fun new development: if I go for a run and do arm exercises in the same day, I have to Advil-up before bed, or I wake up at 2:00am with aching muscles.)

Also, I am just basically a tired person.

Also, I never did have much stamina, even when I was young.

So I’ll be sitting there on the couch, knowing I need to go for a run, and just the thought of going upstairs and putting on my t-shirt and sweats, and fetching my shoes, makes me want to close my eyes, count to 5000, and eat some licorice whips. And so, the lies begin.

You are an international spy, I tell myself, and you are going to be called out on assignment tomorrow, and James Bond may or may not be picking you up in a speedboat, and you may or may not have to wear a bikini.

Do you know how motivating the thought of a bikini is?

Well (you might be thinking), can’t you just tell yourself you’ll be wearing one this summer, in real life?

Ah, my friend. First of all, I haven’t worn a bikini in years, and secondly, summer is months away and you are underestimating my level of exhaustion.

No, I have to resort to fictional scenarios. Fortunately, I have been inventing stories (in my head) since I was a little girl, and if I can’t make one up, I steal one from a movie I’ve recently seen. It’s quite easy, really, to insert yourself into any plotline at all.

Thus I have, at various times, imagined myself as a half-human/half-elf who is getting ready to battle orcs, a plain ole human who is getting ready to battle orcs, a human who is going up against all the forces of Mordor (yes, I went through a long Lord of the Rings phase), a spy hunting down Carlos the Jackal, a pirate, a villager going into medieval battle, a secret service agent…

Obviously, any of these people would need to be ready for action, at a moment’s notice.

I don’t carry these story lines very far, of course. (It’s not like I’m out barking at the moon every night.) I just have the ideas sort of vaguely floating around in my head, just enough to get me out the door and down the block.

You never know, I tell myself, what’s coming up next week/month/year. (And really, what’s so untrue about that?)

Once I’m well into my run, I have to concoct some different lies. Just go to the end of this block, and then you can stop, I say. And then, of course, when I get to the end of the block, I move the goalposts. Okay, just to that mailbox up there…

Sometimes, I imagine my Dad standing off to the side with a stopwatch, frowning and hollering. (Yes, my Dad was my track coach. Yes, this really happened – often. Yes, this incentive still works on me.)

Look, I have to do these things. While I have friends who love running beyond reason, who cannot wait to get outside and lace up their running shoes, that has never been me. The first twenty minutes of running are horrid for me, almost every time.

I have to get out that door. And Exhausted-40-Year-Old-Mommy-Of-Toddlers does not, quite frankly, have enough energy to drag herself out several times a week, and move her legs quickly, for a really long time.

But International-Spy-Girl-Who’s-Going-To-Be-Dodging-Bullets-And-Outrunning-Assassins-Tomorrow?

That chick can flippin’ MOVE her butt.

Works every time.

Can you think of any other “good lies”?


26 thoughts on “A Lying Liar

  1. I’m so happy to read a new post in your regular digs. I loved this. If I’m EVER to go out running just for the sake of running, I would have to concoct some grand tale to motivate myself. I don’t run. Ever. I can jump on the elliptical but just running…just never been able to do it.

    I’m a lot like you. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my face always gives me away. I can’t lie. I’m good at redirecting but outright lying…no dice. I’m happy about that, though. Wouldn’t change that about me if I could. I hate lies.

    • You do realize if we’d known each other in high school we would’ve been besties.

      Yes, on the one hand, I wish I just had enough sheer willpower to get the job done. On the other hand…at least it’s working, and I’m doing it. I say, whatever works when it comes to exercise!

      Thanks for supporting me. It means a lot. I know you are very busy with tons of blogs to read. 🙂

  2. I know those feelings well. It was not until 10 years ago, when I was 50, that I seriously began a workout routine. I had to find 3 or 4 times in my week when I forced myself to do it. I found going to a gym was best for me. Now I am a regular at my gym, going every other day for 90 minutes. It’s easier now because I have seen the results but I still need to motivate myself, even when I am there. Your post reminded me of a line from WC Fields who said, “Every once in a great while the feeling comes over me that I should exercise. And as soon as it does, I lay down and wait for it to pass.”

