It’s a subject that rears it’s ugly head frequently in the book blogging community – how on earth do we find the time to work, go to school, have families, read, blog, catch up on other blogs we follow, have social lives, and do other things like eat and breathe? Reading, blogging, and trying to have a life is hard, and I’ve only gone and made it even harder for myself…
One weekday morning, around two months ago, I woke up for work and very randomly decided that after work, I would go to the gym. This may not be that surprising for a lot of people, but for me, it was incredibly rare. For the majority of my life I’ve been practically allergic to exercise, so why the sudden change?
I think it started a couple of months ago, when I took part in Pretty Muddy for Cancer Research UK, which consists of a 5K run, in mud, with various obstacles to overcome throughout the course – think massive blow up water slides, mud pits, and climbing frames, and you’ll get the idea. I entered with a group of friends, and we did zero training before the event. Our rationale was that we’d (power) walk it if we had to, but it was for a good cause and it would be a bit of “craic” (translation – good fun).
It was crazy good fun. A local radio station were playing loud music and getting the crowd pumped up, and there was a ton of atmosphere and buzz… true, I could only run for 2K out of the 5… But I did finish! By the end I was a knock-knee’d mess, but I felt like I’d accomplished something, and it felt good.
Fast forward a few weeks, and my car broke down, which *shock, horror* meant I had to walk to the local shop (actually, my exhaust fell off, but same difference). I’m 25 years of age, I should be fit and healthy, I should be in my prime! But that walk winded me, and I think that was the moment when I decided something had to change…
I’m BIG into working out my “brain muscles” – reading, writing, learning, gaining qualifications – I’m a certified Geek, but I’ve never been remotely interested in working out any other muscles. Unfortunately, the majority of my work and hobbies require long periods of time sitting on my butt, which isn’t exactly conducive to improving fitness levels. Any mediocre attempts at fitness in the past have all been related to trying to lose weight, which usually means you’re all GO for the first few weeks, but then quickly lose interest. THIS time, I wanted to exercise to get fitter. I wanted to get stronger, and yes getting leaner at the same time wouldn’t hurt. I wanted to get those endorphins that everyone keeps talking about!
So, I joined my local female-only gym, and I’ve been going a minimum of three times a week for the past 8 weeks (and counting). I’m doing intermediate spin classes. I’m discovering and building muscles I didn’t know I had. I’m getting hooked. I definitely think that if in another 8 weeks I can do an advanced spin class without falling over, I’ll be ready for The Hunger Games.
While this is all great news for my health and fitness, I’m sad to say it’s terrible news for reading and blogging. Going to the gym takes time, especially whenever you go to scheduled evening classes (my typical reading and blogging time), and when washing and drying your hair takes an hour, it just gets problematic. I’m writing this at 10.30PM with wet hair from the shower I had at 9.00PM… Have no fear! I don’t plan on going anywhere, I’ll continue to read and blog in my little corner of the Internet, but you may see just a little bit less of me… And with all of this exercise, I mean that literally 😉
Do any of you have a fitness routine, and does it impact how you manage your time? How do you all generally fit in your reading and blogging? Let me know in the comments!
Well done you! Exercise is something I need to do more of (although I class running around after twins as exercise!) but like you say, where do we find the time? It’s all a balancing act, but I hope you’re enjoying whatever you do!
Thanks, Cathy! Yes, I would definitely class that as exercise! Lol I’m enjoying it so far, just trying to get the balance right so I don’t burnout and throw in the towel, and so I can do more of what makes me 🙂 R xx
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Congrats on your mud run!! We have lots of similar things in my area and they always look like such fun afterwards! Do you know about the color runs where they throw colored cornstarch on you as you run by?
Also congrats on sticking with spinning for so long! Spinning always sounds like fun but also like I’d get too tired halfway through BUT I haven’t ever tried it. I’d like to join a class but I don’t know where to go. I wish I knew of a female-only gym near me.
I think it’s important to balance your life with blogging, so if exercising makes you feel and look better then it’s okay for you to not be around as much! Do what makes you happy! 🙂
Thanks, Kate! I saw there was a Colour Run in Belfast recently. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll ever run a full 5K, I’ve taken to cycling much more than running, and I tend to be cautious of some of the damaging effects of running (whether those stories are true or not I’m not sure). I might take part in more 5K’s in the future, but I probably won’t increase the distance more than that. I want to get into the cycling more for definite!
There’s something very energising about spin! It’s challenging, and you can measure and see your improvement, which is SO motivational. I’m very much a results-based person, and even if there’s a week where I don’t feel I’ve lost weight or inches, if I can up my gears in spin or stay standing for the full class (which I can now do!!), then there’s still progress there. You should look and see if there is a female-only gym, I just prefer it because it makes me less self-conscious when it’s all girls, and it means in classes the pace is for women. Definitely give spin a go, I’m hooked!
