Until yesterday, I haven’t belonged to a gym since 2010. During the year and a half I worked at Rodale, I used their wonderful on-site fitness center from time to time, and after I came back to Philly in May of 2012, I just stopped working out. I did remain active, walking miles and miles through the city, and going sporadically to yoga. For a long time, I figured that was good enough.
I’ve been encouraging my Dad, who recently moved close to where I live in South Philly, to join a gym two blocks from his new place. I started to think, hey, maybe I’ll join too. I got pretty into the idea but stopped short of signing up. Why? Because there’s another gym that’s more convenient to my house–the one I belonged to for several years before taking off for the hinterlands to work at Rodale.
About a week ago, I signed up for a free trial and started spending 30 to 45 minutes on the elliptical. And then I remembered that I used to enjoy doing run/walk intervals on the treadmill. So one day last week I spent 20 minutes walking briskly for 2 minutes and then running slowly for 1. When I was done, I felt amazing. I got that special relaxed and happy feeling you get when you actually get your heart thumping and break a good sweat. It had really been a while.
And that’s when I knew I would sign up not for the gym close to my Dad but the one close to me–because I really need to start focusing my attention on taking care of myself. I don’t think going to the gym is going to be a huge help in terms of weight loss, but I remember now how much it helps my mental health.