For as long as I can remember I have loved to exercise. I genuinely believe it is the key to health, fitness, general happiness, and I just actually love sport! But like everyone else I have off days too.
I recently ran my first 10k race of this year and right up until the starting whistle blew I did not feel the energy to run that day. I did not have my normal excitement or that pre-race build up that normally occurs at these events. BUT, as soon as I crossed that start line and I set my race pace I felt my runner’s bug kick in. The anticipation of getting to the finish line and seeing if you’ve made a PB, or the thrill of pushing yourself way beyond your normal limits and achieving something alongside the thousands of other runners who are likely sharing your same thoughts is an incredible feeling!
NO, I do not feel like this on a normal evening run! However every run pushes you further and gets you out in the fresh air, clears your thoughts from the day and leaves you feeling refreshed. I love that all I have to think about for an hour or so is to inhale, exhale, and stride a bit further. That feeling will never change and if I get a new PB every so often then even better!
Due to various unexpected work commitments amongst other things over the past few months I have had my longest hiatus from the gym that I can remember. I have felt guilty for each time that I did not make it. This was not only an emotional guilt but also the ache my body felt that with each week I was not getting stronger/fitter or rehab-ing my own injuries. I was truly disappointed not to have gains but how could I if I didn’t do the work? I returned (twice!) this week (and the week isn’t even over yet!) and boy the sense of satisfaction returned instantly.
There is something special about committing to your attendance, making it into the gym environment, and completing your weights session. I love the feeling of lifting heavier within my session (always in competition with myself) and I swear my muscles looked bigger before I left the gym floor! Yes it’s a vanity thing (we are all human!), but I also feel better when I’m at the gym. You don’t require any real thought processes, just go in, lift and get the job done. Having gotten my gym mojo back 100% I can’t wait to get started on my new programme. Whatever your goals are having a plan to look forward to is key.
As a pilates teacher I spend most of my time writing new class plans and ensuring that I can give something new every time I teach. Recently though I’ve spent more time on my own practise and it’s lovely to just be on my mat for myself, doing what exercises my body needs whether this is to work on certain areas, stretch a little more, or just flow from one move to the next. I’ve been combining my pilates practise with some yoga and creating my own pilates/yoga flow. It has reminded me that my own practise should come first and only then can I appreciate what I am teaching to others. Practise what you preach as they say.
After a longer than intended reflection here I think we sometimes need to go off course to appreciate our efforts and achievements fully, and the only thing that really matters is that you get started again!
How has your current exercise routine been going? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!