Tag Archives: gym

Chapters

Running has just not been happening for me lately. After such a run-centric month in October, I just cannot seem to carve out the time in November.

Mostly, it is a time issue. There has been kids and weather and travel and simply no time to run.  I manage to still work out because I can still use the child care center at the gym and take classes during the day pretty consistently, though even those have suffered a bit lately. Yet it is the unadulterated freedom necessary to hit the trail that I am lacking.

I would have preferred this scheduling conflict arisen during the summer months, when running is somewhat ruined by the temperatures outside. Being prevented from lacing up in the fall and winter months is more tragic as it is my favorite time to run.

Under normal circumstances, this disturbance in my running force would leave me a bitchy, unsatisfied mess. However, this time, I had the realization that this is just not a running chapter in my life. After having my first child and before conceiving my second was a running chapter. Nearly exclusively a running chapter. I ran 20-30 miles a week and did nothing else for fitness (except when I was belly dancing before we moved back to Colorado).

My life has changed since then. I have a second child. I live in a different place. I have a different job and added author responsibilities. I have added other pursuits to my fitness regime. My life is simply different, and I cannot expect to maintain the same devotion to running as I was able to commit under different circumstances.

That also does not mean I will never return to such practice of my passion. It does not mean I am over running. It simply means that I cannot realistically do it now. There will be other chapters in my life. Like when both kids are in school full time and I will have more flexible hours during the day to balance between work and fitness. This chapter has me running very little in comparison; perhaps the next will have me returning to my obsessive origins.

This realization, this peace with the reality of my current situation, has made the lack of running easier to deal with. I am focusing on enjoying the thing I am doing right now. Zumba, dance, and different classes at the gym. I am running when I can and trying to maintain some level of training. Perhaps my fitness routine needed to become more balanced anyhow.

The dance, on the other hand, has been rather fulfilling. It is not the belly dance from Tennessee I so desperately miss or that I recently had a brief opportunity to visit and recall, yet it is something in that vein; it still engaged that part of me so blissful when moving to music. So while the running part of me is left wanting, the dancing part of me is granted more attention and expression. They cannot all win simultaneously, so they will have to take turns.

I do miss the trail though. I miss when I met it frequently. I miss when it felt more like home. But that, apparently, is for another chapter.

 

Christina Bergling

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Gym Koolaid

(For the purpose of this post, “koolaid” refers to an idea or doctrine pushed by a particular establishment. It is a sarcastic reference to the koolaid cults use to administer group suicide.)

When I was in my 20s, I squandered my youth getting fat. Somewhere between nearly drowning in underage drinking and a self-destructive disposition, I put on 50 pounds. When my doctor snapped me out of it, I used a gym, personal trainer and all, to drop the weight. And I did, successfully, in just 6 months.

While successful, this weight loss took a heavy psychological toll. It was fueled mainly by that same self-loathing that got me there in the first place.

I did what they said. I restricted calories. I worked out 5+ days of week, half cardio, half weights. I gave my personal trainer thousands of dollars.

I drank the koolaid.

In the near decade since then, I have managed to keep said weight off for the most part, aside from that gained with each of my two pregnancies. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I was suddenly repulsed by the gym and refused to go. Maybe it was because the koolaid is not safe to drink while you are pregnant.

After my first child, I instead belly danced and picked up running. I recovered from that baby weight just fine and rapidly after starting thyroid medication.

From that point, running became my fitness fixation. I started making my own running koolaid and doling it out to my running mates.

Yet I have not been recovering from my second pregnancy nearly as well. Despite absolutely killing myself for months, the surplus pounds stubbornly cling to my body. Enough so that I was willing to indulge a gym again with my husband and our roommate.

No surprise, the koolaid still pours freely. And I have a lot of trouble with it.

Only eat like this. Only work out like that. Only our gym has the supplements you need. Only look like this. If you listen, it is like a religion. Or a cult.

For me, it tugs on all that self-loathing and self-abuse I used to attain my goal the first time. Sure, I lost the weight, but I ended up with eating habits that bordered on an eating disorder and a sense of self that invested way too much worth into bullshit, superficial numbers.

The gym makes me feel bad about myself, and of course it does because that’s how it makes money.

I am trying my best to rise above the bullshit, to use the gym for my purpose without drinking that koolaid, without feeling how it always used to make me. I don’t know how successful I am being, but I need the childcare to get my workouts in.