I booked my next spin class before I left the parking lot from the gym where I’d just completed my first in over two years.
Along with live music, extensive traveling, and really any large gatherings, gym time was shut down as well during the Covid pandemic.
Now granted there were options available….I could have Zoomed, You Tubed, or Facebook live’d my workouts….I did not.
So let’s see…What did I do for exercise? Oh yeah, laid on the bow of a boat, took some nature walks, the occasional bike ride (like as in a beach cruiser bike with a basket, not some racer with gears). Yup, that’s about the long and short if it.
Ahhh but then came the day the gyms reopened. You can be sure I got right back in!! Oh wait, no I actually didn’t.
Anybody want to venture a guess as to why I can break a good habit in a heartbeat, but it takes the jaws of life to get me out of a bad habit mode? 🤔 Yeah, I have yet to figure that one out.
Ok so here’s the thing, if you know me I’ve probably managed to work into a conversation how I “turned 40 in the best shape of my life”. If you didn’t know that, then let me mention here ….I turned 40 in the best shape of my life!!
I’m obviously very proud of that fact, maybe a little obnoxiously so, but stating that I was “in the best shape of my life” doesn’t mean this is a post about my weight, at least not in the big picture.
Speaking of weight though, I thought I was naturally thin my whole life. Turns out it may have actually been the recreational drug use coupled with the constant state of worry and anxiety I existed in.
Fast forward to kicking some bad habits (definitely not done as easily as I now break those good ones) and adopting some healthier coping mechanisms, and all of a sudden little Mz DeeDee isn’t so naturally thin. I guess happy, joyous, and free living can pack on some pounds. And just when I thought I was living right ….More change necessary, go figure!
Good news though ~ found the trick to being healthy, strong, and fit! Bad news though ~ it’s diet and exercise…As in eat less, move more.
Well like any reasonable 39 year old overweight woman, who wasn’t particularly athletically inclined, and had literally never worked out a day in her life, I started off slow.
Hahaha jk jk, I went straight to a hardcore personal trainer who specialized in some Navy Seal type bootcamp shit, who was known to reduce grown men to tears in a single half hour session.
I showed up that first time looking like the kid who got picked last in gym class (ouch wait, I was the kid who got chosen last in gym class 😦 ok, maybe second or third to last) I had no idea what I was in for.
Let’s fast forward again, this time to ….you guessed it….me turning 40 in the best shape of my life 🙌🏽
Now like I said, that’s not meant to just be about my weight ….Yeah I lost weight, but I wasn’t skinny, I was strong. I pushed my body and found out it was capable of things I never would have imagined it was. My mind was clear. My energy through the roof. And damnit I would venture so far as to say that there wasn’t an elementary kickball team captain that wouldn’t have picked me first!! So there!
I have never been in a tax bracket (nor am I now) that would suggest I should have a personal trainer and I worked a whole part time waitressing job just to pay for said trainer. Obviously this couldn’t go on forever. So after a year and a half together, I left him for a moderately priced gym.
He understood. The breakup was amicable, and he will forever hold a special spot in my heart. Since him there’s been many a gym owner and fitness instructors who have encouraged, motivated, and provided great workouts. I appreciate them all.
Let’s be serious though, I will never ever workout as hardcore again as when Mr Push yourself till you puke was yelling over me, but as the last decade rolled by exercise did remain an essential part of my life.
Well, until Covid closed the gyms down that is. And then just like that, fast forward one more time, to that first ride in over two years…
…Ahhh, good as ever. Here’s a sampling of the thoughts that ran through my mind during that first ride:
• I’m going to pace myself since I haven’t done this in a while
• Oh man, it’s just like riding a bike (literally-lol)
• Why do I deny myself this goodness
• OMG I forgot how good I feel when I feel strong
• I’ve never felt more beautiful or confident when I’m feeling strong
• I love it here, everybody is so welcoming and supportive
• This is like a meditation for me
• I want to do this everyday
• I’m never giving up exercise again
• I’m going to book another class as soon as I get to my car!!
And here’s a few thoughts from that second ride:
• Ok we’re still pacing ourselves, but that first ride went so well, I can probably push a little harder
• Hmmm I think these handle bars are a little low, but it does work your abs more if they’re low, I’m sure it’ll be fine
• We sure are getting in and out of the saddle an awful lot, maybe I should just stay seated…Well everyone else is doing it. I can too!
And now I’m writing this while stinking like Icy Hot and downing ibuprofen 😫
I cried to my partner that I smelled like an old person and he said “no honey, you smell like an athlete”.
Some athlete I am.
The Dr (yep I hurt myself bad enough to have to go to a Dr 🤦🏼♀️) has assured me I will live to spin again …Probably by next week! I injured my lumbar spine and have been feeling quite sorry for myself.
Can somebody maybe remind me that back when I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever this summer I felt like I would feel that way forever, but I didn’t?
Yeah, that’s it, remind me that “this too shall pass”!
But will it? Will it ever really be the same again? Is this life over 50? My mind arguing with my body about what we can do until I’m so exhausted I just go take a nap?
Maybe someone could jump in and remind me to stop being such an over dramatic freak. Maybe someone could remind me how old and run down I felt when I was 25 raising 3 babies. Or how I felt at 39 showing up for that first session. There was an entire year between that day and turning 40 in the best shape of my life!
Ok kiddies, what lesson did I learn from this? No, not that I never threw my back out eating ice cream watching Netflix 🙄 Maybe like ~ It’s a process ~ Have some humility ~ A step at a time~
All those good things and then some, (including maybe that it’s easier to stay in shape than get in shape, but hey, don’t quit before the miracle happens 😉)
Well at the end of the day this chick is just over here figuring out how to navigate life over 50. Right now that looks like a little healing, and a little gratitude, cause for whatever challenges come with this new territory….It beats the alternative!
See ya in the gym asap. I’ll be the one working hard and doing my best, but hopefully without hurting myself 💪🏼