Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tribute to the Gym

I've been going regularly to the gym since July of last year. It started as an effort to trim down a bit and lose the extra pounds. My friends will kill me if they read that last sentence because I don't really put on weight like other people my age do. Credit goes to my fast metabolism, I suppose, although I swear, it has somehow slowed down in the past years.

Anyway, the reason for the thrice-a-week visits to the gym was because I began noticing that I tired faster. Being a teacher-mom requires physical exertion; running after kids being the most demanding of all. I felt then that I wasn't as quick and as bouncy as I used to be.

At first I went for the dance classes and spent increasing time at the treadmill. I literally danced like no one was watching. It was liberating to have your own small space to make your moves to Beyonce and Shakira tunes, and to find that there were thirty others in the room who were having a grand time as well. I had to part with the treadmill after two months because I was doing too much cardiovascular training.

The next group exercise I discovered were the weight lifting classes. I've never considered myself a strong person; quick to move, maybe, but not powerful. I don't really do heavy weights but I've slowly increased my load from the time I started. Push-ups that used to be my Achilles' heel are now one of my favorite portions of the routine. I've noticed too that my abs, triceps and biceps are already taking shape.

A new gym activity I'm loving now is the tai-chi/yoga/pilates combo class that really challenged my flexibility in the beginning. I'm still nowhere near being Mrs. Incredible, but I learned from that class the importance of balancing and breathing, of ridding the mind of worries, of quieting the soul. I didn't know before how the body, mind, and spirit could move together with such grace.

It's ironic how a sense of calm envelopes me at the gym amidst the blaring & pumping sounds from the background. More than the aerobic activity itself, it's the exercise of physically detaching myself from responsibility, and immersing myself in pleasure, strength-building, and solitude that keeps me going back. It's the time and place I've set aside for my lone self.

The gym gives me more than just a workout. More importantly, it's a work in.

I'm feeling: the fact that I haven't exercised in six days.
I'm listening to: no reason why I can't go tomorrow.


Jayme said...

I agree. I used to go to the gym and I used to feel so invigorated. It's like every exercise I do actually adds hours, maybe days to my life and improves my health.

I'm looking forward to getting fit again after I give birth. Dancing class sounds really fun! :D

giselle said...

I keep forgetting about that minor detail--that you're pregnant! Yup, the gym does wonders to one's total being. In the meantime, I suppose your Kegel exercises should do. :-)

Dette said...

OMG - I hope I can sum up the same energy and motivation. Rock on, girl, for taking care of you AND your baby! :)

giselle said...

Thanks, Dette. The most difficult thing for me was to start, though. But now that I have, there's no looking back, I hope.

Surfergirl said...

hi giselle, thanks for the visit! your post is a wake up call for me to start seriously hitting the gym. you're right the difficult part is the start. i need that one big PUSH!

giselle said...

Thanks for dropping by too, surfergirl! Oh, you'll get there. Just think...Beyonce, Rihanna, Shakira, haha. Have a nice day. :)