On the gym being something wonderful I do for myself
I started off the year without any resolutions. I swore I was going to “just breathe,” and that’s exactly what I’ve done. The past four months have been among the most mindful of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time making smart decisions. Stopping to take a short breath before I do something and asking myself, “Is this what I really want to be doing in this moment?” has drastically improved the way I live my life..
I’m more engaged with my kids.
My relationship with my husband is better.
I’m making better decisions about balancing work (studying Arabic), family, and my own need for moments of silence in my life.
But I haven’t been moving. I haven’t been making real measurable progress towards long term goals. That was the point of the exercise, of course, but it’s May, and I’m starting to itch a little bit. I want to move and shake and turn dreams into concrete reality. I’m actually pretty good at that, and now that I’ve spent a couple of months stopping and smelling the roses, I’m ready to dive back into todo lists and wild ideas and community organizing with abandon and joy. But I won’t, no matter how tempting it is. Looking back, I am appalled by the amount of stress I added to my own life over the past decade with my never ending lists of things to do and my impossible goals and expectations for myself … for shit that just doesn’t matter.
This week, I started going back to the gym. It’s a small thing. A tiny thing. Less than two hours a week (for now). I’m not fooling myself that 30 minutes on the elliptical 3 days a week is actually going to turn me into a lean mean toddler chasing machine. It sure as hell will make me a happier one, though. 30 minutes by myself. No kids. No husband. No phone. Just me and the exercise machines and some sweat.
I haven’t set any goals for my gym time, except consistency. My only goal is to just do it–to establish the habit of sweating. Three times a week. Without fail. And once I’ve done that for a while, I’ll move from the elliptical to the treadmill, if I feel like it. And once I’ve done that for a while, I’ll add in some weights, maybe. And then I’ll make some decisions about the long term, probably.
It’s refreshing to be able to sweat for the sake of sweating. The pressure’s off, and I’m kind of enjoying it.
This post is part of the FS Bloggers Spring Rejuvenation.