It’s a rush, and I try to do it at least twice a week … I squeeze my legs and bum into a pair of 3/4 length leggings, remove my bra and (usually) remember to replace it with another version – that of the sports variety – toss on a loose fitting, moisture-wicking, air-breathing tank top, and cover my feet in socks and runners.
I gather my water bottle, access pass, yoga mat, decide I need to go for a wee, so drop everything again, run to the loo, run back, juggle all my paraphernalia again, and stand at the lifts, jiggling up and down in impatience.
It’s usually about this time someone will wander past, look at me and utter the inevitable
“you’re so good”
Admittedly, admittedly, I suck at taking compliments at the best of times. Although I’m getting better, I struggle very much with someone saying any positive about me, or anything I’ve done, am doing, or am about to embark on. It’s … uncomfortable.
In this instance, however, whilst I may smile and nod, my head is not waving it’s hand and saying “oh, stop it!” in that cutesy way that really means “keep going”.
Instead, it is saying “I don’t care what you think”.
Not a particularly grateful response, I know.
It’s not because I don’t agree – or, now I think about it, not because I agree either.
It’s because, well, two things:
- I’m not doing it for them, so whether they think I’m good, bad, or otherwise is irrelevant
- It’s what they say immediately after that renders it completely, utterly null and void
“I really should …”
Go to the gym…
Go for a walk/run…
Join you for yoga classes…
Get back into exercise…
And in that moment, rather than saying something positive, you’ve justified – to yourself – your guilt about not doing anything for yourself.
For me, what I’m doing, aside from bouncing up and down waiting for the blood lifts to bloody hurry up because I’m already pushing it for time, is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’.
For me, it is nothing more complex than I don’t feel comfortable in the body I’m in right now.
I don’t like that it jiggles as much as it does, I don’t like the limited flexibility and strength it currently holds, and that all these things impeded my ability to do the things that I particularly enjoy doing.
So … urm, basically, I’m doing something about it. For me.
I mean, sure, other people get benefits from it, too. I can do stuff with my kids. My mind, particularly after the lunchtime classes, is more cohesive, calm, and able to function more clearly.
I’m happier, I sleep better, I do all the things that many, many years of research tells us that exercise does for us.
And I know that doing the things I do … the two lunchtime classes, the two taekwondo classes, the walking to the station and home again from the station most nights, and any other walking I can do in between … each week have also reduced my jiggling, and improved my flexibility and strength, helped me sleep better, eat better, think better, have more energy … blah blah blahdy blah.
These things are important to me.
Let me repeat that …
These things are important to ME.
I’m may or may not be more or less busy than anyone else.