Wednesday, June 21, 2006

When Everything is Working Out

Much to my surprise, I've been working out. At a gym. Regularly. Sometimes twice a day. I even get up early. Anyone who knows me would probably have been taken aback about five times in those last five sentences. Or as my sweetie puts it, "Who are you?"

Two things prompted this unusual turn of events: my friend Kat was looking for a workout buddy, and I was a bit spooked by my birthday. I'm usually not freaked out by getting older -- I have plenty of fantastic role models of women in their 40s, 50s, 60s who are rocking and fabulous and getting better all the time. Back when I turned 30, I'd actively welcomed it. But this year, I had a sense that I needed to get serious about the things that are important to me. And my health made the list, perhaps for the first time.

I'm completely fascinated by the whole process: what my body tells me, what my brain tells me, what my emotions tell me. I've discovered that I don't have to talk myself into working out -- my body knows what it's doing. I just have to avoid talking myself out of it.

After 30 some-odd years in charge, I think my brain is finally learning how to share. Instead of chattering about how bizarre it is that I'm at a gym, it's sending supportive messages like, "It's so cool that you're even here!" when Pilates makes me want to cry. (Or, as it happened, actually made me cry.) And it reminds me to laugh when a belly dance move has me all kerfuffled or I'm tripping over my completely-inappropriate-for-salsa-class running shoes.

For a goofball like me, the only way to take working out seriously is not to take it too seriously.


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