After months of taking Saturday and Sunday off from working out, I joined a second gym. It happened on a Tuesday after work, and I spent the next Wednesday morning on the treadmill and then lifting weights. I repeated the same thing on Thursday and Friday morning. And then again on Saturday. I didn't make it to the gym this morning, but I did make it to the gym before 4:00pm.
My reason for joining a second gym was to make up for the days I didn't want to, or couldn't, drive the 30 minutes from my house to the other gym. And I promised myself, as well as my husband and our bank account, that I would spend every single day at the gym - whether it be the gym near my house or the gym close to work.
Today was more difficult. I forgot to set my alarm when I went to bed last night and did not make it out of bed until almost 8am. So, instead of spending at least one hour exercising before eating any real food, I spent an hour exercising later in the day and after having had both breakfast and lunch.
I waited until later in the day, allowing myself time to rest and my stomach time to digest. In the past, I might have waited with this as the reason and then not worried about actually making it to the gym.
But this time, as I have said before, is different. This time I am not going to allow anything or anyone to stop me - including myself.
Still sore from an upper body workout on Saturday, I decided to concentrate on cardiovascular activity. I needed a break from lifting weights, and I wanted to spend the majority of my time burning as many calories as I could.
Saturday, I climbed on the elliptical machine for the first time in months and pushed myself harder than I had in quite some time. The pushing resulted in completing a mile on the elliptical in under 14 minutes. So when I arrived at the gym this afternoon, I made the decision to climb back on the elliptical machine.
I made the conscious decision to start with 30 minutes on the elliptical. Punching in that large of a number was the easy part. Actually completing the 30 minute work out was a different story.
But I did it.
It was relatively easy until I made it to the 15 minute mark. With sweat pouring down my face, I wanted to stop, climb off the machine, and move onto something else. But I didn't. Instead, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I was halfway there.
It happened again at the 20 minute mark. And then again at the 25 minute mark. Finally, after several Britney Spears songs and "Unpretty" by TLC, I finished.
It's a small accomplishment but an accomplishment none the less.
It would have been easy enough to walk into the locker room, grab my bag, and head to the tanning bed. Instead, I cleaned off the machine and made my way to the row of stationary bicycles. Armed with a new book to read and more songs to listen to, I spent the next 25 minutes biking.
The new book I am reading? It's on my mother-in-law read in two days and then suggested I read. Written by Abby Rike, it is a story from a contestant of The Biggest Loser. Never having watched the show, I wasn't familiar at all with the story, but now that I am thirty-seven pages in, I'm finding myself drawn to the story and also remembering that I too have a story.
It's still early in the book, so I have very few thoughts to share about Abby Rike or the road she has traveled. Though I am sure I will have some the further I get into the story. But the one thing I do know is that if she can face the loss of her husband and two children all at once and lose weight then I can too.
So if I hit a wall while exercising I will continue to move forward. If I am sore, I will still go to the gym. Just because I want to eat a Sonic Blast doesn't mean that I will actually do it. And if I am tired, I will still get up in the morning. And after a long day of work, I will still make it to the gym in the evening.
And when I commit to 30 minutes on the elliptical, I will complete it - no matter how difficult it seem at the time. After all, once one work out is complete, the ones that follow will be just the tad bit easier. At least until I make them harder.
(title from "take a bow" by greg laswell)