Sunday, October 8, 2017

Going It Alone ... Or Not


I am a grade-AAA introvert, happiest when I'm alone in the forest or on my bike, especially if a little weather is swirling about.  But over the last few years I have become quite lazy, and my raging river of motivation has dwindled to a trickle.  Change is required!  I remember how much my introverted little self enjoyed the training group with Sam a couple of years ago; there's something enticing about having a set time and a professional instructor and paying real American dollars, so all I have to do is show up and follow along and an hour later, I have a good workout checked off.

So a couple of months ago I started taking a hip hop dance class.  My primary purpose was to be like Jessie and to try to encourage a little quickness and lightness in my stodgy body.  I didn't expect to love it as much as I do!  My music horizons have broadened, I'm discovering a new kind of athleticism, and I've made new friends; the two coolest kids in class have Facebook-friended me, which is a certain kind of awesome.  Plus, of course, it is a great workout.  No matter how tired and grumpy I am by the end of the workday, if I can just change into my workout clothes and get in my car and get to the studio, then I don't have to think anymore; I just (try to) keep up, and by the end of the hour, I'm sweating and exhilarated and, yes, another good workout is in the books.

Now I've started thinking about strength.  Muscular strength is always critical for me, with my floppy loose joints, but becomes even more critical as the years go by and I don't want to end up hunched over a walker.  But muscular strength requires work, and see re: dwindling motivation.  I am far weaker than I was back in the days when I was doing triple Mount Si's and 60-mile bike rides for fun, and that is not a good trend.  There is a perfectly good free gym right in my office building, and it's a nice one -- not some skanky corner of the basement.  So how many times this summer have I gone to this nice free convenient FREE gym to do a strength workout?  Um, once.  Clearly I need to try the hip hop/group instruction approach.

So I went to a weight-lifting class.  It's not nearly as much fun as hip hop, and the instructor doesn't make me laugh right out loud like the hip hop guy does, but it's a good solid hour of weight lifting, using free weights instead of machines (a plus) and hitting all the major muscle groups.  And it's hard; I'm going to be hurtin' for certain tomorrow, as my dear old dad likes to say.  But once again, all I had to do was show up and let someone else take over, and I got in a good workout, doing much more than I would have done on my own.

And then, because I really truly am a happy introvert, I headed to Cougar Mountain for an hour and a half of solitary trail time, silent except for the treetops rustling in the wind and the leaves crunching beneath my feet.


My motivation muscle blinks and yawns and says, wait, what?  And I say, wake up, little feller; there are adventures ahead and there is work to be done.

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