Some people put faith in God, some in alcohol or drugs; some lunatics even believe in the Yankees. Not me, I am a New England everything sports fan and my religion is the gym. I grew up in a moderately religious home; we celebrated the holidays, but more to gather as a family and enjoy the food, than anything else. I am blessed to have people in my family of all faiths, who love celebrating various holidays with delicious food.
Life is busy, between kids, work, chores, and yes, dating. But the gym, that’s my time. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. The gym is my secret place of worship. The hour plus on the treadmill every day is my private reserved-for-me time. It is often when I do my best thinking. Unencumbered by the distractions of the day-to-day happenings, I take a deep breath and try to make sense of my world. Some days I think about how to please that particularly difficult client, or figure out the “how to’s” on a current project, or my children’s “Mom-Please-Do” list. Other days I just listen to my music, watch movies and decompress. Sometimes, I enjoy listening to the silence around me. Hearing the sermon in the quiet, unspoken words.
There are gym days where I find my mind drifting to my one true love and wonder what would have been. I still, many years since his passing, want to tell him about whatever silly thing I am excited about at that moment, or talk about how amazing our kids are; anything, just hear to his voice. While I know, there is nothing I can do to bring him back, I still think of him regularly. He will always remain extraordinary in my heart. But, I also believe you can love more than one person in your life; so I date with an open mind and not as a comparison.
While the gym is a great place to think and reboot, I do have to admit it is also an ego booster. There are two banks of treadmills, one set behind the other. Last week, I seem to have caught the eye of thirtyi-ish handsome man, Mr. Hottie. He was in the second row, staring at my behind for as long as I was there. I suspect he didn’t notice the mirror in front of us. I have to admit it was flattering and I may have shaken my bootie just a little more than normal. Yesterday, Mr. Hottie appeared on the treadmill next to mine. Given that no other treadmill was in use, I doubt that it was coincidence.
He introduced himself and it’s clear he hasn’t a clue that I am twenty years older than him. As I continued to gain momentum I rationalized to myself that there was a time, not long ago that I would have flirted and made the effort to get to know him outside the gym. But for now, I wanted to put those days behind me and try a new routine. Although the flirting was flattering, after the bartender and the professional athlete misfortunes, I thought I would take a short break from men with whom it was clear that there was no future. I currently didn’t have any interest in the games or the heartache. I felt I needed to take a deep breath, wanted, needed and deserved something different – – for now. And, so does Mr. Hottie. She is out there for Mr. Hottie; Mr. Different is out there for me.
I was at mile seven with three more to go; sweating, my eyes glazed over and slightly light-headed, so it is entirely possible my whole thought process would change once I cooled off.
I considered that 2018 was fast approaching. What should my resolutions be? I am an incredibly strong and independent woman. I have a phenomenal family, kids and a life rich in ways I would never have imagined. I am looking for a nice guy who adores spunk and fire. When I do I find him, I hope to never let him go. Until then, I resolve to enjoy every moment, to breathe in the cold Boston air, cheer the Patriots, Bruins and Celtics, embrace the fact that I still turn the heads of men twenty years my junior, smile, laugh, tell my children I love them every day. And in the times that I drift off in thought, I will quietly tell my forever soulmate that I love him still, every day.
This is my new will power. My new tenacity.
More than any man, the gym is what I can’t do without. The gym is my religion.
Stay tuned. . . .