I never thought I would say this…
But after weight training for almost 30 years, I AM FINISHED.
I hate it.
For those readers who have followed me for quite some time, this is probably shocking news.
Training with weights has been an important part of my life, and it has helped me to reach a number of personal goals. But recently, I got fed up; disenchanted with what I was doing; and I realized that it was time to move on.
My workouts were missing the mind/body connection. First, I dreaded going into the gym everyday. It was becoming too easy to talk myself out of going because I was no longer enjoying it. When I did manage to make it there, I couldn’t wait to leave. One might think that this would inspire me to get through the workout as quickly as possible. On the contrary. Instead, time would just drag because I didn’t see the point of lifting this dumbbell or pulling on this bar. Instead of focusing on the workout, my mind would wander to all the “problems” on my mind that day. I couldn’t seem to FEEL any of the weights anymore because my head just wasn’t in the game. Very rarely would I leave the gym with a “pump.”
Add to all of this: my body, as well as my mind, just ached.
I hurt everywhere.
And was tired.
And then I flirted with some thoughts for other ways of staying fit, and it was shocking to me to think that there might actually be a whole world of opportunity outside of lifting weights! Wow! Maybe bike riding? Or how about going back to yoga? Maybe a Reformer class?
And I thought and thought and thought….
And then I’d decided on something radical: I would take some time off from the gym. I hadn’t done that since my last bodybuilding competition in 2014. So I’d spent almost two years in the gym without time off. I’d given myself ZERO time to recover.
“Time off” started with just a week. I bargained with myself that I’d just take off a week, and then I’d probably be in a better mood to return to the gym.
And then I got a bike.
And then I took a Yin Yoga class.
And then I went to a Yoga/Pilates class.
And then I took a Vin/Yin Yoga class.
And then I took a Pound! class.
And I rode my bike some more.
And it’s been three weeks since I’ve been in the gym! So much for that “one week” rationale.
And yet, I feel like I am in the best condition of my life.
I’ve found the body/mind connection again. When I’m on a 2-hour long bike ride or am at yoga, I absolutely cannot be inside my head. If I stay in my head, I could wreck my bike, or I could lose my balance in a yoga pose. I must give all of my attention to what I am doing. When I’m on my bike or in downward dog, I am on my bike or in downward dog. There is nothing else that is venturing through my head.
And that feels incredibly freeing for someone like me who is so cerebral and introspective and is constantly “studying” herself and her surroundings.
On my bike, it’s just me, the bike, and the wind.
On my mat, it’s just me and my mat.
And in Pound, it’s just me, a couple of drumsticks, and a whole lot of laughter.
I think we all get stuck in ruts. And we spin and spin our wheels, trying to get out of that rut, and we come up with nothing. We tend to beat the dead horse. We try to stay in what we’ve always done because that’s the way we’ve always done it. We keep ourselves in a box because this is what we know how to do.
What is the point of that?
When we’re unhappy, we should strive to remove ourselves from that which makes us unhappy.
The constant weight training made me unhappy.
Leaving it behind, I have never felt so free, so happy, so full of life.