As I dragged myself to the gym which was more out of necessity than want, I began running on the treadmill like I was Forrest Gump and got thinking about the deeper meaning of exercise.
Having completed my barre challenge of one month for five days a week, I finished victorious and won the bet (No Pain, No Gain – Really! April 16th 2014). That challenge provided me with so much motivation. Aside from the focus of the goal, I absolutely loved the class. It pushed my body to its limits with certain exercises and with others my body breathed a sigh of relief as if to say, ‘I know this one, my limbs are happy to contort to this position, now I can relax for a while!’
Since undertaking that challenge I’m embarrassed to say other than walking I haven’t taken part in any extra activities. Being the body conscious person I am (and I’ll readily admit that whilst it’s healthy to a degree in my case it’s nearing obsession!), for me it’s all about enjoying what I’m doing. So I ran for twenty five minutes at the gym trying not to look at the clock counting down as I know the seconds will take twice as long to pass by. I was actually quite impressed with myself, I made it to 7:07 before my first check in but by 16:04 I began to get desperate as I could feel the infinite stitch approaching. I always make a point of running through them no matter how pained, sweaty and red I am in comparison to the beautiful people working out who fly through the air with such zest but still don’t even break into a sweat. They make it look so easy as they run their marathons on the treadmills around me.
So this momentous achievement of making it down to the gym and on to the treadmill is all well and good. If I’m honest, and I’m sure this will come as no surprise, I was loathed to put on my runners and gym clothes in preparation to enter the mirrored cave of doom. ‘So what you’re saying is, I actually have to move?’ Preferably I’d much rather lie on the elephant and watch the recorded shows which are beginning to back up quicker than you can say, ‘Couch potato’ (The elephant is the affectionate name for our sofa. It’s grey and when walking into the apartment upon looking at it you see what resembles an ear and a trunk). The answer to those questions are yes and I know!
It all sounds a little contradictory as I write this as I am genuinely someone who loves to keep active and I can tell you exactly the reason for my feeling as I do. I have spoken to so many people who tell me they go to the gym because they have to rather than for the love of it. Quite frankly there is nothing worse than keeping fit in such a way that fills you with dread before hand. Believe me, I know exactly what that feels like and I have discovered the simple key to keeping fit happily. It’s finding something that you love to do. It could be dancing, cricket, football, the gym, swimming, running, tennis, the list is endless. As long as you’re out there loving what you do and keeping healthy without often realizing it, you’ve hit the bullseye.
They say thirty minutes walking is enough exercise per day, the ideal distance being two miles within that time. I’m a big fan of walking; however, if you ask the majority of my friends and family it’s not such an enjoyable experience for them as I do have a tendency to walk quicker than a bat out of hell. It’s a regular occurrence to realize I’m talking to myself as I become aware of strange looks from other pedestrians due to having left my walking partner miles behind. I look back to see them waving ferociously, red faced and panting because I’ve begun to walk at ‘Freya pace’. It normally takes a few strides to be reunited with them at which point I have to be focused on remembering to walk slowly. It’s also a familiar sight to see people grabbing my arms. I’ll start off walking slowly, unconsciously speeding up without my or their knowledge and before they know it they’re jogging to keep up. Perhaps I should be a personal trainer, come out for a walk with me and you’ll burn off more calories than you could wish for! The alternative is that I have my very own leash to maintain normal speed, enabling conversation and no abandonment and I think from my friends point of view, the latter would be preferred!