Tonight free time equaled exercise time

Tonight was the first night in more than two weeks where I had nothing scheduled. There were no meetings, no goodbye dinners, no dates and no movies. Needless to say, I have been looking forward to tonight since last weekend.

For many weeks, I have been promising myself that I would get myself back into regular exercise, but for the last several months, have been able to come up with excuse after excuse, putting it off. Knowing that I was going to have a free night tonight, I decided that that was it. I had to go do some intentional, sweat-producing, heart pounding exercise. (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter! This a family blog).

Upon leaving work, I thought I would go for a walk down along Boat House Row, but as I wandered home, the weather looked uncertain and the wind started to pick up. Luckily I always have as a back up the gym in my building, down on the 5th floor. It makes exercise easy, as long as I can convince myself to put on sneakers and sports bra and actually walk out of my apartment (often a great mental feat). I put the clothes on at 8 pm, and then puttered around my apartment for the next hour and a half. Finally, at 9:30, after promising my mother and my friend Una that I was going to go to the gym (accountability works for me), I got myself on the elliptical machine. I stayed there for half an hour, remembering what it felt like to really move my body and not disliking the sensation.
I’ve always had a difficult relationship with exercise. My body and it’s fat to fitness ratio has been a huge struggle for me throughout my life. I’ve spent multiple summers at weight loss camp, done many iterations of Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, joined gyms only to attend them twice before giving up and talked about it all until I was blue in the face. This is not a unique-to-me story, many have already told it.

Over the last couple of years, I really thought I had found a solution to it all, forcing myself fit into the mold of “runner” although I never totally fit that model, there were always bits of me hanging over it’s edges. I loved the pursuit of running, the way in which you could set goals and achieve them and the internal satisfaction that came after finishing a run (for me, the best part of running was always after it was all over). After twisting my foot last fall, I couldn’t even fake being a runner anymore. It had lost it’s power and appeal, and I couldn’t do it without some part of my body hurting and continuing to hurt for several days afterwards. So I’ve left it alone.
Right now, I’m just happy to have put in some time in the gym, without incident or accident. Sometimes that’s enough.

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