I decided to sign up for an intro to Pilates course. Holy hamstrings it’s tricky. I’m no stranger to quad burners and lunges, but try lowering your leg half an inch off the floor while your spine stays aligned and you do a combination of kegels and deep breathing. It’s ridiculously hard.
It’s also amazing. It combines the muscle grinding of my cardio and weights classes, with the mental relief of yoga.
To be clear, a gym bunny I’m not. I’d way rather be having afternoon tea or reading a good book on my sofa. But I find that exercising is the best thing I can do when my mood is low. I’m surprised the gyms are not busting at the seams right now to help us with our collective misery. They ought to be offering a discount.
When I started this habit, I went to bed wearing my gym clothes. That way, I had no choice but to go as soon as I dropped the kids at school or risk looking like a sloth all day. Now, it’s more ingrained. I’ve inadvertently ended up at the gym when intending to run another errand since it’s all on autopilot now.
When I read the quote above by Danielle LaPorte, I think about the mind over circumstances required to exercise when in a funk. I get it. I get it. I get it. But I maintain it’s also the best thing you can do. It’s an excellent first step. Just put on a t-shirt, leggings, and shoes. Join a class. Stand at the back. Do what you can.
And, when you have the energy, chat to the others at the back. A lot of them are there for the very same reasons. I’ve found more spiritual soul sisters at the gym and yoga studio than in any formal place of worship I’ve tried.
I’m also looking for new types of exercise: barre, yogilates, jumping up and down. Do you find exercise a help or a hindrance? What do you find works for you?