The Not So Dreaded Gym

Photo Credit:  Juice Images

I sometimes absolutely dread going but I am always glad that I went. It is at times a necessary evil and at others something I actually look forward to. There was a period of time that I simply refused to go at all. The very thought of dragging myself there was pure drudgery and I simply wouldn't do it. Love it or hate it I always eventually find my way back to the gym.

I'm tired and don't really feel like going, but I do it anyways because sometimes that's just what you have to do.  I packed my bag the night before and remember to take it with me to work. All I want to do is go home after an exhausting day and not enough sleep but instead I slog through the tiresome routine of driving to the gym and heading into the locker room to change into my work out wear. I lock up my bag, grab my I-pod, towel and make my away around the various work out machines being used by sweaty cotton and spandex clad people.  It's almost comical to look around and observe this army of people pumping iron and bopping up and down on stair masters like robots.

Unenthusiastic, I step onto the treadmill, enter my settings and sigh as the belt lurches into motion moving my feet along with it. I have a rule about the treadmill, and without this rule I might give up and never make it through a cardio work out.  Once I start running, under no circumstances am I allowed to shift to a lower speed.  I have to make my acceleration decisions carefully or else I might find myself flying off the treadmill in a ragged heap. I usually start out on an incline, because although I am still walking it still allows me to burn a maximum number of calories and gets my muscles warmed up and my blood pumping.

My heart really isn't in it as I lower the incline and work my way up to a run. After a period of time I feel a cramp invading my right side that worsens with each step. My feet are pounding on the belt and I am scrolling through my I-pod to find a song that will inspire me enough to make it through this workout when all of a sudden I realize that it actually isn't all that bad. I have pushed past the pain. My once heavy feet and legs now feel as if they are hardly touching the ground. As my heart, lungs, legs and arms all work together I become this amazing unstoppable machine. I am no longer uninspired and listless. I am an athlete and I feel as though I can run forever. I increase the speed just because I can, and push myself harder and faster as the endorphins rush through my brain. I am sweating, breathing hard, pushing myself to the limit and it feels great. This acute sense of mastery has taken over and I am in total command of my body and the treadmill. I am strong and powerful as my legs keep my body in time with the increasing speed of the machine. I wonder if this is what it feels like to be an Olympic athlete in the midst of the final heart bursting leg of a long distance run. I can only imagine what it must be like to be so well trained, talented, and in such total command of your mind and body that you can compete in sports at the highest level there is. Those athletes run faster, jump higher, and push themselves further then anyone else in the world. I can only speculate on the amount of discipline, dedication and athleticism that goes into being that good. I am just a woman on the treadmill at 24 hour fitness, but I imagine that I am sprinting toward that finish line on my way to victory nonetheless. Suddenly I am thinking of all of the good and wonderful things in my life and how lucky I am to be so healthy and so alive. I am smiling as I run even faster. Gone is that wilting person who dragged herself in here not too long ago, and for this brief moment at least, I feel like I can do anything. When my time is up, the pace drops lower and lower until I am walking. As my heart rate calms down I feel sweat trickling down my back and my tank top sticking to my skin but I don't mind.  Walking towards the locker room,  I can hardly feel my legs at all.  It's kind of like I'm walking on air.  My sweaty face and my flushed cheeks smile back at me in the mirror.

Unfortunately, every work out isn't like this. There are many days when I grimace and struggle my way through the entire cardio work out on legs made of wood, and can't wait for it to end so I can put myself out of my misery. On those days, I try to remember the amazing rush that working out can bring.  Sometimes I don't do cardio at all,  and take a Pilates or Yoga class because I don't have to walk out of the gym dripping in sweat in order to have had a good work out. I go when I have the motivation and I try not to beat myself up on the days that I say to hell with it and don't. If ever there is a day that I am physically unable to go to the gym, I will wish I could get each and every one of those gym days back, good and bad.

Just When You Think

Just when you think you've got it all. Well, not everything of course but at least getting a little closer to it. Just when you think that you have finally got something figured out and take that long awaited sigh of relief. Just when you have allowed yourself to stop worrying so much and just live a little already life has this truly annoying and ever present way of knocking the wind right out of your sails. It almost never fails. The times when everything seems to fall into place is just the calm before the storm. You may not know exactly what kind of storm it will be or when it will make its presence known but you can be assured that it will come. Just as surely as you must breathe air to live the storm will come; it's just a matter of time. Often when you least expect it. When you least deserve it.

