Please don't ask me why, but for some reason (and thank goodness for whatever it was) in the early peaks of sunlight this morning, while slipping my body away from the comfort of the warm covers to enter the sharp cold air of my bedroom, I hit an epiphany.
EJ, my subconscious whispered to me in my sleepy stupor, you should pack work-out clothes for lunch time.
Thus, for whatever Force possessed me, I walked out of the house this morning with the now unfamiliar feeling of my gym bag strap pressing diagonally against my chest. Contents: A bottle of water, gym sneakers, my comfy Puma black track pants, and matching tank and some sport socks.
I don't know why I thought today would be a good day to start back at the gym, but in the end, I am glad that I did.
Once 11:45 am rolled around, I glanced at the clock, hoping that somehow it'd motivate me to get my lazy ass up off the chair. And then I made the announcement to my coworker over in the next cubicle (Anyone who has ever worked in a cubicle environment understands that there somehow or other is an unspoken bond between you and one of the cubicle mates around you, mine just happens to be right next to me.) that I was to go to the gym.
"Really?! Are you joking? The gym?!" she exclaimed.
Her tone embarrassed me. Okay, okay, people, I've been slacking. Hardcore. But it felt like with my hair, also went my energy. That's not the case now, but it was at one point.
"Yeees," I answered slowly, "yes, I plan to go to the gym in the next few minutes."
"It's been a couple months since you've been hasn't it?"
Wow, okay. Even worse when someone other than John Basedow, Jr. notices and makes comment of you not having gone to the gym in a while. The scene and motivation was set now. I was committed. I had to go to the gym now to prove all these people I could. That, and prove to myself.
I walked into the familiar sights, sounds and smells of the gym. Walked into the dressing room and was immediately greeted by a familiar face. When I used to work out everyday before I lost the hair, I had become friends with a lot of people I'd see everyday there. The workers, the gym-goers, everyone. But particularly this lady, A. She works in my building actually, and is absolutely the sweetest person you want to meet. When I first met her, she had told me she started going to the gym to get back into shape. She was probably the most committed, and determined person out of all the people at the gym, besides the older lady that I always see that looks tighter than the Abs Made Simple video.
She asked me where I had been since it'd been awhile since she had seen me.
I explained to her that I had taken a little hiatus from working out - mostly from depression and sadness in the beginning, but in the end, it turned out all right - leading to a peaceful inner me and a better handle on my inner strength and capabilities. All the fun stuff you've been reading about here.
Once I began to tell her about the alopecia, I removed my ski hat to reveal my shaved head.
"Well, it looks great," A said, "you have a beautiful face anyway."
"Thanks." (I never know what to say when people say this to me. I take to feeling the redness in my cheeks settle in and I smile and just nod my head and offer a quick, "thanks")
The rest of my workout went rather fast. I grabbed an elliptical and A grabbed one right next to mine. We talked about everything from Christmas shopping, to her by-pass surgery, to her new diet, to even trying to get her husband out for exercise. Within 45 minutes, we had both run about two miles a piece and didn't even feel like we had run anything at all.
"I am so glad that I ran into you today, EJ," A said, offering me a hug.
"No, no...hey, thank YOU for running into me here. My first day back went a helluva lot better than I expected because of you." And I meant it.
I am a full believer that things happen for a reason, and going there today and feeling like I was truly missed by people I wasn't even sure had acknowledged my existence every day at the gym before...it really helped to solidify all the reasons in my head that I had had about how good it was going to be getting back into working out again. I feel like a million bucks after that run, too.