This will either annoy you, surprise you, or make you wonder if I have a housekeeper:
I go to the gym five times a week.
For more than three years I haven’t broken this routine unless I was sick or traveling. When I am sick or traveling (and can’t get to the hotel gym) I get really cranky because I can’t work out. Once a week, on Wednesdays, I get up at the ungodly hour of 5:30am to make it to a 6am spin class (the first 10 minutes of which I spend wondering if I’ve lost my mind completely).
There are lots of reasons why going to the gym ranks higher on my list than say, getting enough sleep. I am generally a stress-case, but when I spin or feel my abs burn in our Pilates class I don’t have any energy left over for stressing. I like the feeling of accomplishment and the way my muscles ache and feel alive when I get done with my workout. I am horrible at cutting out horrible-for-me things like carbs and working out regularly is what allows me to consume some of them while not expanding horizontally too much.
But really why I think working out is so high on my daily to-do list is because it’s often my only “me time” and I try to make the most of it. I love driving to the gym, listening to NPR, walking in and putting my phone on silent. I like reading US Weekly and People and other girly magazines I never otherwise read or watching the Food Network while I work out on the elliptical. Some days I go to the coffee shop next door to my gym and treat myself to a coffee or tea for the drive back home.
Don’t get me wrong, though, because on many, many days I really don’t feel like going to the gym. (Like, say, last Wednesday when it was 15 degrees out at 5:30 in the morning!) The hour and a half that my gym time takes — including drive there and back — is extremely difficult to find and I make up for it by going to sleep later or getting up early to get work done, or cook next day’s dinner, pack my daughter’s lunch or write holiday cards.
But I keep going because I know that once I get there, on most days, I feel good about being there and having my little “me” time. I know how hard it is for busy working moms to find time to fit in a workout and I always feel certain comraderie with a fellow mom who, like me, rushes through the shower and then starts her conference call while still getting dressed in the locker room.
How often do you make it to the gym or workout? When do you do it — before work, during lunch, at night?