Over the past few years, I’ve been struggling with what constitutes a healthy level and balance of exercise. It’s one of those things that is easy to do once you have a rhythm or schedule, but so easy to stop as soon as you miss a day. For years I’ve tried to be healthy; eat well, exercise and sleep (coughs sheepishly)…but most of those things never really felt like they worked for me. I even contemplated getting a gym membership at one point, but I knew that that was only a dream. Well for starters, a gym membership would require a level of commitment that I could barely maintain with my already full schedule and secondly, gym memberships aren’t really the kind of expense you’d want to have in the midst of a global crisis.
One thing I found kind of useful was my smart phone, specifically the app store of my smart phone. With our world becoming increasingly more digital (This started years before the great human hibernation of 2020), fitness/health apps are finding their way onto our phones, watches, fridges and so when you think about it, it’s kind of becoming much harder for someone to be unhealthy. So I got an app, specifically 3 apps to build up core strength, flexibility and improve cardio. Of those 3 apps, one was for Yoga.
Now up until recently, I was definitely not the type of person to hop on the Yoga bandwagon. There is nothing wrong with it, but I never really saw myself as the type of person who would do that sort of thing, until I did. It was hard. I’m not sure how other people find trying a new exercise regime without any prior practice, but for me it was hard (I almost wanted to cry…emphasis on almost). I remember thinking that my body is not designed to be manipulated in that way, and lets forget about the sore muscles that lasted over the next week.
I rested, thought about whether I wanted to do it again and my first thought was “NEVER AGAIN!”. My next several thoughts were pretty much the same. I don’t like to believe in instant gratification, but like a lot of people who want to be healthy and try to exercise or be just slightly more active…pain is a major deterrent. Knowing that by giving up, I would just fall into the old (safe) habits, I had to decide how serious I am about my personal health and well-being and how far I would be willing to go.
Most of us don’t like pain, we don’t like getting hurt. We want to be like the healthy attractive people in the media who go to the gym for a few hours, barely work up a sweat and then go out and have fun…maybe go out for a latte after. They make it look so easy. Then when you try to do the same and the outcome is less than flattering, you feel stressed, upset, depressive emotions, as if you are a failure. It’s easy to forget that we don’t start out perfect at everything, and that before we can run, we must first learn to crawl.
Exercising regularly was difficult, especially using a dynamic exercise regime that changes daily. The first month felt like nothing changed and kind of pointless, but I persevered. I’d either use all my fitness apps or just one and workout on the days I could. I started to form a habit, gradually I could feel myself becoming stronger. What used to cause me immense pain became barely an inconvenience.
From the experience, I realised I could apply this to other aspects of my life. You never know something unless you try and even if you fail…fail with grace. Even though I can kind of do yoga now (I have nowhere near the level of confidence needed to brag about my yoga skills) I can look back fondly at all the mistakes I made until I made it to this point. I can better appreciate all that I’ve achieved and all the minor steps I took to make it to this point. So even though the gyms are closed, I’m still going to exercise. I’m still going to try to be healthy and continue to push myself to work harder because that’s what’s best for me. Plus I have wonderful friends and I’m part of an amazing community that looks out for each other.
As for this Mother’s Day weekend, I’m going to spend it having home-made pizza and cake with my mom.
(PS. If you would like me to put up recipes and images of the pizza’s in future posts, please let me know. I’ll also be doing a special post soon as thanks to my mom. I hope everyone else has a great Mother’s Day weekend, even with restrictions)