Written by Ally Loprete
If you are anything like me, and I doubt it because most people tend to disagree with me on the subject, then you hate working out, too.
In the 35 years that I have been alive, I confess, I hated the task until about 3 months ago. Hated it with a capital H. I would have preferred to swallow glass. Probably the biggest reason I kept my distance from the gym is because I don’t like to sweat. If I didn’t sweat, I could get away with not showering for a few days- and because I have horribly frizzy curly hair that needs to be straightened (no, wearing it curly is just NOT an option for me, don’t even go there), I didn’t have the patience for sweating and thus, I hated working out.
But that is not all. I didn’t understand people who pretended to love it…seriously, I was convinced that they were all just liars. The few times in my life that I did attempt to get physical by joining a gym, I found myself counting the seconds before I would allow myself to stop. I could barely last 5 minutes. Climbing up stairs, riding a stationary bike, or on a fancy shmancy elliptical machine… how in the world did anyone find this fun? It was mundane, it made me lose my breath, it made me sore the next day, and I never really saw a loss in weight. It only seemed to increase my appetite and therefore resulted in a weight GAIN.
People actually liked this? I didn't believe it. I had talked to a few people who told me about the “runners high” from an apparent release of endorphins. Never happened for me, and I admit that I began to wonder if it was all a myth, or perhaps they’d all drank the same Koolade of which I had yet to get my hands on.
But, I am here to tell you that in a strange turn of eventsd, my feelings for the gym have recently changed. No, there was no Koolade, and I did not recently discover some magical berry drink from the depths of the rainforest. The cure for hating the gym? MOTHERHOOD.
I am a proud mamma of two precious little boys: a toddler and an infant. As much as I truly appreciate that I have the opportunity to stay at home with my children, it wasn’t until the second one came that I realized how rare a commodity a nice hot shower was. If I ever found myself able to take one, say after dropping the 3 year old off at pre-school, and perhaps getting the baby to fall asleep, it usually ended up with the baby screaming in mid-shower and me rushing to get the shampoo out of my eyes all the while yelling out to the crying baby- “I know you need your binky, sweetheart. Mommy will be right there!” Think I was going to find a moment to blow dry and straighten my hair then? Forget it.
It wasn’t until I got myself a gym membership, which included child care for a mere $10 more a month per child, that I discovered the silver lining. If I actually worked out a few times a week- I could reward myself with a nice long hot shower, and maybe even have some extra time to pamper myself with a blowdryer and some make-up! Now THAT was worth going to the gym for.
But there were more great discoveries for me just around the corner. I had 2 hours all to myself at the gym- so by gosh, I was going to make the best use of this time. As a mother of 2, time to myself almost seemed like a lost cause up until now. This next little discovery is probably going to make most of you go, “well, duh!” but for me it was like unlocking the secret code to life, happiness, and those mysterious endorphins. Are you ready? Music.
I know, simple, right? But I never actually tried working out to music before.
I love music, and who doesn’t? I had even gone as far as studying it in college. As a singer and a pianist, I had a great love for all types of music and theory. But since becoming a mom, the only music that graced my home and my car was to the tune of “the wheels on the bus go round and round…”
Now with my new found 2 hours of “me time” I was going to allow myself to listen to music that I wanted to hear- anything I felt like! I had forgotten what magical powers music had! Completely behind in the trends, I finally figured out how to download songs to my blackberry. I invested in some itunes, put on my head phones and traveled into another dimension. I was filled with such bliss in my escape, that I almost didn’t realize I had been on the stairmaster for an entire 40 minutes sweating up a storm- and actually enjoying it. Yes, the girl who didn’t believe in working out was converted. Instead of dreading the minutes in which I huffed and puffed, I began watching the clock to see how long I had to stay in my happy place before hitting the shower.
I can honestly say with true commitment, that for the first time in my life…I have become one of THOSE people. You know, the freaks who actually enjoy going to the gym. Oh yeah, and that stubborn baby weight is finally starting to come off. It’s a nice little added bonus.