Three years ago I fell while skiing, and I tore two ligaments in my knee. After two surgeries and months of tedious physical therapy – a must if I wanted to get my knee back – I treated myself to a membership at a sleek big gym club.
On my first day I was assigned a trainer so buff and so nice, so tanned and so knowledgeable that I almost ran away. His kindness and professionalism won me over. I was at the gym five times a week – Saturdays and Sundays are for French toast and newspapers.
Week after week I got used to my fixed schedule and to the equipment, and my workout became inefficient. I knew it but didn’t really want to acknowledge the fact.
Changing bad habits requires honest analysis and I was not ready.
This year I took a summer break longer than expected.
So after three months away from strenuous physical activity I felt sluggish.
Last week I decided to go back to the gym, and I asked for some advice to get me back on track. I found out that many gyms offer free training sessions when their members ask, even when they aren’t new members.
A young woman, as buff and nice, as tanned and professional as her colleague, gave me an appointment, and we met at 8 a.m. this morning.
I had to face the fact that I had often expedited my routine without much attention so I could rush back to my life. Meaning my writing. Only to find myself fatigued.
This morning I gave my full attention to the trainer’s advice. I forced myself to execute every arm curl and diagonal abs to its best. Slow and perfect. Almost.
And I left the gym energized, ready to embrace my morning. A feeling I hadn’t experienced since a while.
The blurry plot idea that brushed my mind the night before hadn’t miraculously bloomed into a clear plan when I woke up. But now a prologue that I felt could solve one of my story problems jumped to my mind, and I mentally wrote it as I drove home. I could barely wait to type it and see if it could work.
Conclusion after the hour-long session:
1- My workouts definitely lacked focus. I didn’t use the equipment to its full potential and sometimes I misused it.
2- Although I exercised regularly, I didn’t gain full benefit.
3- I didn’t remember having so many muscles.
4- While my body rediscovered them, I suffered a little bit, but I also felt great while I pushed myself.
I won’t underestimate the power of a good workout.
If only I can get a good writing idea for every set of push ups.
And for now I feel at the top of the mountain.