Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bend and stretch, reach for the stars

Man, it's been some time since I last wrote. Such a good blogger, aren't I?

So, "bend and stretch, reach for the stars"... what does it refer to? Well, the phrase comes from a Romper Room song that I remember watching as a little kid. Maybe I don't specifically remember it, but people in my family do. We have a freakishly long memory when it comes to inane trivia like songs from TV shows. I know things about when my mom and her brothers and sisters were kids that I should never know, but my mom remembered and told us, so now we remember.

But back to bending and stretching ... in the last 5 weeks or so, I've actually been (gasp!) working out. Yep, I joined a gym and even hired a personal trainer. I'm still not overly fond of exercise, but I felt that since I was going on a grand vacation that required me to be a bit active, I should work on my endurance and stamina. So now I go to the gym at least 3 times a week to do some cardio work and some weight training. I can honestly say I've never been so invested in doing something physical like this. It's not like I *like* doing this, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a workout. I hate getting sweaty, I having to do some much laundry (trust me, you don't want to wear anything you've worked out and sweated in twice!), I hate carving out all the time to do the workout, but that sense of accomplishment is a nice little rush. To date, I've never gotten that "runner's high", that rush of adrenaline when I exercise, but I have to honest. I probably don't push myself like some elite athlete.

I've joined many, many gyms in the past: 24-Hour Fitness, Gold's Gym, the YMCA ... but they have all languished after a month of attendance. (Yet, since I probably paid for a year's membership, the money still got taken out of my checking account faithfully each month.) The difference this time is the money I'm spending for a personal trainer. Currently I meet with her twice a week, to keep my momentum up. I need to feeling of an obligation to another person to ensure that I keep working out. I think that after my grand vacation, I may go down to once a week, but I definitely like having someone prod me to do the work.

My therapist suggested that, since I have such an aversion to exercise, to not expect myself to love it, but to at least tolerate it. Tolerating is good. I think that's why the little rush from the sense of accomplishment exists. It also helps that my blood pressure is a bit down as well as my blood sugar. Health benefits ... who knew? ;-)

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