Present Joy… , sweat, sweat, sweat
Since the beginning of January, I go to the gym daily for half an hour. I realize that is not extremely long but within that half hour on the treadmill (treadmill and only treadmill so far) I see myself change. Doing it and doing it daily and making small changes in my levels, checking my posture and endurance all have it’s effect on me and is challenging my mind. This fulfills another need and helps me not getting bored in other areas of my life for the need of a yet another challenge to take on or adventure to go on.
I don’t always go to the gym happy and motivated, though mostly I do. After the workout out I definitely step off the conveyer belt feeling all accomplished and endorphin-rich. I guess hormones also have a lot to do with it. I mean our chemical makeup has a great influence on us. But I never thought it would be that great of an influence. After just a few weeks of hitting the treadmill daily, the previous symptoms of my diagnosed pre-menopause have completely disappeared and also made my endocrinologist happy.
She was actually thinking along two lines. Disturbed hormones due 1) to menopause or 2) due to physical inactivity and absence of certain hormones that are useful for feeling well. She recently could conclude that the balance seems somewhat restored, almost all symptoms of the chemical makeup of menopause are gone. She says I might still be only countering its effect, but being symptom-free is really a good thing we both agree on that. So, for now, I ended my search with her on what could be the real matter and will only return to the medical science of hormones when I feel the need to.
So sporting in a gym you might ask yourself is it necessary? Well actually I’m a very lazy person so I need to be seen and I need some social control, a personal commitment to myself just isn’t enough, period. Why spending money on a gym? you say. Well let’s me tell you I hate walking when it rains, when it’s cold, when it’s hot, when there is too much wind, when there is no breeze at all, when it’s too early, when it’s too late, walking alone, with someone, etc etc, You get the idea if guess – lol.
The nice and controlled environment is good for my chaotic and spineless mind. The treadmill is always free on the hours I go, its quiet but there are people who look forward seeing me there for a thee or coffee and a talk after my half hour walk. It’s a double-edged sword as I feel needed and I need them. All trainers are on the lookout if they have spotted me that day and report back to my PT. And now at the fear, I might have made it sound like a chore but actually, the rewards far outweigh the chore side of it and so it’s almost effortless to fit into my daily routine.
This past week I have upped the level and though I only went from a 4.1 to a 4.2, all of a sudden my body is protesting with muscle aches, an almost thrown out hip which I didn’t experience for a long time since joining the gym but actually pushing myself a bit feels nice and also actually feels like a reward, a challenge. How long do I have to keep walking on this level, 4.2, before my body and mind adjusts and has no pains and discomfort while after walking reacting with muscle aches etc.? How long will it take before my mind settles down and doesn’t look at the clock or looking forward to the 30 minutes walk to come to an end?
For the first time in my life when things get more difficult, I don’t think thoughts like: I can’t do this, this is too difficult etc. I have experienced on taking other steps in this process, going from my starting level 3.0 to a higher level, that my body and mind will adjust and it will be stronger and faster and I will be able to keep a good posture while walking and stop slouching at some point and walk like a proud mama all 30 minutes long.
This seems like a definite change in my mind. I am going to foster it a little more but I think soon I might be able to copy paste my mental attitude and apply it to other parts of my life and creep out from under my self-enforced yuk of self-doubt and other unuseful mental matters that keep me in my place.
So joys are not just joys, they might be challenging in itself but I guess what I wrote earlier that if the reward outweighs its hardships it is a joy after all. The term “Joyous effort” which we use in Buddhism comes to mind. It’s very much linked to the effort needed to become a Buddha and the trust that you actually can become one for sure. At some point effort, becomes more joyous as we start living its rewards and then effort becomes more effortless, less of a chore and a joyous thing.
I never really understood it’s deeper meaning, rather had a superficial understanding of the term, but this new exercise journey has given me a clue how it could work, and this is, I believe, how it works for me presently. So joys are not necessarily an absence of difficulties, which was my previous more flat sense of joy but as I’m finding out it seems more layered.
What are your joys? Do they lack hardships? And if they don’t how you feel it’s a joy although there are hardships involved?
I am curious to know about your thought on the subject, this blog post and anything you wish to share actually. Let me know if you can follow my reasoning or if you would advise another train of thought for me to consider.
Wishing you a joyful week and next weekend I’ll tell you more on L, He was my boyfriend for over two years and How it started I have written about before but how our life was together is something I’ll share with you next Saturday midnight.
Much Love, Radia – The Unusual Yogini
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