I woke up this morning at 6 a.m., 30 minutes earlier than my usual rise and shine time. It wasn’t planned, but I decided that it was the universe’s way of telling me to stop thinking about getting back into exercise and start doing it.
My relationship with exercise has been on again off again. I guess I tend to approach it the same way some people approach dating. At first, you want to learn everything they can about the other person. You call often and talk about future plans after just one or two dates. Gradually, though, the excitement seems to wane and sooner or later boredom sets in -- something or someone better comes along and BAM before you know it you’re moving on.
My particular commitment problem began when I was a young adult. I had just moved to Atlanta and didn’t know anyone. Soon, I became friends with a group of men and women who liked to bike along the Chattahoochee River. They seemed nice and I always liked riding my bike as a kid so I figured what the hell. I liked it instantly so I went all in. I bought a deep purple Schwinn with all the accessories -- matching helmet, biking gloves, those padded shorts that make you feel like you’re wearing a diaper but literally save your butt, and a bike rack for my car. It was fun for a while. And then I met a guy who wasn’t into biking. I liked him better than the bike so I married him and sold the Schwinn.
Now that biking was behind me, I decided that exercising at home was my destiny and I became a home exercise serial monogamist. I went from one piece of home gym equipment to the next committing myself wholeheartedly to each new simulated sport.
First there was the rowing machine, the ultimate total body workout. A few months later, a sleek little number called the Gazelle caught my eye and the rower was sold to the highest bidder.
Similar to an elliptical machine with the added benefit of feeling like I was gliding on air, the Gazelle was inexpensive and fairly quiet but the results didn’t quite measure up to some of the more “serious” machines so I moved on.
Just as I thought I might be done with the idea of exercising at home, I found a machine that simulated cross-country skiing. Working both upper and lower body, it was perfect. It wasn’t just the idea of “skiing” in my house that I found attractive. Made out of wood with a black pleather belly pad, it was a piece of furniture.
But eventually, I grew bored of the same back and forth motion. And I began tossing my clothes over the cushioned belly pad essentially turning the high-end skier into an overpriced clothes hanger.
It was time to clear my head, to reconnect with me. So, I took the advice of a friend and hit the open road, I started jogging. I found an app for a “Couch-to-5K” running program and once again threw myself headlong into my newfound love. I went to a specialty running store and invested in a good (and stylish) pair of running shoes. I bought a colorful array of running clothes and even splurged on some new ear buds. I got about halfway through the program before the weather and my interest cooled off. I tried again once springtime rolled around but I never was able to recapture that initial excitement.
For the past year, I’ve been juggling a few different types of exercises -- yoga, walking and kickboxing. Don’t be too impressed, over the past three months I’ve probably done a total of four 30 minute yoga routines, three kickboxing classes and an average of about one 60 minute walk a week. It’s too soon to know if any of these three will be “the one,” my exercise soul mate, but you never know.
For now, though, I’m still just having fun playing the field.
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