Monday, November 8, 2010

Beautiful focus

Today was Lily's first swimming lesson.  I have a feeling she is going to ADORE swimming lessons.  I was a bit nervous about how she would do since she tends to be pretty shy.  Guess I shouldn't have worried though!  She took to it like you wouldn't believe.  Not sure if that's just because she loves the water or if it's partly because the instructor was a young, fairly attractive guy named Rob.  I spent the entire 30 minutes terrified, she spent the entire 30 minutes having a blast.  The pool is deeper than Lily is tall.  For the kids as small as Lily and her two classmates, they put this white, plastic-pipe platform into the water.  It looks pretty flimsy to me, like all it would take for it to topple over is a kid being off-balance.  The other two students clung to the pipes while Lily danced around, bounced up and down, and did anything but hang on!  She was in her groove and nothing was stopping her!  It was really fun to see.  Rob took turns with each of the kids, teaching them to lie back with their heads on his shoulder, to float, to kick and paddle.  He'd come and get one of the other kids and as soon as he got back and put the current kid up on the platform, Lily would leap into his arms for her turn!  I'm pretty sure she got way more than her fair share of turns and time with the teacher!  Kind of made up for the other little girl, who spent the entire time clinging to the pipes and crying for her mom.  I'll have to get pictures next time to share!

On to what I want to talk about tonight.  Working out is not a beautiful thing.  Seriously, I think I sweat more than what is humanly possible.  By the time I'm done working out, I've sweat so much that it looks like I've wet my pants.  It's just that bad!  I used to worry about this.  Not anymore.  If people look at me funny, I don't really notice anymore.  I'm there to sweat and they are too.  If they have time to look around and judge me for that, they aren't working out hard enough!  Which is really kind of hypocritical of me to say because I love spending my workout time watching the people.  And yeah, I do judge.  Mostly, I judge on whether or not someone is attractive or interesting.   A little update for all of you...the woman at the gym who is 100 lbs dripping wet and has D-implants is now sporting a baby bump.  It's an odd look to have boobs that big with a big belly underneath and sticks everywhere else!  Anyway, back to the beauty of working out.  Even after this challenge and starting to establish working out as a new habit, it's still not easy.  Some days, it's hard to get myself going.  It can take quite a bit of talking myself into going before I actually make it to the gym.  So here's the truth that I've come to...there is no beauty in working out.  Working out is hard, sweaty, mind-numbing work.  No one really enjoys working out.  Those people who tell you that they love running?  They're lying.  They don't love running.  Not really.  But....they do love the feeling that running brings.  And even I'm at that point now.  I don't love working out, but I do love the feeling I get afterward.  That feeling is BEAUTIFUL!  Seriously.  Before I go to the gym, my body is sore, my muscles are weary.  When I get to the gym, it takes me a while to warm up.  I have to keep my focus short.  There is absolutely no way I would be able to log in 60 minutes on the elliptical if I focused on that 60 minutes.  For the first 10 minutes, I focus on the 10.  Once I reach 10, I focus on the 15, which is about when I'm starting to feel loosened up and actually into the workout, like I can keep going.  At 15, I start focusing on 20.  At 20, most days, I switch to using the elliptical in reverse mode to work my muscles a little differently.  I focus on the 40.  At 40, I go back to exercising forward and I focus on the 50.  At 50, I focus on the 60.  I can never focus past the current 10-minute increment that I'm in.  I just can't.  If I did focus on the end, I think I'd probably give up and quit a whole lot sooner.  So I focus on the 10 and tell myself that I can keep going, I can do it.  Good workout music is a huge key too.  The quicker the beat, the faster I can go.  My favorites right now for working out....The E.N.D. by Black Eyed Peas (fantastic beat for working out, even if they aren't one of my favorite bands to listen to) and The Twilight Soundrack, which has some good high-energy songs as well as some slower ballads.  Twilight is my choice for the days when I need to take it a little slower.  BEP is my choice when I know I can push myself a bit, add in a challenge.  They both keep me going.  And before I know it, those 10 minute increments add up and I've reached the full 60 minutes and can hop off the machine to go shower.  That's where the beauty comes in.  The beauty in working out is the feeling at the end.  The feeling of pride in what your body has done.  The feeling of muscles that have been worked and loosened up with exercise.  The feeling of relief that you're finally done with torturing your body with exercise.  That's the beauty of working out.  That's what makes people keep going to the gym and keep running and keep moving.

My point tonight....don't fool yourself into believing that some people find it easy to go and workout.  It's not easy.  Finding the motivation, the energy, the mental focus to go and workout.  Not easy at all.  But, once you get used to feeling that beautiful feeling at the end of working out, it does get a little less difficult.  We all still struggle sometimes, but making that effort is so worth it when you get that beautiful feeling at the end!


  1. OK...the lady with the "D's" and baby bump and your description of her is cracking me up Cindy.

    I haven't listened to that particular BEP song. I'll have to scope it out for my runs. I do love running as long as I have music. At least 7 miles of the running...over that, it does start to feel a bit like torture. And with no music it can suck the whole way sometimes.

    Keep up the torture and good feels after friend!!!

  2. I'm pretty sure I won't ever be a runner. I'm like you; I like the feeling of working out but not actually working out. :)

  3. Sadly, I am one of the few that LOVES working out, maybe too much...and equally sad I haven't made it a priority for the past year. I felt I needed to understand this d monster first...
    Now it's time to realign a bit :)