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The Zen of Being a Gym Castaway

There's something about the fall - which includes a new school year, PAX, and the end of extreme heat - that reminds me that, oh yeah, I can't eat anything I want and not really work out and still fit into all of my cute clothes. I love running the Goblin Gallup 5K in Marymoor Park every Halloween (this will be my 3rd year in a row!), and a Turkey Trot would be fun, too. So back to that running life I go.

My new place has an amazing fitness center, so I cancelled my 24-Hour membership in anticipation of my impending move. However, that leaves me without a gym for a few weeks. So as the sun started to set tonight, I decided to just run outside.

I hadn't really gone running in a while, but I can't remember a time when running a 5K at a decent pace felt so easy and downright pleasant. The weather was cool and breezy, the fresh air reinvigorated my lungs, and I even paused at the halfway point to pick some wild blackberries that grow along the trail.

So maybe I've been doing this running thing all wrong. No matter what you do, running inside on a treadmill is ultimately boring and repetitive; no wonder it's so difficult to force ourselves to go. It occurs to me that, maybe, the only way to commit to a lifelong exercise routine is to do something you actually enjoy. It's incredibly obvious, but that's part of how I maintained good fitness up until I graduated from Wellesley: I worked out so hard with my tennis teams from ages 9-22 that I never had to deal with the drudgery of forcing myself to run. Tennis provided accidental exercise that was fun and didn't feel like (unpleasant) work.

Especially considering the fact that DigiPen will start back up soon, I guess what I'm ultimately saying is: go outside. It's beautiful, the temperature is perfect for running, and there are blackberries.

Copyright Alexandra Lucas 2015

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