This week was a test of my motherly mettle. In addition to myself being sick, both twins were also sick this whole week with various different ailments, so that there was no easy fix or straight forward approach. This week was also interesting because I seemed to receive requests from friends all asking in essence the same question: “What workout do you recommend for a quick fix?” And I always respond the same way: "What is it you want to fix?". Of course the real answer is that there is no such thing. But could it be that there is something that comes close? A couple of my friends had decadent weekends and needed to just sweat it out. A Bootcamp or spin class is perfect for that. Another had been out sick and needed to feel strong again - she chose one of her favorite interval training studios for cross training with kettlebells, burpees & rowing machines. The great thing about exercise is that you can pick up where you left off. Sure, you may not feel as strong or be able to run as fast, or be as flexible, last as long. But start slowly, and before long, you are sweating it out, muscle memory kicking in, your body forgiving you for any negligence - real, imagined, voluntary, or involuntary. Your body is just happy it is back doing what it is meant to do. It doesn’t hold grudges.
It got me to thinking about how much we as humans crave a quick fix in so many areas of our lives, and how Mother Nature always seems to have the Master plan, so that what may be perceived as a fix in the short term, usually cannot stand the test of time, and in hindsight we realize we should have just sucked it up in the first place and done what needed to be done, and did so properly. When it comes to exercise, however, quick fixes may not fix us, but they certainly can help. Sweat in any form, is still sweat, and still benefits our bodies, minds, and souls. In the long run, we need to figure out a way to incorporate sweat into our regular and daily routine, that is the only way we will truly benefit. But if you can only get that “sweat fix” in once in awhile, here and there, it certainly is better than doing nothing. Over time, these little fixes may turn into habits and routines, and what started as a one-off may quite possibly turn into a permanent lifestyle change.
The modern day fitness industry is wonderful for its inspiring messages, beautiful images, and motivational “you can do it”, mentality. But, I think where we may sometimes fail as a group, is in holding ourselves arrogant to real people, who are living real lives. Not everyone is going to have an epiphany one day and start doing Bootcamp 5 days a week. Not everyone has the willpower to start eating Paleo and the diligence, or time, to do meal prep on Sundays. The truth is, we are living in real, often messy, chaotic, yet authentic lives. We don’t have perfect green smoothies or Acai bowls to photograph for Instagram every day. If we are lucky we have organic veggies and protein, and a lot of healthy store bought snacks. But this is life, and we use what we have where we are. If that happens to be a quick fix then so be it. Congratulate yourself and celebrate it. Mother Nature gives us our bodies - flaws, beauty and all. It’s up to us to take care of those bodies to stand the test of time in any which way that we can. Aim for the long run, aim for that permanent healthy lifestyle change. But cherish those quick fixes in the meantime. Sweat it out whenever and wherever you can — it doesn't have to be pretty, or neatly packaged, it just has to be real. Your body will thank you.