Monday, November 7, 2016

Cutting corners

I despise formal exercise. DESPISE it. Funny, because in my late teens and for most of my twenties, I loved a good gym session or workout class. In the early nineties, I started with step classes, then I tried mixing it up a bit with the occasional cardio-funk class (which was more like a dance class than anything else - ie, FUN)!

Not long after our move from Perth to Sydney in the mid-nineties, Mr A and I joined a gym. I continued my step classes for a bit there, but then turned to cardio and weights workouts until I realised I preferred the structure of classes. Circuit classes were my workout of choice - I could move from station to station doing various exercises and before I knew it, the hour was up. Perfect.

After the birth of Eldest Son, my only form of exercise for a long time was walking. I did a LOT of walking with him, taking him out in the pram most days, and that pretty much continued once Middle Son came along two years later. My arms maintained their tone due to all the lifting I did with my babies. In the car, out of the car. In the bath, out of the bath. In the cot, out of the cot. In to the high chair, out of the high chair. You get the picture.

However, after Youngest Son was born, time was of the essence and conflicting sleep times coupled with Eldest Son commencing school meant that the time to exercise became less and less accessible. Before too long I realised that my body wasn't returning to my pre-pregnancy weight like it had after my first two sons were born. What a shock that was. I was always one of those annoying people that could eat pretty much anything they wanted and never gain a single ounce of weight. Not anymore, people.

I tried joining a gym once after all three boys were in school, but I didn't like it. It wasn't me anymore. There's nothing more boring to me than working out in a gym amongst other sweaty people - it's just not fun and I found the hour I was there dragged along. I soon realised that I'm not a 'formal exercise' kinda gal. Not anymore, anyway. When I'm exercising, I don't like it to feel like I'm exercising, you know?

So, I tried other stuff. Like a ladies tennis clinic. I'd always loved playing tennis and always, in truth, dreamt of playing weekly tennis once my munchkins were all in school. After our move to the northern beaches in 2013 however, my tennis playing soon fell by the wayside. I had intended to join a local club (there's a great tennis club right by the beach I coveted - location, location, location), but getting a spot in one proved more difficult than I realised.

However, I was also playing weekly netball by then too and decided to keep that up. Which, at first, I did until, that is, I hurt my ankle and started to get some pain in the other one. (Hello, forties...!) I wasn't keen on injuring myself any further and besides, by then our team had changed and we'd moved to another comp where the really competitive netball players came out to play. I was there for fun - and at first it was fun - but I soon realised that perhaps not everyone else took it quite so casually as I did. Five minutes in to our very first game in the new comp, one of our players went down, hitting her head as she did. I immediately stopped, as did most of our team, but a player on the other team, after seeing our team mate fall, ran past our fallen player and shouted, 'PLAY ON!' Well, okay then. I'm out.

These days, my workouts include walking the dog and SUP - both of which feel more like enjoying life than exercising. When I can't do either of those though, I sometimes do The 7 minute Workout - a high intensity workout consisting of exercises you can do at home (I use the app on my phone). I try to do at least two of the workouts at a time (so, 14 minutes in total). I love that it's quick and NOT in a gym. But of course, getting outside is my preference. (And on rainy days, I can walk on our treadmill at home - but that's definitely my last resort option!) Oh, and I still dance in my kitchen like it's a night club on occasion too. (Thank you, 90s Digital Radio Station!)

I like my new 'workout' routine. It feels a bit like I'm cutting corners, which actually pleases me no end. Life's too short to spend it in a smelly gym. :)