Monday, May 19, 2008

Worshipping at the Altar of Fitness

I just got back from the gym and am happily sipping my protein shake, thinking God’s in His heaven, All’s right with the world.

Now for the confession:
This was my first time there in at least six weeks. Maybe longer.
I used to go straight to the gym as soon as I dropped off the kidlets at school, as if on auto-pilot. But then we started Remodeling (note the capital R). Not just a little painting and refurbishing, but full-scale, gut-the-entire-basement, tear-down-walls-and-put-up-new-ones Remodeling.

The workers usually showed up just as I was leaving.
At first I was so diligent and unswerving.
“Go ahead and get started. I’ll be back in an hour,” I’d call cheerfully on my way out the door, happy to be free of the dust and debris for awhile. But it seemed like they always needed me to answer questions, look at samples, approve an invoice, stare them down. And my perceived window-of-workout was over for the day.

Pretty soon I just gave up. Quit going to the gym completely. Settled into a comfy I’ll-head-back-to-the-gym-when-this-remodeling-mess-is-all-over routine. And somehow along with my resolve to work out went my resolve to eat sensibly. (Read: I started eating like a pig.) Case in point: The other day I walked into this favorite little bakery and mentally noted that every single person going in or out was morbidly obese (no exaggeration). Did that stop me from buying and devouring two mini-eclairs? No. Sugar was my new best friend. In six weeks I gained as many pounds. And probably twice as many inches. Miserable.

So today I had not a single worker scheduled.
I should have been elated. I should have run to the gym as fast as my chunky little thighs could carry me there. But instead I had to FORCE myself to go back.

Strange. I started to feel like someone who hadn’t been to church for awhile. Like I knew I wasn’t living the way I should. And I didn’t want the regulars to start asking any questions about my habits. Now that I've lapsed into inactivity. I just wanted to slip inside unnoticed, without having to look anyone in the eye, answer to anyone. But at Curves that isn’t possible. I would have to face them, all in a circle, as soon as I walked in the door. My former friends. The ones who never miss. I wasn’t sure my bread-dough belly and I were ready for that.

But I went anyway. I scanned my card at the front desk.
“Workouts this month: One.” Impressive.
(Generous of them to count the one workout I hadn't quite begun.) I tried not to look at anybody. Impossible. But they were all so friendly and wonderful. Glad to see me. Not accusatory or incriminating. Just happy I was back. And (surprisingly) happy to hear about the remodeling. The hour on the circuit seemed to fly by. And it felt great. My muscles thanked me. My mental health thanked me. I’m back into full activity.


Kimberly said...

Hee hee! I just recently started an exercise program as well. I call it "Moving Whilst Married to a Man too Prideful to Ask for Help." I lost 3 pounds this week!

Good for you for going back!

charrette said...

Oh, Kimberly, I HATE moving! I'd rather do penance at the gym any day! Bless you!

Marie said...

So is this a guilt trip? I haven't had a second to ride or walk or anything -- and havent' had the desire either, just waiting for the weather to warm up. The pool is open and amazing. Yesterday I jumped in around 10:00 and started swimming laps and was really in heaven. Then, as I was swimming I started thinking aobut everything that needed to be done -- especially sprinkler repair at the 4 plex's so I literally had to drag myself out of the pool. It was like I had gone through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia and didn't want to come back!!!

Anne Bradshaw said...

Exercise NEVER fits itself into my day unless I force it to happen.

Later, I'm always glad I went walking, but stopping to do "one more urgent thing" before I go, is sometimes too much to resist.

Gunfighter said...

Well it could be worse, I suppose. I injured my knee last June, and after my surgery, I am just starting to work out (lightly) again. It's going to be a long road back, for me.

Brillig said...

Okay, I can't even tell you how much I admire you for this. And I've heard good things about Curves, but this post makes me want to go sign up right this second. Very cool!

Becky said...

I read your blog on Worshiping at the Altar of Fitness and was so glad to hear that someone else feels the way I do. I was so good for 2 whole weeks (which by the way is amazing for me, Miss PTA). I went everyday and walked my 5k and was feeling quite good about life... that is until life came back at me and bit me in the bum. Too busy at my usual workout time, I just plain and simply didn't go, because after you have showered, it's hard to go get sweaty, gross and disgusting again. Anyway, you were right. After not being there for now 2 weeks, I feel like I skipped church to stay home and take a nap. I thought I might take up the cross again tomorrow and try and get to the gym before I go to my parents house. I will still feel guilty, but resolved to try again.