|Bikes at the Boon Lay MRT station|
Today, for example, I manged to convince myself to go to my gym after what had turned out to be a very long (though productive!) day at work. I got there, changed, hit the elliptical and then the stationary bike (yes, better to be on the real bike, but there were clouds! lightning! thunder!) for a total of about 50 minutes. Now, I was working fairly hard. Good resistance, good speed, and the snarky and delightful sounds of my beloved "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!" in the background. A good workout, and I headed back to the shower feeling bouncy and energetic.
And then, oh heavens, the MIRRORS.
See, I was lucky enough to not see my post-workout self all that often in Chicago. My esteemed pilates studio didn't have many mirrors around, it was easy to avoid them at my gym, and I was great at knowing how to avoid looking at myself in my apartment when I knew I looked like crap. Here, however...mirrors all around. I could see my red face, sweaty hair, and just general URGH from all angles.
And I know it's all in the interest of keeping up my fitness. I know that it's a process, and that the gross is a sign that I'm working hard. I know, realistically, that I'm in fairly good shape - I bike, walk, hike, work out, and do pilates whenever I can. My camera is filled with pictures of the Singaporean outdoors because that's where I most like to be, and what I most like to experience. I'm working on planning a trip here later in the year because how cool would that be?
My physical ability was really limited when I was a kid. I joked with my dad the other day that I'm in better shape now - in my 30s - than I was when I was in my teens. It's sad, in a way, that that's true; however, as my dad noted, better to be getting better than getting worse. It's hard to remind myself of that sometimes, though. I see the people I'm surrounded by - fitter, more tone, less self-conscious - and wonder why I keep on trying.
And then I walk back to the office. Or skip the bus in favor of a bike ride. Or catch an early breeze off the canal. Or receive a smile from a fellow cyclist at a difficult intersection. And remember that this is why I do it. However disgusting I may look, however insecure I may feel, I am active. I am trying. And I do love the act of trying.