Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Fit-ting in

Bikes at the Boon Lay MRT station
For the two of you reading who don't know me, I should perhaps mention that I don't necessarily look like a terribly active person at first glance. Of all the insecurities I struggle with (including, but not limited to, intelligence, compassion, kindness, and patience), perhaps the most daunting and irritating to me is that which deals with my physical appearance. I'm plain and not-small, and most of the time I can deal with that. Sometimes, though? Eesh.

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.


  1. Go Mt. Kinabalu!!! Look fwd to a trip account.

  2. Hey You! I think we all feel like you do - especially post workout!
    I too am fitter than I was in earlier years... I like your dad's comment on the positive trend as we mature.

    Tonight for instance... I felt great after a 60 min. drill class. Normally I would go home, shower, neaten up - but a friend was in town (home for a few days from Australia) and it was the only time I could see her (a quick hour right after class before she went to see another friend). I jumped at the opportunity, went and socialized and loved catching up. As I was leaving I got a glimpse of me in the mirror - hair (in pony tail- bad) and looking tired (I hadn't had dinner/ so low on energy) ... other than the bad nutrition planning due to the last minute plan I'm glad I seized the moment! :-) I know I can look great, tonight just wasn't one of those moments - but catching up with a good friend was worth it. I enjoy all my activity... although recently (today) I've thought I need to sprinkle my life with a different form of fun - do you have any suggestions? Jen W in Canada!

  3. Jen - so good to hear from you! It sounds like you're keeping a great attitude (and a 60 min. drill class? ROCK ON, fit woman! From what you've said on Facebook it seems like you're putting me to shame with your activity schedule!), and catching up with a friend is such a great reason to go out. Kudos for balancing the two!
    Your question about "fun" has perfect timing for me, however, as I read it as I was recovering from Basketball practice! I'm trying to see if tossing in a competitive team sport along with more solitary endeavors adds to the enjoyment level. Based on last night's practice? Yes! Care to move to Singapore and join in? =)

    (PS - Kinabalu trip booked for Dec!)

  4. you beautiful doofus! plain is never a word for my little sister. one day you will see yourself the way you and i do when we discuss shiretta and her lack of confidence in her beauty.
    and i'm still tripping on your playing b-ball!!!!