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Archive for April 10th, 2011

This is an old question from the Post-a-Day crowd.  I hung onto the ones I liked best, in hopes of using them for filler on days when the question was one that was less inspiring, and this, I thought, was right up my alley:

“What non-exercise activity do you wish would keep you fit?”

Since the death of knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmermann, in (I think) 2001, there hasn’t really been anybody to take her place.  She had the most creative mind, and inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of knitters to reach beyond pattern books and design their own knitwear, by sheer dint of her skill and wit.  When she died, I gave up knitting altogether — until an ex-girlfriend of my son’s gave me a knitting calendar.

Never Not Knitting is put out by a Canadian, Stephanie Pearl McPhee, and comes pretty darn close to the Zimmermann magic, in terms of wittiness.  And one of Ms. McPhee’s observations, in 2009, was along the lines of, really wishing that she could count knitting as a form of physical fitness.  I think she even tried to make the case that it was a form of exercise, since your arms were constantly occupied with the movement of knitting needles, and if you added a rocking chair into the mix, your legs got a workout, too.  Let no one say that knitters lack creativity.

I am so There.  One of the more irritating aspects of my admittedly sedentary lifestyle is the number of people who think of “couch potato” as someone who sits around all day watching soap operas and noshing on bonbons or chips, and the most exercise they get is clicking the remote.  I always think, What about artists?  What about musicians?  These people aren’t out there training for marathons, either, and a professional musician will spend six to eight hours a day practicing his craft.  And a painter just sits there all day with his easel and brush — but in both cases, the mind is going non-stop, discerning forms and patterns and colors (yes, music has “color,” too) and interpreting them into something that will please the eye or ear of the general public.  Yet, by the general definition, these people fit the mold of “couch potato,” because they Sit Around All Day.

Phooey on that.  I think we need to lose this phrase out of the general vocabulary and replace it with something more specific, like “TV devotee” or something that indicates a level of true laziness.  Because for me, anything that involves art of any kind will never qualify as Couch Potato material.

And that includes knitting.  Gotta keep those forearms toned.

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