REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.
– Joan Didion
Have you ever had a long, stressful day? Perhaps you should consider finding a space, making it your own, and working out. It is the most stress-reIieving thing. It can lift you up and take you out of this world. I claim my gym. It doesn’t matter if it’s my home gym or some other gym. It doesn’t matter what other people are doing. I block out any distractions. I go into my zone. It’s just me and the work.
Choose your setting
As a military family who literally moves every 3 years, our family has chosen to live in an apartment at this duty station. It’s actually the size of a small house, and though it’s not the fanciest, it’s comfortable, in a nice part of town, at the entrance of a canyon, and close to post. When we first arrived, I’d hoped the complex would have a gym. I was disappointed to find out they do not. The apartment itself, however, has a den, the size of a small bedroom. It became a bit of a storage room. Frustrated that I did not have a place to workout at home, I reorganized it one day while everyone was out. I found new places to put all of the “stuff.” I organized all of my workout equipment into the den. I hung a full length mirror on one of the walls. I put up white Christmas lights above the window so I could see when I worked out at night. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I can go there to get away from a long, hard day.
I do weights in the evening. The boys are in bed, the husband is watching TV, and I’m alone with my music, my Christmas lights, and my iron weights. The lights bring a feeling of peace. The music brings a feeling of energy. The weights bring a feeling of strength. With each lift, I feel empowered. I feel proud as I notice my definition in the mirror. The Christmas lights bring to light each cut and striation. As I lift, I feel strong. I feel ready to conquer the world. I feel like I’m training to be a Spartan. Nothing can stop me!
Just like weightlifting, , I do my yoga after the kiddos are in bed. I lay out my mat. No lights. I pull up a yoga video on my ipad. It’s dark. Just the light from the ipad. Each pose takes me somewhere different. The warrior poses empower me and give me inner strength. I imagine myself holding the pose on a cliff with my hair blowing in the wind. Vinyasas, I imagine on the beach with the sun coming up. Downward dogs, they say to press up out of the Earth, and I do. I imagine my body pressing up out of the actual Earth. Child’s pose, I imagine melting into a cloud. By the time I’ve finished my yoga practice, I’m renewed. I’m ready to deal with anything.
I box during the day. My 4 year-old and I take turns. You might think that in mama mode, I couldn’t enjoy my hardcore boxing experience, but he gets just as into it as I do. We hit the bag so aggressively, so seriously, and with so much intent. He imagines he’s training to be a ninja. I imagine I’m training with Gene Fulmer. Gene Fulmer was an amazing boxer, quite some time ago. I am lucky enough to have a signed picture of him hanging in my home gym. I imagine him in the ring, and I try to give it my all to keep up.
I love any outdoor workouts. Sometimes I turn on my Pandora, but sometimes, I just enjoy the quiet sounds of nature. It’s peaceful. I forget about anything wrong in the world. The quiet breeze motivates me. I focus and I find strength in the natural structure of the world. I feel my body grow stronger as a push myself in the serene setting.
Let your workouts take you places
Workout to relieve stress. Workout to refresh. Find an empowering workout setting. Do a workout that you enjoy. One that grabs your soul and builds you up. Sure, it’s a workout, and it’s going to force you to dig deep and push hard to get through at times, but it should also lift you up and leave you feeling incredible.