Phew. Back to the gym after a three day sabbatical. Back induced but well timed to accommodate the first few days of my Clean 9 when calorie intake is low and you feel quite tired. With day 3 comes a rush of energy…and it’s a relief to be heading to SNAP at lunchtime.
I like going to the gym. I can see why some people don’t…subjecting themselves to gruelling cardio sessions, legs and arms swinging wildly like a string puppet on the cross trainer, pedalling furiously to themselves…head down…elbows and forearms locked against the bars…poised like they are going for the yellow shirt…until the track on the iPod ends and they are still there. There. Getting nowhere. It’s hard to keep motivated.
Don’t get me wrong I actually quite like the treadmill and it’s pretty much the same story I guess…all the motion but no finish line. I’d rather be out on the road running though…that I love. Partly because I’m nosey. My eyes are alive when I’m out running. Choosing my lottery buy when I pass the big houses, admiring cars in middle class driveways, neatly pruned roses in the bungalow gardens, peering in front room windows of terraced houses. And I probably stare. But I don’t care. It makes me smile as I imagine the people behind the red door, the big electric gates, the lace net curtains. I imagine their lives…what they do for a living…where they go on holiday. I feel like I know a lot about an area and a feel for the folk when I run. My world according to me.
But I don’t get much time for proper running…I have to squeeze exercise into my lunch break…and that means I need a shower so the gym it has to be. I joined a while ago but like most folk my direct debit went out of my account more often than I attended. And little H was getting faster “running mad” and she was getting heavier, leaving me out of breath when she insisted on a cuddle all the way up the stairs to bed. I could see myself at the school gates…tired and out of shape…more like a grandma than a Mummy…or worse still. You can’t guarantee a good innings even if you keep fit and eat well but it can help. It certainly improves your odds.
I have built it up slowly but now try to work out five times a week. At the gym or at home…where H joins in. “Can we do exercises Mummy” she says, laying down and doing perfect leg raises. Giggling…and leaping on me when I try to join in. She helps me count the crunches and laughs at my red face. I often do a 15 minute hiit session whilst H is in the bath and as she counts my reps she makes me a Matey cappuccino. She carefully tops it with bubble sculpted mallows, strawberries and flakes with water drop sprinkles…and popping candy! If she ever opens a coffee shop Caffe Nero will miss me.
As far as exercise goes I think I’ve found my thing. And that’s the key. Do what you like doing…enjoy it and you’ll do it more. You can spend hours doing cardio with the fat burning zone taking longer and longer to reach the fitter you get and results plateauing if you’re short on time. With some trial and error I realise I love doing weights. Free weights on a bench. Seeing your muscles working commensurate with the effort you put in. So I mix this up with hiit and circuit style training. Today it was chest, triceps and abs. And as a fellow gym member orders a shake on the way out I feel I need my post workout reward…”I’d love my usual…make mine a Matey-cino!”L