A friend of mine asked me the other day if I would like to be part of a rugby team. “Sorry?” ” Soft Rugby”, she repeated emphasizing the word SOFT. Now I would be lying if I told you that I knew the first rule of playing a rugby game or even what the opposite of soft rugby is! See, when I was in school I was never part of any team. Most of the times I would forget to carry my games kits and end up hiding in class while others were playing and cheering. Once in a while I loved watching our basket ball team or joining the cheering squad but I have never been an active member of any sports team, ever. So I was taken aback when my colleague asked if I’d like to join a rugby team. But I said yes. I said yes because I have been bitten by the fitness bug this new year even though I don’t remember making this resolution, or any other!
In my whole life I have never felt the need to go to the gym. The most obvious reason that drives people to gyms – wanting to lose weight – has never been the case for me…until now. Actually after kids I returned back to my pre-motherhood weight, even less. The less bit has concerned me a bit in the past but my doctor assures me that my weight is OK for my height. Whatever you say doctor, but my MUM doesn’t think so! So I have never bothered with the gym even though there is a fully equipped gym a stone’s throw from my house. Every day for the past three years I have passed by it to and from work but never felt inspired enough to even get in, even though as I pass, I normally catch a glimpse of my work colleagues sweating it out in there.
But of late I have been noticing some change in my weight that has made me pay attention to my waistline body a bit more. You pay attention when you move two sizes up in a span of only a few months. You pay attention when suddenly it takes you a whole 30 seconds to button up your favorite pair of jeans. You pay attention when you have to give out that blouse that fitted you so well a month ago, and you pay attention when you can no longer fit into that lovely dress that makes you feel like a million dollars, any more.
But wanting to regulate weight is definitely not the only reason people exercise. People do exercise for a lot of things. In fact there is a time I’d jog in the morning but it didn’t take time before the Limuru morning chill, watered down my enthusiasm. Then I sat back and reminded myself that I did not have any weighty issues with my weight anyway and I decided that chilly mornings are better spent in bed hitting the snooze button. Talk about wrong choices! People exercise because it is good for the heart and the brain. Exercise also boosts one’s immunity, preventing one from catching diseases like the flu and is also good for the skin. Exercise and good health tend to go and in hand.
I read somewhere that it is not exercise until you are out of breath…and then you hold it right there for at least 30 minutes, every session for 3 sessions a week. What that means is that sexercise is not enough unless you are a Kamasutra star
So last week saw me visit the gym for the first time ever. On Monday after work, I rushed home and after supervising homework, I left the girls having dinner. I changed into the best gym-like wear I could get in the house and my Northstars and made my way to the gym just a minute away. Now our gym is a gym is a Do It Yourself gym. There is no gym instructor with a six pack and whose looks remind you of the lead character in a Mills & Bloom novel. No. In this gym, you are your own instructor. I found two work colleagues of mine : a lady and a gentleman. They were kind enough to answer my questions about how to start operate the machines and stuff. Less than five minutes on the treadmill and I was gasping for breath and had to stop. The lady explained that next time I want to stop, I should reduce the speed gradually as abrupt stops are not good for the heart. I practised a little on the other machines and basically used that session as a fact finding mission. Later in the week I visited the gym again and this time I did a little more. With time, I hope to learn more and more and practice more and more.
People tell me I don’t look unfit. But I believe that how you look has little to do with unfitness. I may look fit but it does not necessarily mean that’s how I feel. Fitness I believe is how you feel. Do you quickly spring back to normalcy after you sprain your leg, or it takes ages to heal? Are you particularly susceptible to colds and flus? Do you feel tired and fatigued most of the time? Then, maybe it’s about time you got down to some exercise to get the heart beating and blood flowing as it should. I believe that fitness is about feeling good. It’s about feeling young not only at heart but at body.
Later this week I plan to get myself a set of gym clothes and trainers. Three times a week I will hit the gym or play rugby. My friend says soft rugby means I won’t lose my teeth.
Fitness, here we come!