Yes, I’m back in the saddle again here at Down the Scale. And by that I mean I’ve found my motivation again. After a summer of slacking off on exercise and healthier eating, I feel like I’m finding my rhythm again. With my kids back in school, I have a little more time to work on my goals which include writing more, exercising more, and finding new healthy recipes. This week, let’s talk about exercise!
This morning I was up at the ungodly hour of 5 AM to get ready for a 6 AM spin class. Crazy, right? My long time supporter, encourager, and occasional drill sergeant, aka my friend, N., suggested I try a spin class she enjoyed. Although the start time was insane, I was interested right away. The last time I did a spin class was five years ago. I think I was about 60 pounds heavier than I am now back then, so while I wasn’t at my heaviest weight, it still was daunting taking that class. Actually exercising at any point during my obese years was terrifying. Watching healthy weight people run, spin, and lift weights seemingly with ease, was intimidating. During our seven years in Florida I did go to the YMCA to exercise, but it never felt easy or worthwhile. And I throughly admit some days I walked on the treadmill just to have a break from my kids who were in the Kid Zone.
I did spin class for a few months in Florida before we moved back to San Francisco and yes, although I was still intimidated by the athletic people, I did like it. In spin class when they tell you to turn the resistance up to a five, your five might be someone else’s two, but it doesn’t matter. You’re on your own bike and riding it at your pace. No one is going anywhere anyway! And while I couldn’t stand up (ride out of the saddle) for long, I always tried.
When I started running a few years ago it reminded me a bit of spin class. When I run outside it’s at my own pace. I don’t have to adjust a treadmill to go the speed I want. I listen to the music and I am only responsible for myself. Spin class is similar with its fast paced music and the ability to control your own experience. I loved this class also because the teacher was positive without being over the top, encouraging when needed, and didn’t shame anyone about their pace or effort. I’ve taken group classes where I feel embarrassed about my lack of abilities, and fortunately this morning this wasn’t the case.
In fact, the teacher gave me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. She was helping me set up my bike and she said, “You look athletic.” I almost grabbed her and kissed her. Me, athletic? Never in my 47 years on this earth, have I heard that phrase. It’s only in the past year or two that I’ve called myself a runner. Well, OK, world, you know what, I will add athletic to the list of things that I am! It may seem silly, but saying the thing you want to be out loud is quite life affirming.
Perhaps I’m still enjoying the endorphin high from exercising, but adding a new activity to my healthy lifestyle makes me feel powerful and positive. Getting back to taking care of my body and soul is a good focus for the fall. I am working on writing more and finding new healthy recipes, both which I’ll share next week. I hope you’ll find something new, or even an old activity, to enhance your life. Please share them with me as I look forward to sharing my story here at Down the Scale…