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The Gym: Love, Hate and Idiots

I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. I love the results, hate the effort. I'm by no means a lazy person, but I've never been good at physical activity and so I procrastinate about it most of the time. Getting older hasn't helped that effort. I'm sore for longer, my joints hurt (I have the world's worst knees) and I'm perpetually annoyed by idiots at the gym.


I've done Zumba for something like 13 years now. I do enjoy that because I love to dance. There are also a couple of excellent instructors I've followed all over the place as they moved from gym to gym. For anyone who says they can't do Zumba because they have no rhythm, that's like saying you can't do yoga because you're not flexible.


Strength training is also something I've done fairly consistently. I find pumping iron very empowering. Believe it or not, I used to have some pretty defined muscles, but that fell off during Covid lockdown. I couldn't work out wearing a mask for longer than 15 minutes. Now that Texas has lifted guidelines, I'm getting back to it, but it's been a struggle without my long-time trainer (whom I can't afford anymore right now).


WIthout the trainer to give me instructions, I flounder around the weight area without a good plan for my workout. That's on me, I know. I need to plan better. You'd think after all those years with a trainer, I'd have a better idea of what the hell I'm doing.


Also, I enjoy boxing and yoga. Boxing is a huge stress-reliever (and useful when you're in scary places with questionable characters). Yoga is good for so many things: mind/body balance, sleep, stress, digestion and flexibility. If you're doing it correctly, you should feel like you've gotten a good workout afterward.


Now let's talk idiots: there are the ones who hog the machines while scrolling through their phones, the ones who don't wipe down the equipment after they've sweated all over it, the ones who play loud music, the ones who grunt and scream (yes, gyms have actually had to post warnings about this, along with dropping the weights) and the ones who don't rerack their weights. And don't get me started on the ones who crowd me in Zumba class. I WILL run you over with my salsa moves.


Looking back on this post, there are more things than I thought I liked about working out. So what to do about embracing the love and diminishing the hate? Make a plan for the workout and stick to it. Turn negative thoughts into empowering thoughts (i.e. I love how I feel after a workout rather than I hate dragging myself to the gym). And finally, learn to ignore the idiots. At least they're trying to be healthy, bless their hearts. Just rerack your damn weights!


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