To dream, to seek, to buy...and then to do


Today I bought athletic shorts. You know the kind: nylon with colored piping around the legs. It was incredibly easy. I mean, I didn’t hesitate a bit. All I had to do was walk into the store, find my size, try them on and pay $16.84. Complete success, beginning to end.

Tomorrow I’m planning a similar outing to purchase new running shoes, a UV protection hat and some sunglasses that won’t slide off my face as I pound the pavement. I may invest in a new iPod as well to make the exercise more palatable, and perhaps a pedometer so I can know how far I’ve run.

This is how I always begin a new exercise program. I buy all the stuff, and sometimes I even move on to the next phase of actually donning my athletic attire, like a matador preparing for a fight. But, as with the matador, it’s pretty much all bull. Most times, the new weights or the new swim goggles sit in the closet, where I periodically dust them and fantasize about how I might have actually used them to improve my health and stamina.

Does this behavior sound familiar? Are you, too, a victim of “buying is easier than doing”?

I first recognized the syndrome when I bought the entire set of Rosetta Stone CDs to learn Mandarin. Easy as can be. I listened to the first CD and learned how to say “good morning.” Three years later I sold the whole set in a yard sale.

You know what else is easier to prepare for than to actually do? Crocheting a 64-square blanket. You’ve probably never thought about it, but I’ve purchased all the materials for blanket-making three times. Twice, I actually made the throws. Each one took several years. But the last go-round, I bought hundreds of dollars’ worth of yarn, several instruction books, four new crochet hooks and a pair of magnifying glasses, as well as a special lamp. And what? What, you ask? I never started the project. I just could not get myself to sit down and start working.

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