Thursday, June 3, 2010

Breathe in, breathe out...

After way too much time away from the gym, I recently snagged a really good deal and switched and FINALLY went today for the first time. I was excited to go, mainly because my neighbor is a member there and a exercise fanatic, so I know she will drag my pathetic ass more often than I will want.

Last night, as we made plans for the logistics, we decided on a Pilates class. Now, I am no exercise guru, but I thought that it would be easier than a traditional aerobics class and FOR SURE easier than a spinning class, especially after a self-imposed sabbatical from any exercise.

Hey, I hear you guys giggling out there. Not nice to make fun of the out of shape, have no idea what Pilates really entails lady. Not nice at all.

We got there early, and my neighbor showed me around. We decided to do some cardio work while we waited for the hour long class to start. By the end of 15 minutes on the treadmill, I was out of breath and determined not to let myself go so long between strenuous exercise again.

I saw our instructor walk in. A small older woman. Seemed like she couldn't do much damage.

She kicked my ass.

But I was proud of myself. I didn't cry out in pain when I made my body do all those twisty moves. I didn't walk out when I was made to hold a squat for WAY longer than it would take me to pee. And I didn't hobble too much when I walked out AFTER the class was over.

But I did wish I had taken some aspirin before heading out to the gym this evening.

That being said, after a stressful couple of weeks and the endless anticipation for the end of the school year to come (just 3 more student days after tomorrow, but who's counting, right?), I totally needed to focus on how I can make my body as strong as my mind. I totally needed to see what I could do when faced with a physical challenge.

I totally needed to focus on just breathing.

I did it. I breathed in, I breathed out.

When I inhaled, I felt the strength within myself. That which helps me rise to challenges, keeps me going in seemingly helpless situations, maintains me in a relatively positive state of mind and spirit.

When I exhaled, I felt the weakness in me leave the confines of my body. All that makes me anxious, preoccupied, distant, sad, angry and frustrated. All that keeps me from functioning at my full potential.

When you are focused on breathing, there is no time for nonsense. You are doing something that is vital to your existence. Instinctive, primal, necessary.

It was just the reminder I needed today. And when I hobbled out of the exercise studio like a cripple, I felt free of what the anxiety and stress had done to my body prior to this class. I felt loose, relaxed, deliciously tired and achy.

And it was good!


  1. That's exactly how I feel about my hot yoga classes! At first, I had no idea, no idea, what it would be like. And it was intense. But the more times you go the easier it becomes.
    Good job making it through :)

  2. Exercise is so vital to my mood and sanity. And yet, I make excuses not to do it. Shameful! Why can't I give it top priority? I'm glad you're taking care of yourself. Those last few days of school are madness.

  3. Good for you, Maria! I actually just went to my first yoga class in ages last night and I went through so many of the same sensations you did. Like TKW said, why do we come up with so many excuses to avoid doing something good for our bodies and our souls? Maybe if they could find a way to make exercise taste like chocolate...

    Have a great weekend!

  4. "When you are focused on breathing, there is no time for nonsense. You are doing something that is vital to your existence. Instinctive, primal, necessary."

    I needed that reminder, too.

  5. I feel SO much better when I exercise! It is amazing! Good for you for taking care of yourself!


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