“What do you have to lose? I tell you already you are looking good so.” These comments were trashed at me about one week ago during my early morning workout session from a young man who seemingly has nothing to lose. My response to him was, “this hardly is about losing something; rather, it is about keeping well and healthy.”
The point is, I know we all have to die some way somehow, and this inevitability we have no control over. But come on, do we need to allow ourselves to just get all flabby, shaky, out of shape and in some way even ugly? Clearly we will not always acquire the Coke Bottle Shape, nor will all of make it to the national sports team, some of us won’t even lose all the pounds we desire to shed, while others of us may not even survive the workout, we could die from it. Still, is it worth it living life with no motion, no movement, a lack of self-motivation and discipline?
Looking back on my childhood and adolescence remind me of the many days I walked from Gutter (Cotton Hill) to Long House and back in the hot sun to take my mother’s tickets and to collect her pay cheque. My mother carried ‘fig’ (bananas) on her head weekly as a job. For each trip she made from the shed to the badge, she collected a ticket. This was all a part of the Geest Trade of Bananas from the local Portsmouth Port to England. She along with many women made their living being part of that industry. So anyway, I would religiously on a weekly basis do the necessary to collect her money.
Coupled with this, my siblings and I made several trips from our home to the standpipe and back with loaded, and or filled Jerry cans as buckets. That meant we had to defy two steep hills on the way several times. Clearly my cardio was in full effect since the aforementioned movements were complemented by cycling. Later, a fall from my brother’s tall mountain bike down one of these very steep hills sought to threaten my love for cycling. A dislocated right arm, several bruises and many days of not being able to carry anything in that arm for several weeks gave fuel to fear.
Did I quit? Not rally, but I slowed down. Over time, walking has always been enjoyable. Then driving from age 21 lessened these occasions and fed complacency. I remember wearing sizes 12, 14, 10 and their in-betweens, but only understood how much I weighted when my lifestyle took a new turn.
During my studies at the MWSU (a liberal arts university), it was compulsory that students undertook at least six credits in Kinesiology. That led me to classes in both walking and jogging. This turned my life around. Frequenting the gym became a regular, cycling using a mountain bike so generously given to me by a Texan friend and boss Corinne Cordell Hamre, and jogging and walking around Sykes Lake made a world of difference in my life. Granted, before surprising myself that I could actually jog first for 3 miles, then 6 non-stops, I must attest that some of the body weight I took to Texas from Dominica was shelved through emotional turmoil and struggles. That is for some other time. Still, the best part was enjoying the new body size that I gained through regular exercise, and better eating habits.
Upon returning home, one individual who saw me frowned on my new look because she thought that I had lost too much weight. Today, she is busy trying to lose body weight. Go figure! Notwithstanding the negative comments, the curious wonders as to whether I had a “gwo Pwel” / – tabanka, maybe I was diabetic, or carried some sort of disease unheard off; the sense of confidence gained through my newly adopted lifestyle was a staple. Still, these were upsetting to say the least. Let me assure you despite the disgust of the ignorance, Ceez was not deterred. Oh, I kept my regular workout up, though it was being done differently. You must know that we have no real Recreational or Wellness Center or Gym here in Portsmouth available to the general public, so most of what I did, and still do today are on the road.
Despite these setbacks, I press on, not perfectly, but I make a conscious effort to work out. Juggling a daily job, extracurricular commitments, and other responsibilities make it challenging to say the least, still I continue to attempt defying all odds. There are days that the weather is against me, other days the darkness of the morning is scary, and since company is not always forthcoming, I have to improvise.
Without just going on and on, I can safely say that when I don’t work out, I feel sick, tired, lazy, moody, groggy, even depressed from time to time. So movement is vital to my sanity. Hey let’s face it, I am a single woman and must always keep my mind in good check, since no one has the responsibility to mentally distract me from time to time. Lol. With that said, I will assure you that the peace of mind, the great feeling of achievement and the energy boost that results from these work outs are irreplaceable; thus, my personal commitment to exercise.
With that said, let me urge you to make an effort to work out as often as you can. If you have access to a gym, then use it fully. If you can ride, run, jog, walk, do what it takes to get moving. Your life deserves the best chemical reactions brought about from exercise. A few brief suggestions for you:
- If you can’t work out in the morning, try in the evening
- Thirty minutes of movement daily, is better than none at all
- If the weather hinders you, try some jumping jacks, pushups (I still struggle with the pushups. – My brother Markie won’t like to know that) and or lunges indoors.
- Do not let fear and its neighbors’ criticisms deter you
- You have what it takes to keep yourself well.
Start moving today. Besides I could do with some walking buddies. Will you join me? Welcome – Let’s do this.