For years people have been telling me how much it helps to exercise with friends - how it makes the experience more pleasant, how it increases accountability, how it saves one from dying away from it. I have nodded...yeah, yeah, I know...but I haven't really wanted to hear it. This has been an area of my life I have remained a stubborn loner, preferring to do it on my own, thank you very much.
But they were right.
My exercise class didn't fit in my other commitments tonight. I was talking this through with my friend, who is also in the class and is a GREAT encourager who tolerates my reluctance with great stamina. I wanted to use the time between my 2 Bible studies for a walk...but by that time, it's dark outside and "outside alone after dark" isn't something I do here in the city. I knew I could climb the stairs here, but I hate that. I love walking outside in this impending-spring air. I was definitely whining when talking to my friend about it all.
Actually, there is time right after work to walk, before supper. She was quick to offer to walk with me then.
Reluctance really should be my middle name. I sighed and smiled. "Yes, that would be a good idea. I'll walk much faster with you than I would without." Seriously, why does she put up with me?!
We had a great walk. Another friend joined us. The fresh air was delicious. Stomping through the mud and snow and tiptoeing around the puddles was childlike fun. Laughing and talking together made the fact that we were walking much faster than I walk alone seem like not really so much a hardship. I was invigorated. I burned calories. I worked up a sweat without feeling overly taxed. And my muscles are telling me tonight that they got worked for real.
I felt better toward my body when we got home than I did before we left. I mean, I get that this "loving my body" thing has to be more than just a feeling...it has to be built of many, many decisions. But noticing that the feeling part improved a notch...
...that was pretty nice.