I’m not a very active person. I’m not athletic or agile, and I prefer to sit on the couch with a good movie or book than to go out for a jog.
In high school, I played tennis for a whole year. I was one of the worst players on the team, but I enjoyed the sport. I still enjoy to play when I get the chance, but it’s hard to find anyone who knows how to play that’s not much better than me!
Two summers ago I got serious about exercise and eating right. April and I would go to the gym (early!) several days a week and jog (and walk) on treadmills. It was torturous. Waking up at 5 AM to go out into the cold, dark morning simply to attach myself to a taskmaster of a machine for 30 minutes is not something that works for me.
Last year, April introduced me to swimming. Not that I never swam before, I took lessons when I was young and have always enjoyed going to the pool. But last year was the first time I had been introduced to swimming laps.
At first, it was very hard. I enjoyed it, but it’s difficult to get the breathing right (who likes to breath water?). Even in the early days I found it more enjoyable than running on a treadmill. After a few trips, I started to get a little better. I could take shorter breaks in between laps and was able to the crawl more often, rather than switching to different strokes.
Last summer I gave up the treadmill life. It’s not for me. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll do it because it’s convenient (my new apartment complex has a workout room), but I don’t plan on it. The entire summer I went to the pool 3-5 times a week and LOVED it. Not only did I workout at a time that was better for me (after work), it was an activity that I really looked forward to. By the end of the summer, I was swimming a mile (it takes me about 45 minutes) each time, pausing quickly only after every 5 laps or so.
What I’ve found about swimming (and it might apply to other people for other activities), is I just have to get past the initial 4 laps. Those are bad. But when I finally get into the groove, I could swim forever. I only stop at 45 minutes because I know that’s enough of a workout, not because I’m tired.
Unfortunately, I left my love for swimming behind when things got crazy going into this school year. Once things settled down, I had planned on going back, but then I found out that my pool was closed for renovations and they hadn’t open the other yet. Then things got busy again with finals, my January class, and starting a new semester.
Monday I finally made it back to the pool, and it felt so good (hence the title). I felt like I was going to die at first, but then I was good to go. I had to take more breaks than I had been accustomed to and I wasn’t even able to swim for half a mile, but I know that I can work back up to it just like I did originally. Yep, I’m glad to be back.
I’m telling this story not to bore you (though I’m sure it could), but to encourage you. If you struggle to be active and workout, you need to keep looking for an activity you enjoy. For me, it’s swimming. For you, it might be jogging, or aerobic videos (I did that for awhile too), or basketball, or ballet. Whatever you choose, set reasonable goals for yourself and be persistant! This is something I need to hear myself, as it’s still easier to simply go home after work rather than take the time to go to the pool.