Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Do you have a "third place"? A place where you always feel welcome and accepted? Where there are no particular demands place upon you by anyone but you yourself? Where you can be social or silent, depending upon your mood?
Most of us have "two places" where we belong: work and home. But that third place can be a great alternative from the demands and responsibilities of both work and home.
That's what my gym is for me. My third place.
I've been a member of the same gym for well over 30 years. There are people there whose names I don't necessarily know, but I know them, have known them for years. They share some important values with me: fitness matters to them too. And we can talk, or not, whatever we feel like on a particular day.
Exercise is important. Of course it is. It doesn't, frankly, help me much with weight loss or weight maintenance. But it does help with strength, cardio fitness, toning. And above all it helps with mood. It keeps me feeling optimistic.
Some of that is the effect of the endorphins which exercise releases, certainly. A natural high which for me works way better than anti-depressants!
But a whole lot of it is simply that my gym is my third place.
I never particularly want to go. But I'm always so glad that I did.