My kickboxing class tomorrow evening has been cancelled. Most normal people would sigh in relief and be thankful that they get a nice break. But when Faraaz told us after class on Tuesday that the Friday class was cancelled, all I could think of was, Now What? What am I going to do? So I turned to vancouvertrails.com to try and pick a hike to do. I could actually feel stress returning because now I had an empty space that I had to fill with some sort of exercise. At work, I’ve even signed up for the workplace fitness challenge. So for the last two weeks, I’ve been getting up before the sun, to get to a one hour circuit training taking place at 6am in the morning. Thank goodness it’s only on Wednesdays. This is in addition to all the other physical activity I have scheduled throughout the week: Spin, Kickboxing, Circuit Training, Spin, Kickboxing, Hike and Rest day and Repeat. I started planning my weekends with all these possible hikes to do and I actually started to think that there wasn’t enough weekends in the summer for all my hikes. I even went into the fall and winter months briefly before admitting to myself that I wasn’t a winter person and there was probably a very slim chance I’d ever do anything wintery like snow shoe. Though I would consider ice skating. Am I addicted to exercise? I don’t really think so. But…I admit I’m a girly girl. I love my spa days. But now I move my spa days around to fit all my physical activity. Last week, I gave up spending an entire day with my nieces and nephews so I could hike St. Mark’s Summit. I still got to spend time with the kids after the hike but I know that in the past, I would’ve cancelled my own activity just so I could spend time with the kids. During the last few weeks as I was preparing for the audit at work, all I could think of through the stress was how much I wanted to go to my exercise classes. Or it could’ve been how much I didn’t want to be at work with all the stress, but mostly it was how much I really needed to be in a kickboxing class. Since I’ve been going to the circuit training classes, I’ve worked other muscles that I haven’t really worked from my other classes. And each time, I’ve experienced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), a term that Korri uses to explain the aches I feel the day after the circuit training. It’s not pleasant and it’s weird because on the day of the training, I’m actually feeling okay. There is a bit of soreness, but the very next day after a nice sleep, I wake up and I feel old and creaky. And it actually lasts for the rest of the week. And even through these aches, I still push myself to go to my spinning class and my kickboxing class and I push myself to go all out on the bike or when I’m kicking and punching. Am I addicted? I don’t really think so. I think it is more about how I feel, not just physically, because really if you ask me now, just after my spinning class and a day after the circuit training, I physically don’t feel so great. But mentally, I feel happier and I am certainly thinking more clearly. Things don’t bother me as much. I actually think I am more pleasant to people at work. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a Pollyanna, and occasionally in high stress situations (like the weeks before the audit) there are f-bombs that just fly out non-stop from my mouth. And there are times when the negativity in the office will also bring me down, but I notice now that I am not down for long. Kind of like the breaks I take when hiking. I am recovering faster after a strenuous workout, whether it is a long workout or a short stint during a hike. I don’t need to stop for as long of a water break like I used to two months ago. It doesn’t take as long for my heart and my breathing to slow down like I used to. There is a big difference this time as compared to how I was four years ago. Four years ago I was working on getting out of my depression. Now I am working on preventing me from going back into depression. I know it’s there. And there is stuff going on at work which I know could potentially put a crack in my “happiness shield” but it’s not like it was four years ago. I didn’t know, or wasn’t willing to admit there was a problem. Now, I am always on the lookout, always being vigilant because now I know what it felt like and because I know how bad it was, I don’t want to go back to that. So I will always be vigilant. However I have to say one last thing about my workplace friend in this post. I do wish for my friend to get better but I will not be dragged down into the misery that she is in. I always thought the cliche, Misery Loves Company, was stupid. But I think it’s true. I don’t think she even realizes it, but she has nothing good to say about anyone, or anything. And if you disagree with her, then you just aren’t seeing it or you’re deceived. Sorry my friend. But there is always something good to say about someone (and here is the Pollyanna in me coming out). There is always something good to say about someone. Always. I’m not blind or gullible. I know when I’m being treated badly. If your always looking for conspiracies, you will always find it. Even if there really is a conspiracy, what would you like me to do about it? Sitting in the office complaining about it is not going to solve it. Venting is great. But when venting lasts all day, that’s not healthy. Perhaps it’s my translation of kickboxing class to work but I think of the sessions where my partner in class, Cara was hitting me over and over again in the stomach with the mitts. It got to the point where in our last class she was hitting me double time compared to the other students. Cara made the comment that I was tough. But I’m tough because I’ve been through enough classes to be accustomed to it. I’ve been trained to be hit over and over again. Just like at work where I’m trained to experience the same crap over and over again. But this time through my training, through my experiences, I am tough enough not to let it drag me down, at least not down for long. I hope my friend survives her experiences and gets better. But my experiences have also taught me to block and kick. And sadly that means blocking her misery-bombs and kicking her away from me (figuratively, of course). So am I really addicted? Yes and No. I love the improved health, mentally and physically. I’m not loving the initial strenuousness of the activity. I’m certainly not loving DOMS. But the physical lessons I’ve learned that also help me mentally at work are a major plus. I love the new activities I’ve taken on such as hiking and kickboxing. If not for that I never would’ve climbed a mountain on the other side of the country, by myself. I’m not loving the mosquitoes or the other bugs that I have to endure as I do my hikes. What do you think? Am I addicted? By the way, since my kickboxing class is cancelled tomorrow evening, I’ll be hiking the BCMC trail tomorrow afterwork.