I should exercise more. I have at least a hundred excuses of why I don’t exercise more and many have truth to them. When it gets right down to it there are so many other things I would rather do than exercise.
My favorite fitness pals are always an inspiration and encouraging me. Maybe I need to find something I love to do. I probably should get up earlier to get it done at the beginning of the day. I need to remember how good I feel when I’ve completed a work out. That’s all true, but how do I move past the idea of exercise stressing me out. It becomes one more demand that obviously has health benefits, but it doesn’t make me feel good the way it does some of my friends.
The past four days, I was in Florida for work. The weather part of it was heavenly. Sunshine on my face. Warm air on my skin. Toes peeking out of my shoes. The work part of it was exhausting. Being on my game from 7:00 a.m. well into the evening is draining. Each night, I made it out for a starlit walk. There was no obvious sweating and it wasn’t a huge distance.
I made the walk with friends. In spite of my introversion and desire to retreat from the constant interactions of the day, it felt good to be with people who didn’t care if I was on my game. Someone who wanted to laugh. Someone who was okay with the common ground found in silence. I needed that time to deeply breath in the fresh air. I equally needed to exhale the troubles of the day.
Three long walks made me realize I must stop worrying about burning calories and start taking care of myself. While I didn’t have long sleep, I slept incredibly well. My hip that has been sore has started feeling better. (I swear between it and my shoulders all of my stress is stored in those spots.)
As the plane took me from 85-and-sunny to 8-and-snowy, I realize every walk can’t be one filled with fresh air or laughter, but I can have a ritual of cleansing breaths.
I also see that what made my walks deliciously good was that I found myself fully accepted by those around me. Perhaps the lesson is that when I exercise alone, I need to do it with self-acceptance. Instead of going in it thinking it is a punishment for not being as good as I should be, but as an opportunity to relinquish myself of the stressors in life and let them go with laughter, even if it is just me laughing to myself.