I never meant to quit the gym

Where did you put the bike?

City life - Zen landscape

City life – Zen landscape

Since I came in Cluj (2003) I was constantly subscribed to a gym. Small neighborhood gyms, (even in some apartments :)) and famous ones with many members, with large displays, lights and fancy decorations. I attended classes from A (aerobic) to Z (Zumba). All of them. Any workout would do as long as it is … “in groups“.

I went to the gym because I constantly wanted to lose weight”. How big was my obsession with sports? About 80GB big (yes gigabytes a full external hard drive).

I had a fully equipped gym in my house: threadmill check, elliptical trainer check, stand bike (this is the one from the title), stepper- check, dumbbells check; They were mostly used as coat hangers and occasionally dust support but each of them found a new home, one by one.

I connected sports with diet and diet was a form of punishment for me, so sports was itself the method by which I “punished” myself for what and how much I ate.


“Can you hear the music back there?”

In 2013, while still in my maternity leave, I wanted to resume my old “good” habits. Something felt differently though: the music was screaming in the speakers (I think you could land a plane next to me and I would not hear it) as if the soul was about to pop out of my chest when I felt the vibrating waves, the people were cramming to find a good place – in front of the mirror, close to the coach, fights” for the equipment or mattresses, limited seating, air conditioning.

After 1h I felt my lungs making a supreme effort to oxygenate properly using the air expired by the other 40 persons in the room. I noticed that during the “bootcamp training” (as if I was preparing for enrolment in some special troops) I could not hear my breath … nor my body or my thoughts … in fact I could not hear anything. I was not even present there. 🙂 

Of course I could hear the music at the back of the room. You could hear it from the parking lot 2 blocks away.

Gym "workout" ?

Gym “workout” ?

What do you do when a problem occurs (or things do not go as expected)? Will you persist with the same behavior? No, obviously, not. You change the conscioussness that created the problem.

I understood I am not in the game to burn calories. No anymore! It has not brought me joy, nor love for my body. It brought me  comparison, competition and frustration instead.

So I gave another purpose (actually two) to my physical activity: bringing more oxygen into my lungs (breathe properly in fact) and to be present in the moment. The beauty? It Works! Instantly my mind correlated the idea of oxygen with forest, fields, parks and then I was able to attach myself to the idea of physical activity in a more acceptable way for my psyche.

In the fields - unrestricted oxygen

In the fields – unrestricted oxygen

That’s how I released my extra pounds without getting too physical.


Note: Another reason I chose not to attend gyms anymore was related to my knees (and wrists) – jumping on concrete – not good for the joints (running on asphalt or even worse, treadmills have no good outcomes).