Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Keeping fit

I am not an extremely fit person. But I try to make sure I eat healthy and exercise regularly, although I tend to hit road blocks every now and then. When it comes to fitness, I'm not a very picky person. As in, as long as I have company, I'll go with the flow. If I find a friend who is a swimming enthusiast, I'll gladly swim. If I find company for a run, I will run. Call it a weak mind, but a buddy system is my best form of training.

I remember the best form I was in was probably around 10 years ago. I was single, had a good job and lived with my parents. Every morning, I would wake up at 3:30 am (insane, I know!) and head to the gym at 4 am. And then I would go for a run with my coach and a bunch of others. Coach was a veteran runner who represented India in the Asian games. He was still competing in the veteran category. For some reason, he had taken me under his wing and decided to coach me to get in good form. I would gladly accompany him for his morning jog (which was, of course a run for me!), irrespective of whether the others would turn up or not. Then around 5am, we would get back to the gym to hit the machines or join the cardio class, depending on whatever was the schedule for the day. Coach encouraged me to keep a record of what I was doing at the gym and what I was eating, also the amount of weight/inches lost or how close I was getting to my ideal weight and fitness levels. And during that one year, I think I was in the fittest form of my life, and why not? I was working out for almost 2 hours, six days a week.

And then I moved! Singapore is a runner's paradise. I would see runners everywhere and at any time of the day, be it hot afternoons, early mornings or late nights! There are tracks and park connectors all over town and what's more, it is safe to run at any time of the day or night. So, I got R to accompany me in the beginning and soon he was bitten by the bug too. We ran a few 10Ks in the first year and a half-marathon in the next. Then, we met friends who made running even more fun. We started training for the marathon together. R and I ran every day in the evenings. And every weekend involved a stay-over with friends followed by an early morning run and then a much-deserved breakfast/brunch. And we all finished the full marathon that year. Although the training was fun, I swore I would never put my body through that again (that is a story for another day). After finishing the marathon, I ran a few times again, but never so regularly.

Later, R and decided to get as fit as we could, when we could still do it. We both joined the gym and it became a regular thing again after work, three days a week. We would both push each other, eat healthy and follow a very strict regimen. We even went swimming once a week. And then, work or someone visiting would get in the way and our exercise routine would be destroyed. We would attempt to start again but only to let something disrupt it and from there things just went downhill. We played badminton with friends once a week, and that remained the only form of exercise for a long  time.

And then I got pregnant and I still continued to play badminton. But I had some complications with the pregnancy and then from then on, I was forbidden from any strenuous form of exercise. I went swimming once in a while and walked very often but that was it. After Pickles was born, however, I had no form of exercise at all. My only form of exercise was running for the bus and rocking him to sleep.

All that has slowly started to change. A month ago, I decided enough is enough and that I need more me-time. I started to go for a swim once a week with a friend. Then, this weekend, I went for a run in the morning, and it felt amazing! I ran while R walked Pickles in his stroller. I realized how much I miss the rush. And I want to do it more often. I am even contemplating joining a class, so I am forced to go but I fear it may be a bit too overwhelming and that I might give up something else. It's hard being a mom. It's bad enough to leave Pickles every morning and go to work. But doing something in the non-work time is another level of guilt altogether.  But I also think I owe this to myself and my sanity. Perhaps a run every weekend by myself, a kickboxing class maybe. But I'm hoping I can do more eventually. Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

Good luck, and do it!! Commit yourself to a class (preferably) once or twice a week - that'll push yourself to go. And leave the guilt at home - Pickles deserves the best, happiest version of you,and the endorphins will guarantee that extra dose of happiness :-)

Maya said...

Thanks, Shub! I'll try but leaving the guilt at home is easier said than done!