Ever have those exercise moments when you are SOOOOO in the zone, SOOOO with the rhythm of the movement that you don’t want it to end? For every three, nine or maybe 25 times I’m on the elliptical or bike or arc trainer thinking, “OK, five more minutes. I can do FIVE more minutes,” there is one completely pure Zen moment of, “God this feels good….I don’t want to stop.”
That’s what happened today. I plan my weekly workout schedule usually on Sundays, and this week had “penciled in” a 15-minute warm-up before a 45-minute strength training routine for today. But once on the elliptical, I fell into a groove. Maybe it was the music, maybe it was the day off yesterday, but I felt fabulous. So I cranked that sucker to a high incline and stayed there way longer than usual.
I’d still be on it probably if I didn’t have, well, a LIFE.
After the longer-than-usual workout, I showered and went to a friend’s house. We went for a walk through the woods and then walked one of her neighbor’s dogs because his owners are on vacation. My friend lives on one of the most beautiful pieces of land in western Pennsylvania and is surrounded by woods and hills and the most beautiful wild flowers. Even though I’d had a near cosmic experience on the elliptical earlier, nothing could replace the walk with her today, both for the natural beauty and the time talking to one of the most important people in my life.
It made me realize that exercise is a lot of things. It’s not just sweating or agony or numbing out. Look around you the next time you’re in the heat of it. Who’s there? What’s there? What do you see outside the window or to your left and right? Yes, we exercise to improve our bodies, but surely there is another reason. Surely there is something else that keeps us coming back to it.
When I ride my bike along the bike trails or go canoeing or hiking, I’m not thinking, “Gosh, this is helping me keep my weight off.” I’m thinking on a totally higher plain.
Am I alone in this? Tell me….what goes on in your head when you’re moving?