Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Body Politics

Universal truth #1: exercise is easier when committed to in groups. Not that 30 people trying to hit the gym in an unholy mob is easier than scampering off by yourself, but having someone else to hold you accountable for *not* taking that 5-mile run (or to do said 5-mile run *with* you) makes life so much easier. The work seems lighter, the time goes faster, and it's that much more difficult to squirm out of your commitment to improve yourself because you're having a lazy day.

That said, the joint decision that Sebastian and I made to exercise more this year has been suffering a bit of late. We were quite good for a few weeks about getting out on Saturday mornings to do a run together: now it seems like we feel constantly sleep-deprived, pass out early, and sleep in late (where school and work allow). We definitely need to up the ante and get back to good, if only to get that lovely peace of mind that comes from being fit and healthy.

I definitely work better when I have a goal. Granted, my goal is nothing so ambitious and amazing as my friend Nina. She's been training for ages now to get ready for a figure competition (I highly recommend her blog) and is apparently quite incredible about it. Here's where I lament the fact that I *used* to put in that kind of time at the gym when I was back at Wake. I was there 5, sometimes 6 days a week - on the StairMaster, lifting weights, doing the occasional Ab Attack class. Thinking back on how much weight I lost and how fit I was by the time graduation rolled around last year, I'm really impressed with myself. Part of it was a huge goal: I was going to look my best for graduation and my friend's wedding (I was one of her bridesmaids).

Apparently, weddings are becoming a theme in my fitness goals, because now I'm hitting the gym in earnest to prepare for my *own* wedding! I have the most gorgeous dress - the sort that, like a precision car, hugs the curves in all the right places. Aside from the feeling that I'm atoning a bit for the slippage in my routine that occurred after coming back to England (I did lots of running and hiking and gyming in Utah), I've decided that if ever there was a time in my life that I wanted to kick off with a commitment to looking and feeling my best physically, it was starting my life as a married woman. Let's face it: what other event is commemorated for *the rest of your life* with such a plethora of photos? Not to mention, I'll be finishing my Master's in history at the same time, and with a 16,000-word dissertation to write, I can use the alert and capable frame of mind that a good exercise routine gives me.

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