Yesterday I realized something. I finished my circuit with the weights and beginning to walk on the treadmill and I realized how routine it all was. I also realized how tired of it I was. I was bored.
During the warmer months I walk on my walking trail and only go to the gym for weights and strength training. While I can deal with the cold (if I have to) the trail is in a flood plain. while it makes great use of otherwise unusable land, when it rains, it is flooded. we have had a very wet winter this year.
On the walking trail, each day is a little different than the day before. The people are mostly the same, but there are a wide variety of them. Some are on their own, running or clearly training for something or other. Those people are interesting to watch for their focused intensity. I also find it inspiring to see their progress. Usually I don’t talk much to them but occasionally we converse. It is also gratifying to know that they see my progress. especially on days where I can’t see any.
There are also groups from the nearby office building compound that backs on to the walking trail. Many of those offices encourage their employees to use the trail. I believe their are health insurance discounts for some due to step count and I know at least once a year the different offices host relay races and competitions as there are signs and t-shirts. I think it might actually be one company with many offices in a large compound. Occasionally I see accountants trash talking salespeople and various t-shirt slogans.
Other times they are just in groups with their work clothes, shoes replaced with sneakers for the break in routine. I’ll admit, the writer in me requires that I turn my music down low and occasionally listen to small snippets. It is never more than a few seconds though, I just want a sentence or two I can spin out into a completely unrelated tale while I walk. It makes me happy.
Along the sides of my walking trail there is a disk golf course. My brother adores the game and tries to tell me about it repeatedly. Apparently this course is considered a good one. I don’t see the appeal. But then I don’t really see the appeal of regular golf either. What I do like is seeing the teams. I like watching them try to figure out how to get over the creek and what to do when they hit the creek. Mostly I like when they bring their dogs to the course and then have to figure out how to keep their dogs from chasing the frisbees.
It is always a losing venture, but it is fun to watch.
The gym does not really have that variety. It has loads of people but everyone seems to function on a set course. Tags are scanned at the entrance and people move from desk to lockers to machines. They plug in headphones, they watch televisions. They don’t converse and there are no demented squirrels freaked out by frisbee seekers, be they human or canine.
Sometimes people make faces. Other times they try to get sneakily competitive without letting you know directly that they are trying to beat you. But most of the time everyone moves about in their own little world. while I appreciate being left alone to do what I went to the gym to do, and I of course leave others alone. It isn’t very interesting. It is fine interspersed with other activity.
On its own, it is boring.
Most exercise gurus espouse variation in your workout plans. I believe they site muscle fatigue and weight loss plateaus in those spiels. I’ll admit that I haven’t been losing weight as consistently as I’d like (and considering I have dinner out both tonight and Thursday night one for my Baby’s work and one because we have friends passing through town, I suspect this week won’t be a big if any, loss week) but I think most of that is stress as the world has been going a little crazy around me for the past few weeks.
I don’t think they consider just general boredom. They might, I don’t know. But I’ve decided to heed their advice regardless. I am looking at various classes like dance or yoga in my area. Stashed in my closet I also have a selection of workout DVDs I may cycle through as well, just to give me some variation. I also bought a jump rope.
In addition, I have my dreams of spring. Now instead of just thinking of starting my seeds in the greenhouse for transplant into the garden I am dreaming of a return to the walking trail and the wider variety that the non-closed world of the gym can’t really emulate.
Here’s hoping that variety is the cure for boredom. And that the walking trail dries out soon. And that I don’t do myself some ill with the jump rope.