First up, a confession. I’m not actually on a sun lounger anymore. Right now I am 38000 feet in the air somewhere between Brisbane and Hong Kong and I’ll be in Hong Kong by the time I get Wifi connection to be able to publish this blog. But since the thoughts that I’m about to share first popped into my head on my sun lounger I hope you’ll forgive me for the title of this post.
These particular thoughts were provoked by the check in assistant at the wonderful resort that we stayed in on Hamilton Island (that photo was the view we had from our room – just beautiful). As part of our welcome process he took us through the facilities on offer on the island. I’d done my research and knew there was a pretty good gym available, the first ‘proper’ gym that I’d had access to in over a week and a half – I was excited to check it out. So when his opening line was – I’m going to tell you about the least important stuff first – the gym”, I was quite surprised.
“You’re on holiday” he went on, “you don’t want to be spending time in the gym when you’re here to relax”. My first reaction was to protest and tell him that being active was absolutely part of my holiday plan. That we’re not the type of people that spend all day siting around the pool or lounging on the beach. And then I decided just to nod and listen and let him serve me my welcome drink while he explained the other options on offer.
The very next morning I was in that gym, as I was on each day that we were on the island. Not for long, but I was there, making the most of the facilities on offer.
Exercise has become part of my life. Like sleeping, eating and drinking it’s something that I both want and need to do on a regular basis, whether I’m on holiday or not.
For the preceding 10 days I’d not really had access to proper exercise equipment. Don’t get me wrong, we’d not exactly been sitting about. There’d been lots of walking, some snorkelling and swimming all of which had kept me moving. But in terms of ‘proper’ workouts there hadn’t been very much.
I’d done a bodyweight workout on the beach in Port Douglas – watching out for crocodiles as I did my press ups and tricep dips on the rocks. I’d also used the slightly odd ‘gym’ in our hotel in Mission Beach which had the most random selection of weights I’ve ever come across. So by the time we arrived in Hamilton Island I was ready to challenge my body with heavy weights and some more intense workouts, and so I did.
This got me thinking back to when I first started training with Julia. I remember telling her that I was worried that I’d have some kind of exercise ‘relapse’ and suddenly revert to my old lazy ways. I remember her telling me not to worry, that now that I’d got the bug that could never happen. “You’ve got this” she told me.
I started exercising because I wanted to shed some fat. I still exercise for that reason. But I also exercise for so many other reasons as well. I feel so much more full of life when I exercise, especially first thing in the morning – it sets me up for the day ahead. Exercise helps me to de-stress, there’s nothing like a tough intervals session or throwing around some heavy weights to help you forget about that challenging situation at work or annoying conversation you’ve had with *that* person. I am sure that exercise does as much for my mental health as it does for my physical!
Exercise has introduced me to some awesome people, many of whom I now consider good friends. Exercise was what first got me writing this blog where I’ve been able to share my experiences and interact with all sorts of interesting and inspiring people from around the world as a result.
Exercise helps me feel good about myself and I am pretty sure it makes me a better person to be around.
So why, just because I’m on holiday would I stop?