I think that’s a great attitude to have! I’ve accepted that I can’t put as much time into reading and blogging, but I think that’s a healthy thing too – I’m less likely to suffer blogger burnout I think, and also I think looking back I was spending TOO much time blogging and reading instead of doing other productive things with my free time. So now, I just have to find the right balance… Let me know if you try spin! R x
The only fitness I did in the last months was twice a week 2 hours of Aikido in the evening. Untill term’s end I had the same hair problems as you. But It is positive for my reading and blogging for afterwards we sometimes talk a lot with each other – especially about books 😉
You know you’re speaking my language with this post, right? I love it. 😉 I love that you have gotten the fitness itch! I was right there with you less than a year ago! I remember HATING exercise, but one time running, and I was hooked. Now I’m obsessed with getting my steps in every day and running as much as I can, and it feels good. But, I completely understand the dilemma of it taking away from reading and blogging time. My reading and blogging has suffered. I used to catch up on blogging over my lunch breaks, but now I’m walking over lunch. If I walk on the treadmill, I do read for that hour – so that’s a way to get in some reading time! Also, audio books?? While you spin or do other cardio? Lots of people listen to audio books while they work out, and I think that’s a great way to get in some reading time. You know that I have helped my situation by getting up before dawn to work out, but I know that’s not an option for you, at least not yet. But, after awhile it may be worth trying, because it’s a great way to start the day. 😉
Unfortunately, some hobbies will just have to be put on the back burner on the days you’re at the gym, but really – that’s okay! You’re doing this for you! You’re getting fit and healthy and that’s more important. If you blog a little less, it’s a good price to pay to feel good and live longer. I am definitely reading less than I used to, but I’m making up for it in how good I feel, so I see that as a good thing. Keep up the good work, Rach!! xx
I’ve been looking forward to your comment on this 😉
I kind of feel like although I probably won’t have a post up Mon-Fri, which was my aim when I was having a good week, my content will have a little more effort put into it, because I’m not under pressure to post 5 times a week now. The whole fitness thing has chilled me out, and life has smacked me up the face and reminded me that the people who follow my blog won’t disappear if I’m not posting every day, that my goal is to have great experiences and chats with people who follow my ramblings, not create a HUGE following (but hey, if it ever happened I wouldn’t complain!).
I have definitely gotten an itch – I had a pretty bad day today, for example, I woke up late, wasn’t feeling 100%, felt a little “meh”, and I could really see the gym far enough tonight. BUT I haven’t missed a session yet, so I forced myself to go, and now I feel better. Not like, oh wow one session fixed my life lol, but better. I think/hope it will stick this time because it’s not just about the weight loss, it’s about the muscle gain, the shape changing, the mental health, and all that other stuff too, as well as weight loss. It’s definitely coinciding with this weird change of life I’m going through regarding not wanting to go out for wild nights out anymore, which is useful! Eating well with a hangover is not possible, and a spin class with a hangover? HA, hang over the handle bars more like!
You’ve incorporated activity daily, which is AMAZING to me. I do 3 sessions a week – one spin class, one zumba class, and then interval and weight training in the gym. Once a month I do a PT session to take measurements etc. and shake up my routine a bit. Now and again I might add another class on – there’s a pilates class after my spin, and I’m tempted to stay for it, but again time just gets eaten! When it comes to audiobooks, I haven’t tried one yet – for classes, you really need the LOUD, upbeat music to motivate you, and I recently treated myself to an iPod shuffle for when I do gym work on my own. I really like getting songs to set my pace too, so I don’t know how an audiobook would affect that… I’ll try one though.
I think some time, probably quite a way from now, but SOME TIME, I might try a morning class. My gym do a 2 week bootcamp from 6-7 every morning Monday to Friday, and I might try it some time. But I honestly can’t imagine getting up at that time to work out. By the Friday of week 1 I’d be dead. Dead. Lol. My company have a cycle team (which is currently all male) and I’m tempted to join them. Every year they do an event called Lap the Lough, which is a cycle around Lough Neagh (google maps? lol). It’s 80 odd mile, and I want to start training to do it next year, for Cancer Research UK too. I’ve really taken to cycling – walking/running isn’t really my thing, but cycling I love. Since I trained in Health and Safety though, and became a motorist, I’m kind of petrified of cycling on the road!!
I think for the past year, this blog/community and reading had been a MASSIVE part of my life, and I kind of feel like I’m moving away from it a little. I’m NOT going anywhere, but I am making time for other things as a priority… It’s all very strange. I think I’ll do a post on it soon too – how I think I was using reading as a bit of a crutch, as opposed to it being purely beneficial to my life. I was doing a lot of reading about life, and now I’m trying to balance that with actually getting out and living it…
Thanks for the support, B! Here’s hoping I keep it up!! R xxx
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GO audible. It’s the only way if you are working out too
I do love exercise. I ALMOST ALWAYS HAVE! 😀 But yes it can take up quite a bit of time, right?!? I go for a short run in the morning before 7am and then a 40min walk in the afternoon…aaaand, I listen to audio books instead of music. It works so well! I could totally walk FOREVER while listening to an audio.
