I always had a fascination with going to the gym. The key phrase is ‘going to the gym’. I had no idea what I would do in the gym or what my goals were. I first went to work out in a gym when I was in 8th grade. At the time, I was living in Mumbai, India. The gym was about 10 minutes from my house. I would set the alarm for 4:30am each day, get ready and ride my bicycle to the gym. This gym did not have any cardiovascular equipment. I don’t think any gym in India had cardiovascular equipment in the last 80’s. I did what I saw others doing. I lifted some weights. I did some bench presses, sit ups and push ups. I went to the water filter machine and drank from a small glass every few minutes. After about 30 minutes, I got back on my bicycle and went back home to get ready for school. This was the gym for me. Little did I know, that me going on the bicycle to the gym was a far better workout than lifting weights, which I picked up at random in most cases.
I never really had a problem waking up early. I have always been a morning person. I can be a lot more productive in the office early morning, instead of in the gym or elsewhere. Fast forward thirty years, and I tried going to the gym again. This time, not in the morning but during lunch time. This was my wife’s suggestion. She said that given I spend long hours in the office, it will be a nice break to hit the gym during lunch hours and then have lunch in the office. At first, I laughed this off. I thought, why would I want to go to the gym in my office clothes, get all sweaty, then take a shower, dress up all over again and come back to the office? Well, she was so right and how.
One day, at 11:30 am, I shut down my laptop and drove to a gym close to my office. Signed up for a membership. Went to the locker room, changed into my gym clothes and hit the treadmill. I did not even last for 10 minutes before I was huffing and puffing. I told myself, this is Day 1, so 10 minutes is great. I went back to the locker room, took a shower, got dressed and went back to the office. Had my lunch. I went back home in the evening and told my wife about my ‘lunchtime gym’ experience. She had a chuckle on her face. I repeated this same routine rest of the week and believe me, I started feeling great. I had more energy. Given I used to be in the office at 5:30 am each morning, at about 3 pm, I found myself at the espresso machine trying to keep my brain working. Now, with the lunchtime gym, I could go without having that afternoon espresso and still feeling great. Earlier, once I reached home, I could not stay awake past 8 pm. Now, I stay up later and read.
After going to the gym during lunchtime for almost 3 years, I cannot live without it. My gym clothes and shoes go with me worldwide. I do not check into a hotel, if the hotel does not have a gym. Gym is a part of my daily life. Just like I have breakfast time, lunch time and dinner time, I have gym time. If you have trouble getting up early to go to the gym or if you are too tired after work to hit the gym, try the ‘lunchtime’ option. You could be pleasantly surprised.