I did something today that I never do. I went to the gym. Don’t misunderstand me– I exercise– it’s just that it’s usually a run or a walk outside or maybe some yoga or a Gilad show in the comfort of my own home.
I’ve always been kind of anti-gym, wondering why people would sweat it out on machines inside a stuffy building when our beautiful state of Rhode Island is filled with gorgeous parks, beaches and roads to run or bike on. What a snobby attitude, I know. I am just happy for them that they are exercising at all. I see now that there is a nice social aspect to gyms and of course they are perfect for when the weather is not ideal for outside activity.
So, how did I end up at a gym today? In three simple words: I can’t run. A mysterious heel pain plagued me all last month, that I of course ignored and continued to run on thinking it would go away. It got worse so I didn’t run for the last 9 days of December to hopefully be okay to run the Bristol Hangover 5 Miler on January 1. Not about to miss a race on a spectacular sunny new years day I did it, sore heel and all. Running on it did not exactly help the healing process, to say the least. Owwwwwwww.
Running plays a major role in keeping me sane, so I opened up my mind to determine how I can get in a pseudo-run without actually causing myself more pain and injury. I’m not about to immerse myself in a big pool of chlorine. Stationary bike…perhaps but not quite. The elliptical machine? I will try it! I did it for an hour and here are my thoughts: It’s not nearly the same as a run but I think it’s the closest I am going to get. It didn’t hurt my heel because the pressure is on the mid-foot. The whirring of exercise machines was all I could hear and my brain screamed at me over and over: must bring music next time. The tv options were football, hockey and Judge Judy. Not my cup of tea. But I felt good after and I really think I will go back and use it again. Me at a gym? Who knew it could happen?
The lesson I learned today is that there is always a way around obstacles. I have heard every excuse in the book about why people can’t exercise. True, sometimes there is a legitimate reason because of physical limitations or doctor’s orders. But most of the time it’s due to excuses that people make up in their heads to avoid doing something they believe will be unpleasant.
This is the toughest time of year for making exercise happen. Darkness falls early, it’s cold and seasonal affective disorder gets in the way of motivation. You’ve got to find a way to make it a habit in your life. Americans are far too sedentary and that (along with the SAD –Standard American Diet), is contributing to our ridiculous rates of chronic disease and obesity.
I’ve participated in everything from line dancing to roller derby. It’s all been great fun, but what I keep going back to is running. Find out what brings you joy and then figure out how to make it a part of your life. We’re all unique and there is something for everyone.
I repeat: You’ve got to find a way to make exercise a habit in your life.
What type of exercise do you enjoy doing the most? What do you do to make it happen?