It’s been a couple of weeks (longest break I’ve taken since I began in October) since I went to the gym, but today I realized how much I miss going and jumped back in. I walked into the gym and a familiar smiling face greeted me at the front desk (felt just like home), I filled my regular locker #99, cranked my iPod to its maximum volume (yes, I’m a pop diva from way back), and stepped right up to the magical machine. Oh, how I missed my dear friend the elliptical. Even though I have been getting a lot of physical exercise packing and cleaning it’s just not the same as hanging with my good buddy (I mean really, I can only derive so much inspiration from a cardboard box).
I became overwhelmed with emotion about ten minutes into my workout today. I thought to myself, hmmm I wonder if I’m cracking up, or maybe I’m having a midlife crisis moment (even though I’m far from midlife – in my opinion) or perhaps a dose of endorphins hit my veins all at once or could it merely be that I carved out a break from my kids? Bingo! Well, whatever it was it was an incredible moment and one that I have come to expect when I do my cardio workout. I hold my very best brainstorming sessions (with myself, of course) and experience beautiful moments of clarity working on this machine. As I’m pedaling my feet and loving life I scan the room and wonder if I’m the lucky one or is everyone having a similar moment of sheer joy. My mind only drifts for a brief moment and I reenter the zone. I am so creative and at peace when I’m on this machine. I know this all might sound a little crazy…a piece of exercise equipment cleverly disguised as a source of inspiration…but it’s true. Before you call the “boys in white” (a phrase my great-uncle from Tennessee used) allow me to explain. This phenomenon is quite similar to meditation. We all practice different forms of meditation: sitting, walking, reading, writing, daydreaming, and now there’s pedaling. Eureka! Okay, now call the boys.
In contrast, my workouts with weights keep my mind very focused on the task right in front of me as I remain securely in the Now and Present Moment (good thing, because I might drop something heavy on my foot and that would certainly jerk me right out of the zone). I always feel a great sense of accomplishment when using weights, because my workout routine (thank you Sheila) is such a challenge for me. It’s all very mental to me as I prove to myself that I CAN do anything I desire. Yep, it’s mental all right (or maybe I’m just mental).
Well, here I go again waxing philosophic (I just love that term) and you’re probably scratching your head wondering if I have bumped mine. I might be reading too much into the workout thing (just ask my husband), but it’s who I am and that’s how I roll. I enjoy sharing my personal experience as I travel closer to the center of Me and Who I Am reveals itself (hence the title of this blog, The Courage to Be Me).