Body knows best

Body knows best

I’ve started working out.

I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath. I can’t believe I would even type these words on to the screen. Do you know what I just did? I just committed myself to the world. It’s a long fall if I fail from here.

I spent the whole summer trying to motivate myself to exercise more and I just couldn’t do it. But something happened as the season started to wrap up. September always brings with it something new.

Since I’ve been out of school, there hasn’t really been anything to “new” for me in the Fall. Between my desire for change and the sparkle of September, I found a way.

This is my third week of working out 6 days a week. That sentence just blew my mind.

For the longest time, I’ve hated anything to do with the fitness industry. Gym membership? No thank you. Running? I’ve got bad knees. Sweat? Gross.

I’ve tried running, zumba, treadmill, kickboxing, and yoga. Although I enjoyed them, I was only willing to push myself to a minimal degree. I was terrified of losing control. Body aching, lungs gasping for breath, throat heaving, head pounding; that’s what working out looked like to me. It was a torture I didn’t want to endure.

Two weeks in, I can honestly say I’ve pushed myself harder than I ever have before, without losing control. If I was going to do this, I was going to do this my way. I was going to work hard, but I wasn’t going to scare myself because some ripped guy in a cardio video thinks he knows how hard my body can go.

I’ve gasped for breath. My throat has parched. My head has pounded. And boy, has my body ached. But all of it came with good energy. I refused to beat my body (and mind) into submission. I’ve done it because it’s logically the best possible thing I could do.

You know, once you get into this stuff, you start to think like they do. I find myself whispering motivational phrases to myself all day. You can do this. Focus. You will improve. Hang in there.

That ripped guy in the video can see straight into my soul. I push myself, but I go at my own pace. And I try a little harder each day.

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Glory and failure

Glory and failure

I make it a priority not to run for buses. Or trains in this case.

Maybe it’s because I have a crippling fear of failure. Running leaves me exposed.  If I run and don’t make it on time, it would’ve all been for nothing.

All that hope and energy wasted.

Maybe it’s because running reveals what horrible shape I am in. Is there a worse image than a person keeled over, huffing and puffing as the bus glides away? The look of despair in their eyes. Disappointment in their gasping breath.
They tried and failed.

But today, I ran and won. I wont even bother to be ambiguous about what propelled me.

Soccer. If I caught this train, I could make it home in time to watch most of the game.

Maybe that’s the difference between an athlete running for the net and a person trying to catch a bus. An athlete upon seeing the goal line is fueled with every inch to persevere. The train-chaser too I suppose. What awaits the athlete on the other side of the pitch? Glory …and failure. But they never hesitate to run.

Drenched and gasping for breath, I never thought I could find glory on the inside of a train. But catching this train felt like a victory to me.

And I should also probably work out more.

Texting on the run

Texting on the run

“Check texts on the run.” —said a Samsung smart watch ad.

“Wait — what?” I did a double take. The young, fit jogger on the poster smiled at me. I realized that this was more than just a clever pun. Samsung was actually trying to sell me a smart watch by telling me it would make it easier for me to check my texts while running. Pfft, as if I even exercise on a regular basis. And when I do choose to exercise, running is definitely not in my routine.

But to all the spirited runners out there, do you really wish you could check your texts during your morning jog? Is this actually a desire that’s been burning inside of you?

I’m going to take a guess here and say no.

“So Samsung, why do you think this would work?” The woman on the poster keeps smiling. I’m not sure what she would say to me if she could talk.

“It’s convenient.”

“Now, you can be connected even when it’s incredibly inconvenient.”

“Haven’t you always wanted something to stare at while waiting for the light to change?”

I laugh. Nice one, Samsung. Technology is supposed to make things easier right? Even when it doesn’t always make sense.