Yep, I’m walkin these days. Morning “power walk” routes, which take me over my daily Fitbit goal of 10,000 steps. So… yay!
After what was probably one of the best Christmases ever, by the time my birthday was over and done with I’d had quite enough of holidays and celebrating… I’d also put on 1.5 kilos of the 5 I lost in September! So it was back to the gym big time. I decided that what I needed was to jump start my metabolism and for the past almost two weeks have been going to the gym every day (except Sundays). Not really sure if it works that way, but an hour of sweating it out on The Bike and light weight-machine workout has to be doing some good. And Sledpress has told me that after getting my heart rate up like that my body burns more calories for several hours afterwards.
In fact, I feel like I’m getting hooked. Originally I was just going to do this for two weeks and then go back to my usual 2-3 times a week routine. And I may have to do that soon if/when work picks up. But instead of plucking up some enthusiasm to get me out the door I find myself planning my mornings so that I can squeeze in my hour at the gym.
Which was an hour and a half ago. Now must dash out to meet a new client. Go me!
Ever since I got my *ahem* iPod Nero it’s been a great alternative to using my mini stereo, which is just as well as it seems it was damaged during the move and the CD thingy no longer recognises when it has a CD in it. But the thing about my iPod is that it’s packed full of music, a lot of which was given to me and isn’t stuff I necessarily what I want to listen to every day, and so – almost four years later! – I got around to syncing it yesterday and creating a couple of playlists. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do this.
I also finally recharged my little clip-on Shuffle (which has been sitting on my desk here since the move) and wore it to the gym. Which was really the reason I bought it in the first place and – oh man! – what bliss not to have to listen to the gawd-awful crap they have blasting there. Not only that, but the music of my choice actually inspired my workout and I didn’t feel like cutting it short just to get away from the throbbing electro beat bullshit that more often than not leaves me feeling stressed out and annoyed. Another positive step.
Now I’m quite looking forward to making a few more playlists and getting better use out of my iPod. Better late than never.
May 4th 2008 was the last day I ever felt “healthy and normal”. The next morning I woke up with excrutiating abdominal pain and the rest, as they say, is history.
Three major operations and two bouts of chemo later, I am in remission and have been since September 2009, but of course the risk of recurrence is always there. This was seriously brought home to me when my friend Gaelen was recently diagnosed with new metastasis after three cancer-free years. Around the same time another friend – my power twin Jed – got sick again and is now facing a treatment-without-cure situation. It’s made it harder for me to go along in my usual state of semi-denial, which makes for a lot of sleepless nights and general emotional upheaval. But mostly I’m okay. Because, as far as I know, I’m still okay.
Anyhow, not trying to be a downer, but anniversaries are always a bit poignant in that “will it be my last??” kind of way. As I’ve said here before, perhaps if I’d made more of an effort to do all The Right Things I’d be feeling less, well, annoyed with myself right now. Every day I wake up determined to eat broccoli and forego wine and spend two hours at the gym, and then … it’s not that I can’t be bothered, but things are never simple and I’ve had lots of stress in other areas of my life and I can’t seem to get it all together at once. As if I have all the time in the world to get it right…
One thing I’ve learned these past three years is to be less judgemental about people who can’t seem to get it together. Well, except for me. Are you very hard on yourself, or are you able to just go with the flow?
Sled, you’re going to love this one.
My gym has recently opened this new workout room For Women Only, which opens off the shower & changing room. Goodness knows what it was before – storage? nothing? This photo shows about 2/3 of the room – there are three other machines to the left. Apparently users of this facility will be given a half-hour routine which will focus on weight loss and getting in shape (so what are the other two floors of machines for?) and, of course, there will be no big smelly men around. Oh, and it’ll cost an extra 5 euros a month.
Current female members can try out this new facility free of charge until May, so I went upstairs this morning to check it out. It was not only small – and purple and pink! – but it also didn’t have most of the machines I use. I couldn’t imagine it being comfortable when full, which would be about six people. So it looks like I’ll be saving that 5 euros a month.
As anyone who does freelance work knows, scheduling is important not only for making sure you have enough time to get your work done, but also for having time to do other things you enjoy. Back when I was only teaching English for a living it was easier to organise my time because I simply worked around the weekly scheduled classes. But since I started “diversifying” the line between work and my own time began to get a bit fuzzy. This is good in a way because it means that I am finally attaining a goal I set for myself over 25 years ago – to have my work be the same as what I would want to do anyhow when I got out of bed in the morning – but it also posed the challenge of making the most of my waking hours…
I am well into my second full gym-rat mode week, which comprises some yoga/pilates, the recumbent bike and the machine routine upstairs, and – as long as my back holds out – I am totally loving this. I’m even a bit bummed about having to spend a week in Málaga this month (more on that later) because I’ll lose a week of gym time. Amazing how easy it is to get hooked. But it is also a time-eater as it takes about two hours of my morning including 20 minutes “there and back” time, though that isn’t really an issue this month…
Carrying on from all these plans I made last August…
I did pretty much stick to that schedule, except I never did start doing the “machine routine”. Still, going to the gym five days a week to do either yoga or pilates and then half an hour on The Bike is a pretty good fitness regimen. But after the new year things started to go askew when my pilates instructor, José Carlos, went off to work at a specialised pilates place and then some time after that (April?) my yoga instructor Ana was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle and ended up with her ankle totally wrecked. And well, I knew that after trying just two pilates classes with the new instructor that she was crap and it wasn’t worth my while going, which meant I stopped going to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But I stuck it out with the new yoga instructor even though I didn’t enjoy her classes because I kept expecting Ana to come back, which I found out isn’t going to happen until September.
Then about a week or so ago (perhaps due to the fingernails?) I decided that I didn’t need a crap yoga class to get me to the gym and that I should become more pro-active about my fitness routine. And so, I have now become a gym rat. I’m all over that place! First I start off with some yoga/pilates mat work and free weights for half an hour, then I do a half hour on the dreaded bike, and this week I am adding another half hour upstairs in the weight room (Manu gave me two machine routines last Friday and showed me what to do).
I reckon I’ll go back to the Mon-Wed-Fri yoga classes when Ana comes back in September, and do my new routine Tues-Thurs-Sat, just to mix things up a bit. Also, I do really enjoy Ana’s classes and feel good after them. But the rest of the summer I’ll be working out on my own. Go me!