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Soul Food

December 30, 2011

So, I often complain about working out. I complain about it before I do it. I complain about it after I do it, and I complain to myself while I do it. I wish I could say I’m the type of person who laces up their sneakers, or unrolls their mat, and finds inner peace or a mental escape. I don’t. I pretty much count how long I can do it to make it worth it, without having to do it for very long.

It’s a bad attitude.

Now let me tell you. This all changed the day my boss introduced me to Soul-Cycle. He paid for the first lesson because unfortunately it’s $30 a pop + shoe rentals. This reason alone, is why I am not in there everyday. It’s a 45 minute class, which is generally my threshold for working out and it’s AWESOME.

I know that’s super descriptive but honestly, it’s a solid block of serious music, serious energy and serious sweating. It’s arms, it’s core, it’s legs and it’s exactly what I needed to pump off those cookies I nibbled away at last night.

It also doesn’t hurt that I have a secret crush on my instructor. This helps the motivation, but is less great for a love connection as I am generally drenched by the time I walk out, with my hair matted to my forehead. It’s a good look.

Not to sound like a cult member, but beginning Soul-Cycle was the first time since the lacrosse field where I felt like I was building strength while having fun. It introduced exercise to me as something that I could actually enjoy and grow into, something that could become a part of my everyday, a positive part. It also opened me up to trying out other things. I actually know what Yoga instructors are saying when they call out positions in class, and I feel proud after I make it through that extra half mile. I even tried my friend’s Indian dancing class. I mean, come on.

So here I am. A convert. Someone who values how I feel after a good workout, and someone who suddenly appreciates a little bit of soreness the next day. Of course there are days when I don’t want to snap myself onto a bike, or run a ring around the park, and on about half of those days, I don’t. I take a day off, and then, despite myself, I look forward to getting back in the saddle (or bike seat) again. So then I do, and when I do, it feels right. Right in a different way then sitting on the couch, but right nonetheless.

In the new year, I’m not going to vow to lose 10 pounds, or wish for a six pack. I’m going to accept the fact that I may be in a circumstantial relationship with exercise. The circumstance being that I need it to be healthy and to feel good. But beyond that, I am going to remember that I can have a little fun with it too.

So what do you say? Let’s use this new year to find a little calm in our lives, whether it may come in the form of a jog, a stretch, a cycle, or some good old fashioned sit ups.

After the several rounds of musical flip cup I’ll be putting my body through on New Year’s eve, I’ll owe it this.

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