Just for Me
Why I'm Saving Exercise for My Retirement
Lately, I've been finding it incredibly difficult to fit exercise into my daily routine. While I'm up at the crack of dawn, feeding cats, kids, applying sunscreen and then narrowly catching my commuter train, the only fitness routine I've been following on a regular basis is the one that requires me to climb a flight of stairs after arriving at my subway stop.
Before I was married and had kids, I used to exercise like a fiend and even owned the cute workout clothes to prove it. After working a full day, I'd still manage to hit Bally's total fitness where I'd take a hip hop class and then the next morning, I'd rollerblade to my job at the Ricki Lake Show where I'd glide down Fifth Avenue to the office. Today, my blades sit in a lonely pile at the back of our garage and my gym membership? Well, I've still been paying the monthly dues, but I can't remember the last time I actually saw the inside of the gym.
My biggest beef with working out is that for me, it's always been an all or nothing experience. Either I'm jumping out of bed in the morning, eager to take a spin class or I find myself rolling over so that I can get a few more Zzzz's before it's time to start my monotonous morning routine. Lately, I've chosen Zzzz's over Zumba every day of the week.
Lately, I've found myself daydreaming about what my life will be like once I hit retirement. I've actually become jealous of my parents and in-laws - who get to spend their retirement traveling to exotic destinations on flights that are actually inexpensive (because it's not peak vacation season) and taking every fitness class under the sun. In fact, now that my mom is a full fledged retiree, she's in the best shape she's ever been in her life! Between yoga classes, weight training and her cardio routine, she could easily get a job as a fitness instructor for senior citizens. Plus, in her spare time, she takes tap dancing with my dad, works part time as a volunteer at the library and is even a docent at a museum. Then there's the art classes, college history courses and on weekends, she spends time with me where we pursue one of our favorite pasttimes...shopping.
I guess I shouldn't feel guilty that I haven't had time to work out and break a sweat - unless you count last week, when I literally started sweating in 105 degree heat during my son's travel baseball game. These days, if given an extra hour to myself I'd rather take the time to hang out with my family on the couch and watch TV then bump and grind in a beginner's pilates class. Of course, give me another 20 years and I may just change my tune.