So, something has happened to me these last few weeks, something I never in a million years would have expected. It started when I quit work and began planning for the future me, the one that wouldn’t always be tired, and stressed, and grumpy with – well, pretty much anyone who crossed my path some days.
First off, I decided to get a little creative and start using a bullet journal. It was fun. I got a bit carried away. One of the things I got carried away with was putting together an exercise plan. Wasn’t one of my goals now I had time on my hands to get fit after all? It’s not the prettiest plan you’ve ever seen (though it does have different coloured squares for different exercises) but it turns out it works. Every day I take a look and do what it tells me to do.
Which is where I get to the bit I didn’t see coming in a million years – I am actually enjoying exercising! I have never enjoyed exercising – bar two brief periods where I took up kung-fu and tried my feet at tap dancing (both of which I had to give up when I moved house; neither of which I took up again after moving). If I’m honest, the reason I enjoyed both was the social aspect. I started both with friends and kept going because I liked spending time with people I liked. The getting fit was just a pleasant side affect.
Now, it’s the getting fit I like. Who’d have thought that after 40 odd years on this planet that would happen? Not me – and not my family, who keep asking me every time I say I’ve been for a jog “oh, are you still doing that?”. To be fair, it has only been three weeks and I do have a short attention span but I have to say, so far, I see it continuing. I am enjoying the structure in what are now pretty unstructured days and I’m loving how I feel afterwards (or rather, after afterwards, once my breathing and heart rate are back to normal).
I’ve started slow – using an app to help me build up from walking to running by doing a bit of both (with the running becoming longer, the walks shorter as I go) – but I’m seeing progress, which is an important thing with exercise, at least for me. I can run for longer periods without feeling like I’m about to die – always a good thing – and I feel full of energy afterwards. I’ve even set myself a goal of running a 5K next summer so I have something to keep me going if I do start to flag.
It hasn’t stopped with the running though. Now I know I’m not going to have to work late, take calls at odd hours, or find myself stuck on a train thanks to the joys of the British rail system, I’ve started taking trampoline classes. Once a week, I feel like a kid again – completely free – and I’m loving it. I’m using muscles I’m not sure I’ve ever used and talk about getting your heart rate up – it’s a great aerobic workout. Plus, it’s with other grown women who are as uncoordinated as me, making it a real laugh – what I need when I’m making a fool of myself.
And then there’s the yoga (yes, even more exercise), something I have done on and off for years but never stuck to. I’m not very good with the peace and calm aspect of it. Now, there is a chance it will happen again but right now I need it so I keep doing it. I ache from running and ache from jumping up and down for an hour and a half every Tuesday night. This helps me stretch my muscles and makes me just that bit more flexible – I’m hoping if I do enough I will mange to do those pike and straddle jumps that so far are alluding me; touching my toes for the first time in 20 years would be nice to!
The only downside so far is that I haven’t lost any of the weight I want to. I’m telling myself it’s because muscle weighs more than fat but that is probably a cop out. Maybe I need an eating plan in my bullet journal too?
I wonder, am I the only one out there who has found a new love of something that used to loathe doing? Do you exercise for fun or because you have to?
p.s. images courtesy of Pixabay – I wish I could look that good exercising!