For the past three months, I have had my routine. At least two of the three mornings that my four year old has preschool, I stop at my neighborhood gym to walk on the treadmill for about 45 minutes. Then on Saturdays, while my daughter takes a dance class in the same shopping center, I try to squeeze in another walk while she is there.
To be honest, I had never been a fan of exercise, and had used every excuse in the book to avoid working out (much to the chagrin of my growing waistline). But, with the gym only two minutes from my house and directly on the way home from the preschool, I was out of excuses.
As an added bonus, I knew that walking, while difficult at first, would most likely help my arthritis. I was right. I went from a half mile at the beginning,
to two and a half miles in no time. Thanks to my routine, I was able to participate in and finish the Arthritis 5K walk last month (ok, so I came in last, but still!!)
Don’t tell anyone, but I actually started to enjoy the gym. It was a guaranteed hour of listening to music or watching television without the phone ringing or anyone yelling “Mom!” I even had my favorite treadmill - the one next to the air conditioner that had the best view of the television.
But then, 2010 ended and apparently everyone who lives within a five mile radius of the gym decided that their New Years resolution would involve exercise. I knew I was in trouble on January 4th, my first day back, when I had difficulty finding a parking spot. Once inside, I could forget about getting a locker, I was lucky to find an empty hook just to hang my coat up. When I approached the usual empty row of treadmills, I stopped in my tracks. Not only was someone using my treadmill. But, there were people using every treadmill.
Ugh – I knew the gym would be a little more crowded, but I did not expect that at 9:15am on a Tuesday, it would be packed. My first instinct was to go next door to Cosi and get a croissant and coffee while I waited. I guess that would sort of defeat the purpose, so I reluctantly got on a bike, ready to pounce the moment I saw someone finish with a treadmill. It took about fifteen minutes, but I was soon back in my comfort zone, walking my heart out and counting on the fact that in two weeks, my gym would most likely be back to normal.