the incredible normalcy of struggling.

It took me hours to go to the gym yesterday, even though I had absolutely nothing to do all day — read: I have spent the last 36 hours reading both books 2 and 3 of the Hunger Games trilogy, and I can hear Keith Richards’ autobiography groaning at me from the corner of my room, but that’s a moot point. Eventually, I did change into workout clothes, walked to the gym, and mentally prepped myself for hitting both weights and cardio, for a long session.

I put in 45 minutes of intervals the stairmaster and called it quits.

Mentally, it was all I could handle, and while that’s definitely as much of a workout as most people are recommended to get, it’s not what I’m used to in terms of a workout. I’m hard on myself, and I know this, but usually, I’ll go to the gym either before or after work, and spend an hour there as the minimum, either because the alternative is to go to work earlier than my boss needs me, or because I’m running on fumes and a special brand of gym brat mania. It’s the constant battle of how much exercise is too much exercise, and this I know, but at the same time, working out was one of the things that really pulled me from the most destructive of my habits, and now I’m also trying to learn if I can function without that as a crutch, especially since sometimes my days are so busy that I can’t fit it in, or because I’m so tired that even I can’t push myself that far.

Suddenly, I find myself more among the ranks of people who have to find some way to fit it in a busy schedule instead of being driven by a compulsion. Finding alternatives, and not because I’m being driven to burn as many calories as possible. I just want to stay active, and I suppose I have this horrible fear that if I go too long without, I’ll become sedentary as I once was.

Instead of punishing myself, however, and playing mind games to keep myself at the gym, I took the subway forty blocks up to the nearest bookstore — which also points to how sad the world is if bookstores are fewer and further between now, but I’ll save that eulogy for a later date — and then proceeded to walk home. Because it was nice out, because the walk really wasn’t all that far. Because there was a grocery store I wanted to stop by on the way where they carry the pancake mix I’d run out of that morning. Because it cleared my head. Because I have two perfectly good working legs, and why not? Because I’m really lucky to live in New York, where everything is close enough so that you can walk everywhere.

In prior days, I would have walked up to the book store and back, after making myself stay at the gym. I would have been compensating for something, trying to make a mental tally of food versus exercise, and the more it sets in that I’m pushing myself to work out, the more I realize that’s a sign of progress. It’s not a compulsion anymore.

That struggle, it’s freeing in a way. I feel like it’s normal. I like it.

@1 year ago with 6 notes
#exercise #overexercise #workout #health #fitness #writing 
  1. andellasaid posted this