I am not nor have I even been a “gym rat.” The one year in school I did a sport I picked track. Each person had to pick three events. I picked discus, hurdle jumping, and the long jump. Most of my time was spent lounging on the grass with my friends while we talked and let the real runners go around the track (you could only throw discus or do hurdles when the areas were set up).
Nowadays when I read fitness articles about people running marathons or races I am glad for the people involved and happy to hear about them meeting their own goals and objectives. But I know I am no runner and never will be. In fact, running causes me exercise induced headaches.
But here is the important thing, after trying many activities over the years I don’t let the gym intimidate me anymore. While there are things I know I don’t want to do or that don’t make me feel good (i.e. running) I have also found activities which make me feel strong, and competent, and healthy.
Yes, my arms might be the equivalent of small twigs, but put me on the rowing machine and I am a goddess. For 20 minutes on the rowing machine I can glide back and forth and feel l that I am powerful and going somewhere with my fitness.
I have also learned not to let other people’s perceptions impact my choices. For a tiny person I also enjoy lifting. Yes I might max out at lifting 30 lbs., but 30 lbs. for me is really good. I’m not trying to be a body builder, just improve my own health and wellness, so I’m not going to care if I’m the only woman on the lifting machines or that my weight limits are low.
Finding a fitness activity or plan that works for you is the most important thing in maintaining a plan, and by choosing something that makes you feel strong and powerful and energized you have a built-in incentive to keep going back.
What activities motivate you?
I was going to water aerobics at my gym, but some old gray haired lady complained I had the window open a crack and she was cold. The water temperature is 84.5, as is the air temperature. I wonder if I can wear my ice vest, order my floatation belt? I can’t tolerate the current pool or room temperature, sucks for me, but oh well, one less thing I can’t do because of my MS. MS sucks!
Ann, Thank you for your comment. MSAA does encourage aquatic exercise and I am sorry to hear that you have had a challenging time in your current water aerobics class. MSAA is hosting a webinar on February 20, 2014 from 8-9 PM called “Discovering Aquatic Exercise and MS” which may cover some of the issues or challenges you may face in an aquatics class. You can use the following link to register for the webinar: support.mymsaa.org/SwimWebinar1.