I have a confession. I workout like … a grandma.
I don’t push myself to the max.
I rarely break a sweat when I “work out.”
I like to go on leisurely walks and do simple yoga flows.
…Sometimes I will add in a 5 pound “strength training” circuit.
Like I said, I work out like a grandma.
(It’s actually quite possible that many “grandmas*” work out harder than I do.)
I always say I am going to push myself harder and get stronger, faster, more toned, …better. But after I run I feel like I have the flu (no joke, my nose runs, my body aches, my head hurts) and I cannot physically lift more than 10 pounds without ruining my form.
I see some of my friends on Instagram with their rock hard abs and strong legs and think dayyymmmn… if only I had the time…
But, the thing is, I do. I do have time to hit the gym and keep increasing the pounds I lift; even if I tremble and shake and can only do one repetition at first. I have the time to play soccer – or pick up another cardio focused sport – and work out while having fun so it doesn’t even feel like a work out. If I really wanted to, I could carve out time in my day for working out hard; like I find time for writing and walking and yoga and for reading every label in the grocery store (it literally takes me hours to shop for food).
But, for me, working out for any reason other than to move (because, let’s face it, we all feel better after a walk and some downward dog… we just do) and to mentally decompress just isn’t my thing.
So I officially declare that I accept my “grandma” workout tendencies. My stomach is soft and my thighs touch. My calves jiggle and, guess what?, so do my arms. Most days I opt for modifications while I do my chaturanga. I walker slower around one corner just to deeply inhale these insanely delicious purple flowers on my block. I don’t drag myself to the gym before daylight or try hard for muscle definition. That’s just not how I roll. I work out slow and soft. It’s a bike ride to the farmer’s market over an hour on the treadmill. It’s a light flow on my patio on a nice day over the 26 postures in Bikram yoga. It’s low-impact and minimal results. It’s letting go of the “perfect” body and, really, the time it would take to achieve it…
But, please know, that if you do subscribe to the No Pain, No Gain notion, I salute you. You are likely physically stronger than I am. You choose to dedicate your time and energy and hard work to your body, while I reserve those efforts for other aspects of my life. You probably have more strength (more muscle, more endurance) than me, but we are equally fierce. Neither is better as long as we are both happy and healthy.
On that note, make no mistake, this is not an anthem for not moving at all. I’m not writing this as an excuse to throw in the towel and swear off all exercise. I am not asking you to join my tribe and rebel against joining CrossFit. I am by no means saying I rather watch Netflix all day than be outside, working my feet and legs, breathing in the air, and knowing my heart is working a little harder pumping my blood throughout my body.
I have to move. I have to move for my mind and my body. But I don’t have to move for results. I can simultaneously respect the hard work it takes to get abs of steel but not become a slave to the gym myself.
I choose to take the hour a day dedicated to my body doing something that releases tension instead of creating soreness, but that’s just me. After all, I workout like a grandma, remember?
*I just like to use this term for elderly ladies, ok? However, of course, I do realize not every woman over the age of 60 is actually a grandmother… Like my own grandmother always reminds me!