So I’m trying to find a schedule that will work for me. One of the things that seems to not happen far too often – although it wasn’t my intention for this to work out this way – is that I miss going to the Y to exercise. I get involved writing and before I know it it’s too late to head to the Y; I’ve missed my class. Back to the Y schedule I went and sure enough there was a Tuesday morning class at 7 a.m.
Wait a minute: 7 a.m.?!? One of the things I’d looked forward to for so long before retiring was not having to get up at 6 in the morning any more; imagine the luxury of being able to sleep late. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that my internal clock doesn’t seem to understand anything other than wake up early … so like it or not I’m generally awake in the wee hours of the morning anyhow. So – I thought to myself – why not give this early class a try.
On my way down I was thinking about who might be in this early morning class. I wondered who’d want to get up this early to jump into a swimming pool and exercise. After all, there’s a deep water aquafit class most days at around 11ish which seems like a much more civilized time for retired folk. What do you think? I figured it would be mostly people who were trying to fit in their work-out before going to work; I imagined a pool filled with 30- somethings; young, energetic, ready for their day. Imagine my surprise, then, as I lowered myself into the pool (thankfully it’s a fairly warm pool) and looked around; it became immediately apparent that I was one of the youngest in the water. Surrounding me – working hard – were folks mostly into their 70s and beyond. Lots of men – which is unusual for aquafit classes in general – but mostly women. Older (than me) women.
Hhmm. So I decided to talk to some of the women about my observations and my surprise that so many folks who didn’t have to be up this early were already out and about. One woman laughed and told me that she’d already been through the “I’m going to sleep in because I deserve to” stage and now she understood that she just liked getting up and out into the world early in the morning. She was up anyhow, and so why not get out there and do some exercise early. “You get to know who you are and what you really like“, she told me, “and it’s different when you realize that you’re not doing ‘it’ because you have to but because you want to.”
The class – and it was a great one because it was filled with such enthusiastic aquafitters – ended at 7:50. I took some time to sit in utter relaxation in the sauna, then I showered and dressed and I was home by 9. That left me with the whole day to do the “work” I wanted to do. It also left me with that wonderful, self-congratulatory feeling of having started my day by taking care of myself.
Getting to know who I am. Starting to leave pre-conceived notions of retirement farther and farther behind. There’s an early class on Thursday morning too. Think I’ll start my new calendar by putting those two early days into the mix.