The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Finding Your Thang

on March 15, 2012

I’ve oft watched people in the park playing football or dare I say soccer and I marvel at how they can play for hours without ever seeming to stop or take a break.  I marvel until I realize that unlike my experience with football which involves wheezily jogging the length of the pitch, arms flailing, and then stopping to catch my breath in audible gasps, they actually like the sport and all that running about.  I’m jealous of these people not because they are fit enough to run the length of a football field without collapsing, ok I’m a little jealous of that, but because they have found something they love, they have found their bliss.

I’ve practiced yoga for years, but I’m still a beginner. I’ve tried Pilates, but it’s not ideal for the big bummed amongst us (just trust me on that one I don’t feel like having a discussion about fulcrums right now). I’ve walked for miles, biked to nowhere, and owned countless exercise tapes and DVDs.  One could argue that it’s about proximity and if the gym was closer or easier to get to we’d go more often.  True, I used to belong to Curves and at my location there were only six parking spots so more than once I turned around and went back home because I couldn’t park, but I didn’t rush home and jump on the exercise bike in my living room, instead I found something else to do with my spare 30 minutes. People say that exercising with a friend can help us stick with an activity, but let’s be clear, unless my friend is carrying me I’m never going to enjoy playing football.

It’s easy to find the things we don’t like, but finding the activity that we love is a lot more challenging.  For me it’s being in the water.  I’m a Pisces and I was swimming long before I was walking.  In fact as a very little girl I would don my purple, ruffled bikini, get on the diving board at the club pool, jump off and swim underwater to the shallow end.  My parents were unfazed, but many a lifeguard was panicked to realize that the little purple bikini was gliding along the bottom of the pool.  The irony is that I don’t actually know how to swim.  I was too advanced for beginner swimming lessons, and too little to be moved up so I was a swimming lesson drop out.  I have a sense of how to swim properly, but I’m really buoyant so I just bob along.  I love aquafit. I love stretching and crunching and running in the water and growing up I was the first person in the neighbour’s pool each summer.  However, as much as I love the water and I love swimming, I only realized a couple of years ago that this was my bliss.  I took various exercise classes and joined gyms, but many gyms do not have pools.  So two years ago I joined the YMCA and at least once a week I go swimming.  Now of course I just need them to offer aquafit at times when I am available, but hey I figured out the bliss thing and that’s a big deal.  In August I tried belly dancing for the first time and was pretty good at it, but for now we’ll call that the “back up” thang, because the price of lessons was beyond my budget this year.

So think about some of the activities you’ve done, try some you haven’t and find your thang. For some it will be a more conventional exercise like running or walking or swimming, for others it might be a structured class like yoga or kettlebell or zumba, but don’t disregard less traditional forms of exercise.  Anyone who has dug a flower bed or schlepped a bag of fertilizer can tell you that gardening is a serious work out.  Housecleaning also gets the blood pumping, or at least so they tell me, but I’m not that interested in finding out.

– the Goddess

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