Monday, April 28, 2008

Update on personal change

Regular readers might remember that I joined a gym in November 2007.  I had belonged to a gym very briefly more than twenty years ago. I used that membership to ride an exercise bike and do sit ups and it ended when my first son was born.

Since then, my exercise has involved running a household - which can provide a surprising amount of lifting, stair climbing, and walking.  Still, it is not the same as forming an intention to exercise regularly and carry it out.  Some of you are probably wondering if my gym membership has quietly gone the way of many good intentions. . .

Not yet.  In fact, as I sit here, I am impatient to get to the gym.  I go four or five times most weeks.  When I have missed a day or two, I am stiff and wired up and ready for exercise.  I go because I like the way I feel while I am there, and I like the way I feel as a result of being there.

I do not go because I should go. Once a month, I meet with a personal trainer because I like to have some external check on what I do, not because I have goals to meet.  When I joined the gym, I had two goals. The first was to be able to carry my laptop and books around the college.  That was successful: I did not resort to putting my bags on wheels even during the final weeks of semester when I was weighed down with marking.  

The second goal was to be able to occasionally run with the people close to me who enjoy running.  I am still working on ecology checks for that goal.  According to my elliptical machine, I can now do 5 km in about 22 minutes - which would meet my goal if I could take the elliptical machine out running with me.  I have been less successful with the treadmill. I don't like the treadmill.  Mostly, that means I choose not to work out on the treadmill and have no idea if my circuit training and elliptical will mean I can run once in a while. I will keep you posted as the weather facilitates running.

I do not know why other people are working out at the gym.  I put on my headphones and spend time with my musical workout buddy.  Most of the music is mellow, designed to moderate my heartbeat as I workout at higher resistances.  I work out on the circuit and zone out on the elliptical and relax as my muscles work.  It feels great.  I have no worries at the gym.

In short, I am still working out because working out still feels like recess to me.  I have neither lost nor gained weight through the cold, dark, stressful months of winter.  I am stronger now. I sleep better. I carry my own stuff.  It's all good.


No comments: