Submitted by Susanne Bacon.
Though I’ve never been really bad at most of it, I rarely developed a passion for any kind of work-out. As a kid, I was on a treck and field athletics team … for about a year. Then I tried myself at gymnastics … I felt awkward about the trainer. Then I had a stint at the aero wheel – indeed, I was good. Though I didn’t do ALL the tricks they show in this little video:
But I was that good that they wanted to train me for championships. It would have meant that my family would have spent their weekends on the road, driving me around. So that didn’t happen. It didn’t make me upset. Sometimes things just don’t happen in life.
School swimming classes started in third grade. I couldn’t swim, so my parents flash-taught me at a local swimming pool during the one-week fall vacation that year. We went every day. By the end of the week I was a swimmer. I never was fast, but I got best grades as to style. And I never had a problem with endurance.
I was second best in high jumping in our class in middle school, but a horrible gymnast. I preferred to play soccer with the boys – who actually invited me along to be a goalie or an offense. In high school I excelled on the balance beam. I didn’t even need a springboard to jump onto it. And I was a passionate ballroom and Latin dancer in my early twenties when I attended a dance school and was even asked to be a freelance partner at classes I hadn’t booked.
I made half-hearted attempts at compensatory gymnastics at university. I tried treck. I even bought a new bike at one time. To make a long story short – I’m a walker. Power walking is fine with me. Long-distance walking, as in German hiking, as well. Mountain hiking … not so much. I love loop hiking. So, I don’t have to return by the same way.
What has me so wary about sports or working out? Maybe it is because competition has never been a way by which I wanted to express myself. Maybe all this grading in school, being voted on a team because of one’s popularity (nerdy me usually was among the last), the embarrassment of failure simply put its mark on me. But I happily climbed trees. And the aero wheel is still something the memory of which I treasure. Because that was ME.
Later, in Stuttgart, Germany, I made walking a daily routine. There were beautiful meadows, lakes, and woods around where I lived, and an hour of walking passed in a jiffy. I continued doing so in Steilacoom. What’s NOT beautiful about walking through town for an hour, seeing things change as the seasons change, chatting with neighborly people over the fence?! Here in Lakewood, I always have to get into the car to start walking somewhere worthwhile. It’s a bit of a pain; I have to kick my shin a little harder. Meanwhile, our fitness club membership goes unused because of Covid. So, my husband and I have developed a routine of core training that we promised to do at a specific time during the day. I fail at that more often than not. It’s not ME.
I need to find back to my little walking routine again. It makes me happy. It keeps me healthy. It’s ME. If you are stuck in a similar rut – maybe you have also just been trying out the wrong kind of work-out. Keep trying to find out what makes YOU happy. Sometimes it’s just a change of scenery that works miracles.