I choose movement

Photo credit Dorey Kronick

I was a swimmer growing up. On land I'm not very coordinated, but put me in water and I'm at home. I never thought of it as exercise. It was just a part of who I was and what I did. I was on swim team at the YMCA as a kid and swam on a team through high school. Then that was the end. I was never good enough to swim in college and then life got in the way.

In college I would occasionally do work out videos with roommates. Buns of steel anyone?! I had a bike that I used to get around town after college, but that was probably the extent of my exercise. Then I shattered my leg in a car accident and it took me over a year and five operations to get back up on my feet.  

After that I think I was afraid, even though my doctor told me I could do anything, except jump out of an airplane. Finally, thanks to my roommate, I started going to the gym and walking. I also really wanted to at least run a block in case someone was chasing me and so I tried to run. I wasn't very good at it. 

I moved to Chicago in my late twenties and I'd take walks with a co-worker over lunch. I discovered yoga. I started doing yoga a few times a week and I began to gain strength and confidence. Then I got back in the pool. That was like my gateway drug to exercise. I started going to the gym and taking classes. A friend and I would use the weight machines. Something I had always been afraid to do. I felt strong in my body. It was a wonderful sensation. 

About seven years ago I just stopped. I kind of stopped with life. It has taken me a few years to figure out what was going on with myself mentally and physically. During that time I didn't move much. I'd ride my bike if it was to go somewhere in the neighborhood, but that was about it. 

Over the last year I started doing yoga. Last month I joined a gym and got back in the pool. I almost didn't make it to the gym because I didn't want to have the conversation. You know- why are you joining the gym, what do you want to get out of this, blah blah blah. I didn't join the gym to lose weight, which was very hard for the sales guy to let go of. He made a point to show me the machines that would help me lose weight fast. He kept pushing the trainer on me, even though all I wanted was the pool. 

I don't want to exercise. I want to move my body. Coming to that realization was huge. I want to move my body in ways that make it happy. Some days that means jumping in the pool, or getting on the yoga mat. Some days that means doing some stretching and maybe some planks.

When I let go of the idea that exercise leads to weight loss I was left with my body wants to feel good. That right there is a revelation. My body wants to feel good.

So, today I choose movement in whatever form my body desires.

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