I’d like to thank the academy- wait. No. Wrong speech. *clearing throat* I’d like to thank the incredible Kat of LowFatKat for designing this amazing new header for me- it’s the first day of summer and I wanted something light and airy- a whole new look for a whole new perspective. She did an awesome job, yes?!
Now, I’m sure this is going to send shudders through several bloggers, but I’m going to say it, anyway. I loathe the gym. The thought of going makes me want to throw all my sports bras out the window. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy exercise. I loved running outdoors and I still enjoy ice skating and dancing, which I did when I was growing up. I was an athlete for years and I LOVE team sports (volleyball, softball, soccer, etc.). I just hate all those smelly machines and sweaty men groaning like they’re severely constipated as they struggle to lift weights while checking out half naked women preening on the stairmasters. They’re like peacocks spreading their plumage and I, for one, am there to workout, not witness the mating rituals of meatheads. Plus, let’s be honest: it.bores.me.to.tears. I don’t think i’d even enjoy an all female gym.
So, therein lay my dilemma. It’s unlikely i’ll stick to the gym. I practice yoga, I’m looking for a volleyball league in Boston and i’m looking into things like rowing on the Charles and hikes/trails near the city, but I need a way to get in regular cardio. Running is out. I’ve been mulling over the best course of action for a while now, but this weekend it hit me- swimming! I love to swim.
Of course, I had this flash of “brilliance” when I was standing in the fitting room trying on a bathing suit that wouldn’t make me look like a stray manatee, but rather, like a normal gal out for a swim. Devastatingly, this suit is not for anything but casual swimming, and vigorous laps could result in my ejection from the pool for indecent exposure. It was then that I started the list.
Step one: Get a racing bathing suit. These, I must admit, are horribly unflattering. Undeterred, I resigned myself to this fate.
Step two: Research pools. Bingo. A quick internet search showed that the gym that I belong to has one at their location downtown. Blah. Let me translate: Potentially gorgeous men working out after work and me slinking around shamefully in a horribly unflattering bathing suit, wishing I hadn’t eaten lunch, and sucking in my stomach. That’s a no.
Step three: Research and consider lipo. KIDDING. Just as I was about to give up, I recalled that there is a large, recently renovated aquatics facility up the street from me that is mostly used by residents, families, and casual lap swimmers- i.e. the lesser of two evils, even if a bathing cap IS required.
Step four: Buy a bathing cap. Shriek in horror upon looking in the mirror. Put on goggles for full affect and nearly run screaming into the night. Consider looking up inventor of bathing cap in order to write nasty letter. Resign self to fact that said person is probably dead.
Once I’d shelled out for the suit, cap and goggles, I had to use them. It was like that time I went a little nuts at Costco and ended up with 20 pounds of frozen spinach- once it’s in your freezer you kinda have to eat it, even if it takes you ages and every dish you’ve brought to a party for the last six months has had copious amounts of spinach in it.
Let me just say that this goes against every fiber in my being- appearing in a public venue knowing that I look completely idiotic. But I did it and surprisingly, i wasn’t even having body issues. I hopped in and started swimming, and it felt wonderful. I pushed off the wall and I could feel the muscles in my legs, the length of my body and felt almost graceful. For the first time in a while (other than yoga, I suppose), I felt like my body was doing something right, and I relaxed into the laps- I really loved the way my arms sliced through the water- if i keep this up, i’ll be jacked again in no time! But what really shocked me was that after a while, I stopped thinking about my movements and let my wander. THIS is what I missed most about running- getting into that cathartic space where you can put everything and somehow, work through it in your head. I don’t think I can adequately express what I mean, but for those of you that experience it, I suppose you know what I mean.
By the time I got out of the pool, I knew i’d found my new gym.
It was late when I got home, but I HAD to make the recipe i’d been thinking about all day- Zucchini in a white wine red sauce with goat cheese over cous cous. I had picked up the zucchini and fresh goat cheese at the farmer’s market and couldn’t wait to use it. SOOO worth the wait! It’s simple, quick, and so flavorful. I highly recommend it! I paired it with a quick simple salad- just some fresh farmer’s market lettuce and tomatoes with my favorite salad dressing. Very satisfying and I’ll have some tasty leftovers for lunch.
All in all, the day was a smashing success, if I do say so myself!