Tag Archives: gym

Chaos on Mute

I woke up at 5:20am this morning to the sound of an awful alarm. My 100-year-old alarm clock recently broke and the radio function doesn’t work so I’ve had to resort to waking up by the sound of a horrific buzzer to get me up. It is very unappealing and not a sound I enjoy waking up to. Nonetheless, I’m up and the day has started. And even though it began with such screeching, ear-piercing sounds, the quiet and calm it has allowed me is undeniable.

I’ve already been to the gym and had a nice full workout so I’m ready to get the day started. I knew there was a good chance my family might be awake when I walked through the door but to my delight, everyone was still sound asleep. I changed out of my sweaty clothes and into my “mom gear”(i.e. yoga pants and a t-shirt). I immediately tackled the pile of dishes in the kitchen sink, which I was too tired to handle yesterday (which normally is so unlike us). Laundry has been folded, more laundry is already started and the dishwasher is ready to run. My library book has been renewed. Birthday gifts are wrapped, lined up for weekend events and camp classmates. My morning tea is by my side as I type to the sounds of news in the background. And, it’s the beginning of a long holiday weekend.

I’ve written about getting up early and having ample time to myself before, but today it seems different. People are here, yet no one is bothering me. No one is asking me to play or if they can take the last $20 in my wallet for parking.  No one needs me to do anything for them right now. This will likely change within the next hour, if not sooner, and I’ll welcome it, but for now, I’m enjoying a house full of love and the chaos on mute.

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Gym Rat

I’ve always been critical of my appearance. I probably say “I’m fat” at least once a day. I’ve done this for as long as I can remember. Some times it’s been true, I was fat. Other times, when I look back at pictures, I think, “What I wouldn’t give to look like that again!”

I like to eat and drink. I enjoy going to great restaurants or house parties and indulging. I don’t overdo it, but I don’t like to think too much about it (even though I probably do). Life is too short to pass up the dips and wine, isn’t it?

I’ve tried fad diets, diet pills and workout DVDs (Billy Blanks has a comfortable spot in my basement). But I’ve always gone to the gym, or at least, I’ve tried. I remember joining the YMCA about 15-20 minutes from my house when I was in high school. I worked out in college, but not really. I mean, certainly not enough to erase the alcohol and Cluck-U chicken I was consuming. When I started working in the city, I worked out near the train station but I’d go in spurts. After a long day, the gym was usually the last place I wanted to be. I joined a few gyms when I lived in Hoboken and then left those when the high-rise I moved into had its own facility. Fast forward to today and I’ve been a member of the JCC for nearly three years now.

Ever since I had a baby, I have tried really hard to stick to a gym routine. There’s only so long you can use the “baby weight” as an excuse. I’m a runner so in the nicer weather, I prefer running outside to a treadmill or indoor track. After hitting a running plateau a few months back, I decided to suck it up (instead of in!) and get a trainer. He kicked my ass and I hurt for days after our sessions, but he taught me how to use machines and hone in on skills that would actually make a difference in my appearance; assuming I integrated his suggestions into my routine.

I’ve always had problems areas. I still do. Tons of them. There are some parts of my body I accepted would likely never change much, like my chicken wing arms or the roll(s) in my belly. Yet, once I targeted those areas, I began to see some results. I’m no bodybuilder, skinny mini, nor am I going to the town pool in my bikini; but I notice a difference since I got into a routine. I try harder, I give more.

They say it takes seven days or 30 days or however long to form a habit. I think for me, the gym has now become a habit. I’m finally, after all these years, seeing some kind of tangible results to the time and effort I put in. I love going to the gym now. Granted, I have my days, but I really like getting a workout in. I feel accomplished, healthy, strong. Even if I don’t do anything else all day, I can say I worked out. I don’t go to the gym every day, but on the days I don’t, I notice myself feeling guilty. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I don’t know, but it’s motivation. So is the fudge I made for a Halloween party and the Chinese take-out we got the other night.

I’m nowhere near perfect and I never expect to be. With a torn meniscus in each knee and a young child at home I have easy excuses to not keep at it, but if anything, those are some of the things that keep me going. Yet, as good as I may feel here and there, I’m still going to ask whoever is listening if I look fat. But hopefully it’ll be fewer times than usual, as long as I keep at it.

Running For My Life

I’m not a runner. I’m actually the furthest thing from a runner. I’m the girl who used to go to the nurse’s office, complaining about heart palpitations when we had to run the mile in middle school. But that all changed over the last few months.

I am a very motivated and dedicated person when it comes to work, family, friends and causes, but when it comes down to doing something for myself, I don’t have quite the same drive. I think a lot of it used to be that I was so busy with work (I work in PR!) and everything that fell in between; then, when I lost my job, I didn’t really know how to manage the free time I had. It took me some time to figure out.

I always wished I could run. I joined the track team in high school and still couldn’t run the mile but I did well in sprinting events and even placed in a race…once. Hey, one time is better than none, right? I stayed with track for a year and never returned. Throughout the years I tried to get into running here and there but it never stuck. Even after moving to Hoboken, which is a fabulous place to run, with the New York City skyline at your back and tons of people watching to keep you from thinking how much further you have to go, I still couldn’t grasp it.

Then, earlier this year, I got motivated. Sick of staring at the same four walls at the gym and longing to enjoy the warm weather that hit during the winter months, I put on my sneaks and ran. I was no Forrest Gump, but I started slowly. I got about halfway through Hoboken and would walk back. Before I knew it, I could run all the way to the PATH and halfway back home. And now, I can do a little more than three miles without fail. Who knows what’s next?

I got proud of myself. I set a goal just for me and achieved it. Not only that, I’m keeping healthy and clearing my head all at the same time. These days, I don’t feel complete unless I go for a run. And next weekend, I’ll run my first 5K – the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge supporting Special Olympics.

The name of the playlist on my iPod that I run to is called Running For My Life. Sometimes I think I should call it Running From My Life, but then I digress and realize that life ain’t so bad. I might not have a job and life can certainly throw some curve balls, but now I know I can achieve things I set my mind to, one goal at a time.

Interested in supporting me or learning more about the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge? Visit: http://bit.ly/9C4MLZ

The Gym is for Working Out, Not Conference Calls

I don’t like the gym, but I go, reluctantly. Once I am there, I feel good about getting off the couch and being active and motivated, and feel even better when I’m done. What I have started hating most about going to the gym: people on their cell phones!

I know we live in an instant gratification society. Everything needs to be right here, right now, when I want it, how I want it, yesterday. But seriously, do you really need to be on the phone at the gym?

When I’m at the gym, I’m reading, listening to my iPod, trying to tune out the world around me. The last thing I want to do is hear your conversation.

You’re probably thinking, “If she’s got her iPod on, how does she hear these people?” Well, these folks don’t know they’re in the gym. They talk like they would talk on the phone at home on in their office. No matter how loud Lady Gaga is blaring in my ears while I’m on the elliptical, I can still hear their conversation (especially when they’re right next to me).

If you want to bring your phone to the gym to play with your Blackberry or listen to tunes on your iPhone, I’m totally down with that. But have some respect for those of us who are there to simply work out; not finish up a conference call or catch up with friends we haven’t talked to in weeks.