This is one of my favorite places, and I think that’s because it truly was what inspired me to begin working out again. People are running, walking, biking, picnicking. Ducks are swimming. Nature is nature-ing.
There is so much to look at that I don’t get bored with what I’m doing. My iPod definitely helps, too. (The other day I caught myself air guitaring to Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll” while jogging.) It was nice to walk with Leah and chit-chat. We did two laps like nothin’. If it wasn’t for my feet beginning to ache (flip flops = bad idea), we probably would have circled around another time. Leah was also there to photograph my efforts.
I brought along my 2-lb hand weights, which feel like nothing at first, but I can definitely notice my biceps working more than with no weights. I’ve been majorly lacking on my arm exercises, and I think every little bit helps.
I didn’t really feel like sitting around when I got back to my apartment, so I went to my gym down the hall and did some arm lifting with the weight machine. Then I went back to my apartment to read. I had this totally foreign thought for me: Why don’t I read while on the recumbent bike? I was still in my workout clothes, so why not?! And that’s exactly what I did.
It was my day off work, and all I wanted was physical activity. I’m so glad I forced myself to work out 6 of 7 days last week because now I actually WANT to. My new life rocks.
I went to work the next day and there was a blood drive going on. I’ve never given blood before because a) I’m scared of needles. b) I get super queasy when I think about what’s actually happening. c) I’m a wimp. However, I walked right up to the check-in table and asked if there were any openings. There was an opening in 1.5 hours. Crap. Not really a lot of time to prepare myself mentally for my whimsical idea, but I made the appointment anyway.
I was soooo nervous I thought I was going to vom. The only thing keeping me motivated was knowing that I could be helping someone and possibly saving a life. Also, the way I figure it, I might need blood someday, and I would be incredibly grateful for the person who donated.
While I answered multiple questions about my life, a nice girl pricked my finger (ouch!) and tested my blood. I was worried my iron levels would be too low since I don’t eat meat, but I passed with flying colors! That meant two things: I’m getting enough iron in my diet (yessss) AND I’m really gonna go through with this blood donation thing. Yikes!
My coworker friend Michelle visited me while the blood-taker woman was setting things up. She definitely eased my nerves a bit and took my mind off what was about to happen. (Thank you, Michelle). I really don’t know a more glamorous photo op than lying and waiting to be poked in the arm, so Michelle snapped a shot.
Do I look terrified? I think I did a good job of masking my fear, but I do know how damp my clothes were getting. And then something wonderful happened … Blood-taker woman says to me, “Normally I’d have you sit up while giving blood, but since you’re a first-timer and you’re skinny, I’m going to have you lie down.” I know I looked way too giddy for such a throwaway comment, but I responded with, “Wow! You think I’m skinny?!” She obviously had no idea about what I used to look like, so I’m sure she thought I was as creeptastic as I felt.
Anyway, long story short (too late?), I donated a bag of my very own blood, and it wasn’t scary once I got going and it didn’t hurt. I did, however, almost pass out in the snack area afterward, but that was my fault as an amateur. I was just moving too fast too soon.
I wore my “I MAKE A DIFFERENCE” nametag for the rest of the day. My coworkers know my name (duh), but I was pretty proud of myself. Every time I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of how I conquered one of my fears. Yay me!