Experience has shown me that life is absolutely not fair and that you can't always have it your way so I am not surprised. Just taken off guard because I was riding the wave of good times and when you are riding that high sometimes you forget about that impending storm that is probably lurking around the corner. You forget how quickly things can turn. These are the times that test your strength. Where you make the decision to turn lemons into lemonade or turn adversity into your undoing. When the going gets rough it feels like a sentence more then it does a choice but when all is said and done that's exactly what it is-a choice. We can't always choose what happens in our lives but we can choose how we respond. I am going to fall down and cry-over and over more times then I can count-but after each time I have to get up again. I can and will get mad and mope and whine but that will only get me so far. Regroup, reassess, re evaluate. Make a new plan. Do whatever has to be done in order to accept what is, deal with it and keep moving forward. I've done it before. Just as the hard times always seem to be lurking around the corner when times are good, when things go wrong the good times are waiting for me too. Some things are worth waiting for.

That Falling In Love Feeling

Current Mood:  happy 

I decided that I am an island unto myself. I am untouchable, independent and without the need to be attached to a so called significant other. I have a good life-good friends and family. I support myself-I don't need anyone. I do what I want when I want without having to consider anyone else. My twenties are a thing of the past but I am not sitting at home lamenting my fate as an old maid because despite my single status I am anything but. I can get a date if I want one. I get out and have my fun and then I come home to my nice quiet home where I am subjected to no expectations but by own. I do not want nor do I need to have a plus one. Sentiments of love and togetherness are lost on me. Love is great and all but what happens when the honeymoon is over and love isn't enough? What happens when you put yourself out there and it all blows up in your face? I haven't totally given up on the entire concept but I'm sure not looking for it either because on some level I can no longer figure out what is the point of it all anyways?

Everywhere you turn there is someone either getting divorced or talking about someone that they know who is. Only a very select few have managed to escape this fate and it is beginning to seem that no one is immune. High school sweat hearts, internet romances, friends first, 18 year relationships, to shot gun Vegas weddings. All bets are off it seems when it comes to falling out of love.

I scoff and roll my eyes confident and superior in my ability and willingness to be a 30 something, very independent thank you very much happening single woman. Let them all walk down the aisle like lambs to a slaughter and I will keep my heart to myself. Dating is cool, but mostly just for something to do and because I enjoy meeting new people. Ok, so maybe deep down I can't help but wonder if there just might be that one that would come along and make me think twice about my singledom after all, the desire for companionship and monogamy is practically in my DNA, but I really doubt it.

So, let them like me-or not-but damned if I will like them back. Let's keep it casual and nobody gets hurt. I'll call you but don't expect me to talk to you every day. If I feel that you might like me just a little too much for comfort then I am likely to retreat. There is a certain freedom in casual dating. Go out and have a good time but at the end of the night you owe nothing to no one. There are no complications and no wasted energy on soul searching and what if's. No heartache. No treacherous slippery slope to wedded bliss.

I have adopted this cavalier attitude out of necessity. I actually would like to meet that perfect person for me but I am torn between that desire to find "the one" and my skepticism that such a phenomenon could even exist for me at this point in my life. There is nothing specifically that can be said or done to change the rules. I won't waste your time or mine….I know when to back off even if you don't. It doesn't matter how fine you are, how much money you make or what car you drive. I'm just looking for company because I figure I'm not likely to find anything else. It's nothing personal…it's just that I know what it's like to have that "feeling." It's either there or it's not. It doesn't take me too long to figure it out and I am certainly not going to go through the whole song and dance for anything less. I didn't really expect to ever get it back again…until I did.

There is something about that smile that has this magical way of giving me strength and energy that wasn't there before. There is something so different and uniquely wonderful about him then all of the others that have come before. I am resistant and uncomfortable with this turn of events. Skepticism slowly gives way to hope. It takes me a while to accept that such a thing could really be happening…but lo and behold it actually is and I am finding that I am all but powerless to stop it and the craziest thing of all is that I am enjoying every minute.

Bookmark and Share

I Have Two Sides

I am always amused when I am told by someone that I "act so quiet and shy" because I am not acting. I am actually being myself and it is they who have decided who they think I am. It seems at times that people almost feel that I have somehow tricked them into believing I am someone that I am not when all along I was just being me.

I can be quiet and shy at one time and goofy and loud the next. I might be nonchalant and neutral at one moment and outspoken and adamant at another. I love to go out, dance, and have a good time but I enjoy my days alone at home reading and watching movies just as much. I can go out and be the party girl on one night and want nothing more then to stay home in my pajamas the next. I am that quiet innocent looking girl in the corner silently observing but I am also the girl laughing out loud with a drink in her hand at happy hour surrounded by friends.

I am delighted to know that I cannot so easily be placed in one box or the other. There are two sides to every story and I am no different.