    • Sorry…this went to spam for some reason, and I just saw it.

      That’s such a great quote. 🙂

      It is SO hard to get out the door (esp with two toddlers)…but I NEED those endorphins, etc.! So I persevere.

      Thanks for stopping by, and for commenting!

  3. MOST excellent perspective on motivating one’s self I have read in . . . forever! I, too, have to motivate myself with scenarios and plots, and I always ask myself: “When will I grow out of this?” My answer? “Never, I hope.” And that’s the truth!

  4. Of course you know this about me, but THESE are my favorite kinds of blogs! I loved this! I am going to try this when I am about to die in spin class this week. I’m going to imagine that I am fleeing the scene of some crime or that I am cycling away from a raging pitbull OR that I’m riding TOWARDS someone I love who is in trouble. If I don’t get there in time, they may not survive. I must save my friend.

    Yes, that may work.

  5. I am exactly the same when it comes to lying. My face gives me away every single time (which is why I don’t play poker). But I’m as equally unable to lie to myself. See, I’ve made a set running schedule for myself (yes, I realize this is a luxury that a mother of toddlers doesn’t have), and I don’t go near it with pen, pencil, or white out because that’s when the lying starts and my problem is that I don’t believe myself. I am closer to 50 than 40 and the idea that I could be James Bond’s next bikini-clad spy-girl, or saunter down a Paris runway in skin-tight satin is just too laughable….

    • Well, it’s entirely laughable in my case, too…that’s what the imagination is for!

      But I admire that you are able to be so disciplined without the imaginary incentives. 🙂

      Whatever works, I say…

  6. I’m going to have to steal your idea… I can’t even motivate myself enough to come up with a good plot line in order to lie to myself. I guess I’ll need to be watching some more Lord of the Rings or ALIAS.

  7. I LOVE this post! It sounds so much like me! I despise running! I can think of a million + reasons to not get a workout in….I am exhausted ALL.OF.THE.TIME. (Have always been this way – even in teenage years) I wish I could find a reason (even if it’s me “lying” to myself) to be consistent in my workouts. I am proud of you for getting out the door, that is definitely the hardest part. The past 2 weeks, I have actually made it to the gym 3x each week. 🙂 Though, my motivation seems to starts lacking….ice-cream and the couch sound so much better!

  8. Well…that sweet baby girl is making you tired! I was not able to really start exercising again until my babies were over a year old. (At least you’re not geriatric like me, though!)

    Kudos to you for making it to the gym! SO hard to make time for anything, with babies…keep it up!

    (And yes, ice cream and couch almost always sound better to me.)

  9. I thankfully have no issue with getting exercise in. As long as I have a cup of black coffee I can plow through an good hour of resistance training.

    I’ve been doing it for a while so maybe it’s just habit?

    • Or maybe you just have far more willpower and discipline than I do, so you don’t have to resort to childish tactics? 🙂

      Thanks for reading!!

      By the way, I ran out of coffee so didn’t have my one cup this morning…had a massive headache this afternoon…I didn’t think one cup a day would affect me that much!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Mel! And I did read your post today…so good.

      I don’t know if I’ll ever be technically THIN again…but you never know. The clock is not in my favor, at this point. 🙂

  10. I loved this!!!!! So funny. I am almost 45 and I have two toddlers, 4 and 2 AND three teenagers. We’re been going to the gym since Dec. But when I run outside, I tell myself, “just one more mailbox”. Keeps me going. Today we have opted for the couch and cartoons. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • 45 with two toddlers? And five kids total? You are officially my hero. How ANYBODY takes care of more than two kids is COMPLETELY beyond me. Kudos to you!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Are you on Twitter? I’d love to connect there, if we haven’t already…

      So nice to meet you!

  11. You totally crack me up and I can so relate. No wonder you are such a dear friend and like a heart sister to me. Love it!

    • I can’t tell you how relieved I am that so many people are understanding me here. Perhaps I can get more and more honest about my general wackiness.

      I sense a post on sleeping, coming up…

      Love you!

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