Yesterday, while I was sweating it out on the treadmill, trying to push myself to go a little faster than I normally do, for a little longer than the body was willing to, a friend got on the treadmill next to mine.
“Do you normally just do the treadmill, or do you also do the other things?”, she asked.
“On a good week, I run two days a week, and do weights for four days”, I panted. “But then, so few weeks are good weeks – something always seems to turn up every week.”
“I was thinking of starting some light weight training too”, she told me sweetly. “Normally, I do ten minutes of treadmill and some stretching, but the body seems to have got used to it, and there is no difference any longer.”
Ten minutes of walking, and some light stretches!!! I don’t even count the twenty minutes of running I do to warm-up everytime I step into the gym, and the cooling down stretches I take for granted. And yet, she is slimmer than I can ever hope to be, and I have never seen her bursting out of her jeans as I often do.
I could and should have been insanely jealous. I could and should have minded terribly that she was unhappy with so much, while I had to work so much harder to maintain so much less. But, strangely, I was quite unaffected.
There were those three years, when the T-shirt I did not have would have read – ‘Sure I am in shape. Round is a shape too.’ But that is, thankfully, now a thing of the past. Through hard work and persistence, I am at a shape I am reasonably comfortable with. Sure I could be a little slimmer- like Wally Simpson famously said, you can never be too rich or too thin - but it is not something I stress about any longer. I have made peace with my body, and if I exercise as much as I do, it is not because I want to shed inches, but because I am a happier person when I am exercising regularly.
Which is why I was merely amused at my friend moaning about how ten minutes of moderately brisk walking did not seem to have any effect on her.
Am I blogging about this today because it happened yesterday, and is fresh in my memory? Or is there a point to my blogging about this today in particular?
When I look back on the year that is going to get over in a couple of hours, I realise that 2008 has in fact been a great year for me. People who care for me may think that my life is a little bit of a mess, but I know that it is not so. This is the year when things fell into place for me, and I have made peace with life as it is.
Sure, there are days when I am super stressed. There are days when the only thing I want to do is to run away and start afresh. And, no, those days are not as rare as my normally upbeat blog posts may suggest.
BUT, as far as the big picture goes, I am happy and content. And the only thing that I want from 2009 is that I continue being at peace with myself.
Though I would not say no to a solo holiday in Venice either.