I love routines. LOVE them. I can get into a routine in two days. And then I look forward to the next day, when I can do it again. It’s flexible, though. I can fall out of a routine just as quickly.
I have some new routines. Doesn’t everyone? It’s the new year, after all! Even if I don’t make "resolutions," there’s a certain clarity that comes with a new year, a fresh slate. A new blank notebook of a year.
And while it’s only the fifth, I’ve already been to the gym three times! That’s a miracle right there. I’d actually canceled the gym a few months ago, after I hadn’t been in SO LONG that it was completely embarrassing. I felt good about the cancellation. Proud of saving money that would be otherwise wasted.
Then I started wanting to start running again. Runagogo has a Ravelry group! 100 miles by April 1st! I had to start keeping up with runagogo-ers (how great is it that it’s taken on a life of its own?). But with the winter light, and me getting to work long before dawn and leaving after night falls, there was no way I was ever going to be able to run on work days (I won’t run at night, no matter how safe the area feels — did it a couple of times and hated it, even with Clara at my side). And I wanted more than just one run on the weekends. So I signed back up with the gym (they’d frozen my account so I didn’t have to pay joining fees again), and I have a new thing now: I run before work. There is no justifying that level of crazy, except to say that getting up at 4 am really isn’t that much more painful than getting up at 4:40. Seriously. It sucks either way. But three times this week I’ve rolled out of bed at four (or a little before — I always wake up before the alarm — highly annoying), fed the cats, put on my gym clothes, grabbed my work bag, and headed out.
The gym is so different at that time of morning. I go to a really huge 24-Hour Fitness in San Leandro, right on the way to work, and it’s usually packed day and night. I like it because EVERYONE goes there. Men, women, gay, straight, every race, every body size, every age. I love that there will be a twenty-year old guy as big as an Oakland Raider wearing a black tank and black running shorts running on a treadmill, and right next to him will be a ninety-year old teeny-tiny Asian woman wearing a full-on pink polyester pants suit, holding her purse with one hand, the rail with the other. (The little old ladies of every race are the ones I love the best — they always carry their purses with them, and they come in pastel-colored flocks. They perch on the weight machines and chatter and then walk very slowly and carefully on the treadmills, gossiping as they go.)
And always, when I’ve been there before, you have to wait for a machine (because the little ladies are gossiping) and people hover behind you, making sure you don’t go over your 20 minute treadmill time limit. But that early in the morning? No one is there! Just me on the treadmill with maybe one or two others, and three or four guys pumping iron, scattered in various areas of the huge room. No one cares how long I’m on the treadmill. I’m the first one in the shower for the day, so the shower and locker room floors are blessedly dry. No one else has been in the locker room with me at all. No one’s in the pool, although I don’t see myself really using that — I know how to swim, but it seems counter-intuitive to work out in an environment which doesn’t support my breathing lifestyle.
I’m doing the Couch-to-5K program, using the awesome Robert Ullrey’s podcast (free from iTunes). He tells you when to run and when to walk, and the music is just my style: gay-bar disco-rific. Erika, you would like this music. Yes, I could do more than this, yes, I could run farther for longer than the program has you start out (jogging for one minute, walking for 90 seconds), but I haven’t been running in months, so I’m starting out again slowly. No hurry. Just want to get there in the end. You know? And it’s nice to not time yourself, to have someone else doing it for you.
So yep. A couple-three times at the gym during my work week, and one longer run outside with Clara on my weekend. That’s the goal. Nothing big, but it’s something.
Plus, I’m eating so damn healthy right now. I’ve eliminated all sources of soy from my diet* for a couple of weeks, and I’m here to tell you, all good things have soy hidden in them somewhere. Even most gum has soy lecithin. It’s everywhere. I am so bored without chocolate and ice cream (and by that I mean Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Ben and Jerry’s, not extra-dark chocolate and organic pumpkin frozen dessert). Gah. I kind of feel like if I’m forced to eat like this, I might as well work out.
But I like my new routine. It feels good. (As does the fact that Lala and I made a bet that the other one wouldn’t go a whole month meditating every day. All right, I guess that’s more of a challenge. But I like to call it a bet. And there might be financial gain in the offing, but that might be anti-Buddha to those Buddhist types, so I won’t mention that part. But I like that new routine a lot, too.)
*I forgot my face soap at the gym one morning and used their soap dispenser instead. Turns out it was Dial Facial Wash Soy & Almond (no label on it). My eye blew up. Go figure.
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