The gym versus the books

It’s the first week of 2022 and aside from the spike in COVID-19 infections, thus the expected return of quarantine restrictions, there’s a soaring demand for or lack of vegetables in the market, at least in our area. It’s as if we all got tired of reheating leftover food and suddenly have this weird craving for healthier meals. Anything that’s not grilled, or sauced, or sweet. The veggies, perhaps a prelude to our seemingly unending journey to lose the weight we gained from the past holiday binging. Or the gym that we’re not really fond of signing up to but go to anyway to prep up for summer. And why can’t we get our old waistline back just by lounging and reading books?

Before the pandemic, a friend helped me sign up for this new Gold’s Gym that’s 15 minutes away from home. Much like my prior gym memberships, it’s really because I was advised by the doctor to do workouts regularly and keep my heart healthy, that’s it. While I still struggle to get back my 34-inch waistline, I’m not complaining, but it would have been a welcome bonus. That gym card on the photo not only serves as an entrance key, but it was also sort of a badge, a reminder to love and take care of yourself, and I was proud to have one in my possession.

I was out of work but kept my calendar busy with cardio and lifts until the pandemic forced the gym to halt its operations, like many other businesses that expect crowds, at the time. That meant losing my remaining paid months which I couldn’t refund. Didn’t bother to ask or call, I just hope and pray that the gym, salons, restaurants, and other establishments affected by the pandemic, are able to bounce back.

Fast forward to today, and the gym card now serves a totally different purpose. I meant to throw the card away thinking it will only remind me of how bad 2020 was but thought twice as I might find it useful later. Last year, I started reading and re-reading printed books (the Kindle still came in handy at times) and kept on losing the last page I was on, forgetting to fold it or make a dog ear. The books are the gym for exercising the brain. Chapter after chapter that gets you hooked to beautifully written stories or uncovering how-tos that help you learn new things. Books with which the forgetful me needed a bookmark. Now the only thing I could find was the same expired gym card. Don’t it look sexy keeping my reading organized?

I prefer running versus jogging but mostly do it indoors now at home and while gyms thankfully have opened its doors again, I see no need for it as I’m good with my current routine. With or without the gym, no regrets there, especially now that I get to exercise both my heart with running and my brain with reading.

And oh, I’m eating a bowl of mixed, fresh vegetables salad with Caesar dressing as I was writing this. Here’s to a healthier 2022, keep it safe!


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