During a recent meeting with a fitness specialist, I was told that I was a Prius.
Being one of 10 children and having six of my own, I have little to no experience with such fuel-efficient vehicles. Huge, gas-guzzling SUVs and/or large vans have been the extent of my car repertoire. I did drive a 1967 Volkswagen Bug, but even those are known for packing many people (think clown cars) and making loud sputtering noises.
I was glad to know this man didn’t think I was an overeating, noisy person, carrying more weight than I should, often sputtering to a stop and waiting for a more reliable vehicle to come pick me up.
In an effort to decode just what this man was saying, I tried to recall everything I knew about a Prius. My impressions were that they are compact, lightweight vehicles that get great gas mileage and are driven by environmentally aware individuals. They are also fashionable and colorful.
A smile began to emerge. This man was complimenting me. He thought I was cute, well-dressed, in great shape and he could tell, just by looking at me, that I was environmentally conscious.
I first looked to my husband, who was standing right next to me, wondering if he was going to give this guy a roundhouse kick to the nose for hitting on his wife. Instead, he looked very attentive, almost as if he knew something I didn’t.
The man then followed up by explaining exactly what he meant.
“Yes, you’re a Prius,” he said. “My wife talked me into buying one years ago, and we drove it to California. That thing could go forever, but it had little to no power on hills.
“You have built a wonderful, efficient engine,” he continued. “Your cardiovascular system is at peak condition, and you don’t get tired easily. The problem is, you have no power.”
He then ran me through a series of exercises to prove his point. Maybe this man was right.
I have been focusing so much on my cardiovascular health that I have neglected to put some power in my engine. I may be able to go for miles and miles, but am I able to kick it into that next gear when I need to?
The answer is, no.
So, over the next little while, I will still be putting in the miles, but I will be adding some more strength training to my regimen.
The next time I meet with this man, I don’t want to be branded an SUV. But it might be nice to be called a Ferrari -- or at the very least, a Honda Accord.
(Arianne Brown is a mother of six young children. Her downtime is spent running the trails of the Wasatch Mountains and beyond. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or search her Facebook page, “A Mother’s Write,” or follow her on Twitter @arimom6.)