Posts Tagged ‘workout’

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive.

~Anäis Nin

Starsky has Hutch, Thelma has Louise, Batman has Robin, Will has Grace, and I have Amy.

A dynamic duo. That’s how we’re known around the gym . . . well, not really, not yet, but I see it coming. It’s only a matter of time.

We’ve made our presence known and that’s what’s important. Every morning, just after the sun rises and the teens dash off to school, 7:30ish, you’ll catch Amy and me sweating, talking, albeit breathlessly, and laughing. Crying enters our mind on occasion, but that’s the beauty of a buddy system. When one’s down, the other one picks up the slack, jumping in full force, and getting us going again.

Our favorite routine, at the moment, is the fat burning cardio workout on our Life Fitness Elliptical Machines. We’re like elliptical maniacs, opting for another machine only when there’s no elliptical available. Our workouts have become the elixir for improving our lives. One workout at a time.

I’ve known Amy less than a year and yet I feel that I’ve always known her. Shaded by bamboo on a rooftop terrace, Amy and I have spent our days discussing kids, husbands, careers, and life. In a short amount of time, I’ve revealed my doubts and insecurities about weight loss, fitness, trying to live a healthier life and the fact that I’m no longer in Cosmopolitan’s demographic but now More Magazine’s.  I’ve listened to Amy reveal the same. Camaraderie blossomed and here we are.

We motivate. We listen. We reveal insecurities with no fear of judgment. We get it without saying a word. Like today, I finish my workout drained, exhausted, unmotivated. Noticing Amy staring at me, I look up and she smiles, telling me how great I did and how impressed she is with me. It’s genuine and exactly what I need.

On the days she can’t join me, I recognize her absence and even catch myself glancing at the machine beside me longingly. I know, I know. Pathetic. But it’s the truth. Working out with a partner like Amy makes the drudgery of it all less daunting. With her cheering me on, I know I’ve got this. And trust me, when you start hearing about the hot chicks tearing up the gym, you’ll have no doubt who they’re all talking about.


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I’m lucky when it comes to working out. Three people hold the title of workout partner—one is my husband, Bill. On the weekends we start our days working out together. Even though his ten years in the Army and four years of high school athletics make him way more physical than me, I find working out with him by my side pushes me that extra mile, literally. Not to say I don’t feel a little frustrated from time to time when I see his 12 miles up against my 3. But I learned long ago that it’s a bad idea to compare my exercise regime to anyone else’s.

During the week, shortly after my teenager heads off for her morning commute to school, I make my way to the gym in my apartment building. Many mornings one or both of my friends, who live down the street, pop in and join me. Afterwards we chat about our plans for the rest of the day, and occasionally make a special trip over to our local Starbucks.

The ladies support me and my workout efforts. It’s nice to have a team cheering me on the days I’m not feeling it. And of course, I’m always glad I made it and worked through the blahs. I do the same for them. We’ve got a good thing going.

But then there are mornings where schedules collide and duty calls. I waltz into the gym, only to discover I’ll be dancing alone. This morning my workout partners couldn’t join me and neither did anyone else in the building. I had the entire gym to myself.

For a moment I paused in the center of the room. I placed my water bottle on the elliptical, turned up the volume on my iPod, and spent time on weight machines and doing left lifts. Endurance became my companion. I worked out alone, feeling strong and dedicated, and it pumped me up to go at top speed longer than I ever have before on that machine.

Holding myself accountable for a healthier lifestyle is the most important key to my success. It’s great to have partners and support, but it’s crucial to depend on the one person who makes it all happen.

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Don’t get lost in the Valentine’s Day frenzy, neglecting the most important person in your life. You. It’s easy to become swept up in everyday living, taking care of others, leaving little if no time to take care of yourself. You’ve heard it said time and time again, you can’t be a good parent, spouse, employee if you don’t find those timeless moments to appreciate yourself first.  So take a few minutes today and show yourself a little love.

  • Take a walk. Breathe in the fresh air and reflect upon all you’ve accomplished in your life. How often do you find yourself congratulating others on their accomplishments? Now think about how often you pat yourself on the back.
  • Spend one hour reading a new book or an old favorite. You can pull down that old paperback from the bookshelf—you know the one, with the dog-eared pages and the worn out cover. Or you can check out a new read on your Kindle or i-Pad. What matters is taking that time to escape everything around you, immersing yourself into another world.
  • Send out e-Valentine’s. Yeah, just like when we were kids. It makes you feel good to do something special for someone else. You can use a site like Hallmark.com or create your own Valentine’s cards, expressing your love and adoration for friends and family. In doing so, you tap into your deepest emotions which can prove therapeutic.
  •  Enjoy a spa hour or day. Give yourself a manicure, pedicure or facial. There are a million great products out there. A new favorite is from MyFaceWorks. You may want to give it a try. Or if you prefer the super pampered route, schedule an hour today at a local spa. Go ahead, you are worth it.
  • Watch a movie that makes you smile. Whether you pop into your local theater to watch one of the most recent films or you stay home and drop in that reliable, old DVD that always makes you laugh, it’s a reminder that laughter is the best medicine.
  • Work out. It’s good for your heart, and isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about? You can’t show the love any more than taking time for a daily workout. It doesn’t matter if you kick it with a DVD, take a class, run in the park, or sweat it out in the gym.
  • Buy yourself a gift. Why not? You don’t have to sit back and wait for someone else to treat you right. Been waiting for those shoes to go on sale? Thought about updating that ancient iPod? Craving a little bling? Today’s the day to make that special splurge.  

(Photo courtesy of SXC.)

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