Before 7AM? WHYYYY?? I definitely am not a morning person, at all. Do you do runs and walks every day?? I still have to try an audio yet. Music helps me for pacing you see when I’m working out, I think a book might slow me down… maybe. I will try it, one day R xx
Exercising…is something I need to do. I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Like, I’m pretty much a rock. I’ve contemplated signing up for some kind of class because motivation is something I need a lot of. Accountability too. I’ve tried exercising on my own, but fall off my routine in less than two weeks. I would sacrifice some blogging/reading hours if it meant sticking to a routine that would keep my healthy.
LOL a “rock” is how I would have described myself before too, I never got much enjoyment out of exercise before, but I think when you have the right motivations (i.e. weight loss, mental health AND increasing strength/fitness), it’s much easier to stick with it. Especially when you start seeing results and progress. I’m doing things I never thought I would have been capable of, or would have gotten much out of before, and I’m really loving it. It is hard when it eats into your routine, and other things you like to do. But I’m coming to terms with it and trying to work with it as best I can. I push myself much harder in group classes, or when I’m being held accountable to a PT, which means better results too, which encourages me to stick at it. It’s getting into a positive routine and maintaining it. I’ve toned up by losing 7 inches in 4/5 weeks, which is motivation for anyone! R x
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Okay, I guess I can forgive your fitness regime for taking you away from us some. 🙂 Good for you for getting fit! (Wish I could say the same.)
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Thanks, Nicole. Not doing too badly with posts this week, fingers crossed it stays that way! R xx
It’s a fact of blogging that we need to have a life too, my attempt at having a life ends up being me playing video games in my pyjamas, but each to their own. I have to say I am probably you before the gym, I am allergic to exercise. I can walk to the bus stop, if I miss a bus I am willing and able to walk without wanting to collapse at the end and that is how I judge my fitness. Would I want to lose a bit of weight? Who doesn’t, I am definitely getting a bit doughier as I get older, but when it starts to bother me I will take action.
It sucks that you’ve lost a lot of your blogging and reading time, but if you’re enjoying what you’re doing instead then that’s all that matters. And hey, you could always try audiobooks when you’re at the gym, so at least you’re getting some book time in. You can’t complain about sacrificing blogging time for exercise because at least it’s something that’s good for you, I wish I could say the same thing but the thought of going to the gym does terrify me slightly. I mean to willingly go and sweat in front of other people sounds awful! Who knows, I may end up changing my tune one day.
The exercising is still happening – yay for health, but the benefits to my figure have stalled. I got into a rut of “Oh, I can eat that cuz I’m going to the gym”, which isn’t how it’s meant to be at all. I’m going to have to be super dedicated and work hard for the next couple of months to shift a little weight and get back to being “comfortable” again, for me anyways.
I have a little more reading and blogging time back in my life now that all exams and coursework are over for a little while, which is really nice. I was going to the gym three times a week when I wrote this, and I’m currently going twice a week (need to increase to 3 again to get to my happy place), but it’s amazing how much extra time that 1 time a week can take up! It has to be done though, back to butts! R xx
[…] wrote a discussion post about how my fitness is sabotaging my reading and blogging and I also took part in the blog tour for Push Me, Pull Me, which included an excerpt, interview […]
This! So much this! I’m exactly the same, I’ve been on an exercise buzz for most of the year and it really impacts on my blogging. I find by the time I get home from the gym, all I want to do is go to bed with my book. And so my blogging rarely happens during the week. I do preschedule though at the weekends and that is a life saver for me.
I find that exercising just for all the positive things it brings to our lives is the best, focusing on weight loss just becomes all about the scales and the day the scales don’t reflect what I want to see used to be the beginning of the end for me. Now I rarely weigh myself but use my mood and energy levels to chart my progress.
But I’m injured at the moment with achilles tendonitis so I’ve lots of time for blogging! I miss my walk/running and can’t wait to get back to it properly.
Definitely! For the past few weeks I’ve had a lot of social things on at the weekends too and haven’t managed to do scheduling at the weekend. I’m hoping to get this week/fortnight scheduled today though… wish me luck! I’ve seen a huge difference in my attitude towards exercise this time. There are weeks where the scales aren’t moving (all those social gatherings are not good!), but the inches are still coming off, or I’m able to build up the amount of time I can do on the crosstrainer, or up my gears in spin class, so because of all those things I’m still seeing improvements. The world needs to ignore the scales. I need to get back on track with the healthy eating though. I haven’t been too “bad”, just bad for me because I know what I have to eat to get that scale difference, so I’m hitting it hard this week!
I’d hate to be injured and not be able to workout, I think that’s a true sign I’m a convert!! Hope you get better soon!! R xx
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