Transforming into Something Different
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Well, it has finally happened. I've turned into one of "those" people...I've read about them, met a few of them, but I never thought I'd *be* one. I'm talking about people who are actually addicted to exercise.
Last week it was hot, hot, hot here in St. Louis. I'm talking about "just going outside for five seconds to retreive the mail is enough to give one heatstroke" hot. Despite the heat, I've been going to Curves almost every day, and the days when I don't go I either walk/jog early in the morning or late at night (when it's cooler) or at least power walk the halls at work (I work in a very long building, with a lot of hallways, it's quite a walk). "Walk/jog" is what I've been calling my "5K Running for Rookies Training Program" workout...you walk for 4 minutes, then jog for one minute, then repeat. I love my walk/jogs!!!!
On July 4th, Curves was closed. I did a little walking, but not enough. Then on the 5th, I had one of those crazy days when nothing goes according to schedule, and somehow I missed out on going to Curves. The time just slipped away from me. I spent the day cranky & irritable, but didn't know why. I figured I was just in a bad mood because of the heat.
The culmination of that day was something I've been excited about for WEEKS, my friend took me to go see the new Spiderman movie for my birthday (which was in June, but the Spiderman movie didn't come out until July 3rd). Besides getting to spend quality time with my friend, I freaking LOVE SPIDERMAN!!! I love all superheroes, but I have special places in my heart for Spiderman and Batman. Anyway, all day I was like a little kid, "is it time yet? How about now? Is it time to go to the theatre yet? When will the movie start???" Finally the time arrived, and I was sitting in the cushy seats with my friend, watching the opening credits. And squirming. And finding myself sighing and restless. I spent the whole movie with my mind only half on the movie, and half feeling restless and "something is just not right." After the movie, when I looked around the mall, I realized what it was: I was just itching to get some of this energy out! "Hey," I blurted, "want to go mall-walking with me?" My friend looked at me dubiously and said "why?" I explained about my restlessness and that once around the mall is a mile. She's a pretty laid-back individual, always game to try something new, so she shrugged and said "OK, why not?" and off we went. After twice around the mall, she was pooped, but I felt great! I could've run around the mall three more times! I said "ah! I feel better than I've felt in DAYS!!!" She looked at me in that knowing way she has and said, "Chana, you're addicted to exercise."
"What? What the heck does that even mean? No, I'm not! That kind of stuff is for ATHLETIC types, I'm just a regular, out-of-shape middle aged woman!" I protested. She said "yes, you are...you're addicted to the rush of endorphins that are released when you exercise!" I continued to argue, "but when I exercise, I don't feel great! I feel hot, and sweaty, and sometimes I feel like my heart is going to explode. My muscles hurt and I feel like crap!" She smirked at me in that all-knowing way and said "ah, yes, but how do you feel *afterwards*?"
I stopped in mid sentence. I knew she had my number. I *am* one of "those" people. The people who claim "I just don't feel right when I don't exercise." The people who need their daily "fix" like a junkie craving a high. I thought back to February, when I rejoined Curves again after several years absence...back then, I went to the gym maybe once a week. Sometimes I skipped a week or two. But then in April, after Passover was over and life started to take on its regular pace again, I started going more often. Now I find myself at Curves almost every day (except Saturdays and Sundays), and when I'm not there I am either thinking about it, or I'm riding my bike or power walking around my neighborhood, or dancing to the radio. I have so much more energy, it's overflowing and forcing me to move! Even when I first get off work in the morning and I'm so tired I can barely move, my only complaint is that I *have* to sleep first before I will have strength to get moving again!!! Then, when I wake up from my nap, I bounce out of bed and my first thought is always "OK, good, now I can go walk/go to Curves/do Zumba/ride my bike," etc.
When did that happen? It was a gradual change, I can't pinpoint when it happened. But my only complaint about this recent heat wave was that it limited my ability to go, go, go! I had to schedule walks for times when I wouldn't fry instantly like eggs on a griddle when I walked outside. It was inconvenient.
But this week the heat wave is over...it's hot and sunny (interestingly, "sunny" is not my favorite weather) but it's not unbearable. And now I can walk/jog/dance to my heart's delight :-)
Changes are coming, slowly and steadily. I'm changing from the inside out. My clothes fit better, that's true, but what I really celebrate is the return of my energy and spirit. And now, I've got to go, that walk/jog isn't going to take itself!