Yesterday, I was living the lazy life of luxury. I had gotten my run out of the way and was curled up on the couch watching Netflix on infinite loop when, completely out of the blue, my boyfriend turned to me and said “Wanna box?”. I knew I had already worked out that day, but I jumped at the chance to do something fun that wasn’t just me vegging out on the couch. Far too often, I fall victim to the comfy cushions and plush pillows of my sofa and let it ingulf me for the entirety of the weekend, but not today. Today, I was going to have fun and work up a sweat.
My boyfriend had surprised me with a pair of boxing gloves in the mail one day. I had never boxed before, but I had always loved kickboxing classes and my one Jillian Michaels Kickboxing DVD I bought on super sale at Target when Houston was going through one of its cranky rain phases which made me completely unmotivated to gym. The gloves were bubble gum pink, 12 ounces, and came with what seems like 1 million yards of wrap for my hands. I pulled them out of their hiding spot and got ready to work.
Now, my boyfriend is no novice when it comes to boxing. When we lived in Houston, he would frequent a Muy Thai gym and we had even driven to just outside of Austin for a chance for him to spar with other fighters, so he loves this stuff. I, on the other hand, had no idea what I was doing and look nothing less than gangily and awkward with these giant glove hands. While I bumbled around, dragging my new 12 ounce fists, he went to his closet and started pulling out all kinds of pads and such. Next thing I know, I have these pretty sweet shin guards on and he’s staring back at me with his hands covered in pads saying “set the timer”. I turned to my trusty iPhone and started up my “Seconds” app with intervals of 1 minute on, 20 seconds off.
For about 40 minutes we played around and I learned about how to do a proper jab, cross, hook, kick, cross-kick, and duck all the while laughing and having an awesome time. I didn’t even realize how long we had been doing it until I looked at the clock and it was almost dinner. I find those workout times to be the best times. They’re the times when you’re so focused on the fact that you’re having a blast that you don’t even care if one minute has passed or twenty, if you’ve burned one calorie or 700.
I thought about this when I was on my walk with the Boo today. If you own a dog, you know that there is nothing quite like taking them outside. Pups live for walks and runs and games of catch and anything that will exercise them.
The reckless abandon Boo has when she takes off after a tennis ball is something I wish I could find more of in my runs. She is so content to just be moving and shaking her little legs and I want to always be the same way. I believe the key to an awesome workout is not feeling like you’re working out. Get lost in music, a TV show, companionship of a friend (furry or otherwise) and you’ll get all the benefits of exercise without even realizing it.
One of my favorite examples of this is when my father and I used to take long walks on weekends. This was long before either of us were the workout warriors we are today, but we knew that it would be a good thing to do, so we did it. We would take off on epically long walks; never timing them or tracking mileage. We would get lost in conversation and the next thing we knew we were in an area foreign to us and we were quickly realizing we had to walk the entire distance we just walked to get home and it was going to be no easy feat. It didn’t matter though. The miles and steps would pass, but the conversation was what was really fueling the workout.
Next time you don’t feel like getting up and getting over to the gym, think of something fun to do to get yourself moving instead. Create a playlist of your favorite dancing tunes and go to town. Lace up your shoes and walk with no idea where you’re going. Bike to the next town and check out a local farmer’s market or run an errand. I don’t care what you do, just get up and move and have fun doing it.