I was in the gym last night doing weights, which I actually kind of like. Not very many people work out at the same time as me, so I couldn’t help but notice this man grunting with each push on the machine. Loudly. He wasn’t even nearby. It was so distracting. Before I knew it, my mindset was on a different trajectory. I was irritated with the leg lifts. Listening to him was grating on my nerves. All I could think about was how I didn’t want to do this workout.
So, I stopped. Mid-workout.
I moved over to the other side of the gym, did 2 more machines (that I like a lot) and then went to swim.
My friend posted earlier about “disincentives” when it comes to working out. These would include things that simply turn you off from something you liked about your workout before. I wasn’t going to keep working out, getting more and more irritated, and then maybe find myself disliking the workout entirely.
So I moved on to the swimming pool, my usual wrap-up for the workout evening.
I entered the pool area, noticing a stack of equipment near the first lane. A man approached the pool about the same time as me, shuffling through his accroutements, and then wading cautiously into the water. He was clearly not a swimmer. We had smiled at each other when I got in there. It was 11:15 p.m. so there weren’t a lot of people there at all – one lady texting near the hot tub, a guy leaving the sauna.
I did a few laps, kind of in a meditative state – one reason to love swimming. Ron came in to check how many more laps I was going to do. We talked about the distance of the pool and how 8 laps = 1/4 mile. It’s always kind of surprising when there’s conversation in the swimming area. It’s silent usually. Just the sounds of the water. But last night, they had classical music playing too. It was nice. Still, talking seems abrupt in there.
I finished my swim, pondering his compliments. Thinking, I guess I AM very relaxed when I swim. I only do strokes I like. I don’t struggle. I try to zone out. I really love the water.I came back to the other end of the pool and the man asked if I had been swimming a long time. Normally, people don’t strike up conversations with me…certainly not 40 year old asian men. I mumbled something like, “I guess,” and he started telling me his troubles with swimming. I listened, told him to relax, try to float more, other little tips. Finally, he said, in a totally non-flirty way, “I just have to tell you, when you swim, it is so graceful. So effortless looking. Simply beautiful. You should know that. It’s inspiring.”
Huh. That was a first. In possibly… ever.
So I finished and got out of the pool, breaking the silence again to tell him good luck with his swimming and have a nice night. Smiling to myself, all the way back to the showers.
The whole thing was a clear testament to going where your body WANTS to go. And not to fight so hard to keep pre-planned ideas… just keep moving in the right direction.
And everything does work out – beautifully.
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