While I've already written about my new sport, badminton, I have to tell you it's truly great. This morning I was really tired because I'm still not sleeping very well due to my Ativan withdrawal. Yet, I was truly excited about my badminton class, which meets at 11:00 a.m.
For years I have sought an aerobic activity that I would enjoy. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, an aerobic exercise is "'any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.' It is a type of exercise that overloads the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than at rest. The important idea behind aerobic exercise is to get up and get moving."
I have tried swimming, but I have to force myself to do it. I hate gyms, and in years past I've spent a fortune joining and then going for a total of one month during the entire year. I like tennis, but I've always enjoyed doubles more than singles and it's a pain to try and get four people together on a regular basis. Besides, when you do, they want to play for more than an hour and socialize to boot. It takes too much time in my day.
While I regularly walk around the block, that's not an aerobic activity nor is gardening, which is healing but doesn't make my heart pump more quickly.
But badminton is terrific. We spend the first fifteen minutes of class doing warm-up exercises. We spend the next half hour learning new skills. And we spend the rest of class playing each other. While I'm the oldest person in the class, one of my best skills has always been my athleticism, which I had let lapse years ago.
You can't imagine how much fun it is for me to beat 18-20-year-old students. And from the moment class starts, I don't think about anything but playing hard. There's a sort of Zen in that. While I still don't have the stamina I used to, I'm getting better every session. And since my teacher is just a little younger than I am, she's couldn't be nicer about letting me rest when I'm so tired that the only thing that would truly help is oxygen.
It remains to be seen whether badminton will chase my winter blues away. But, I must tell you that while I was tired when I came home--it was the best kind of tired. It was being tired because of physical activity, which has always made me feel good. I just forgot about how much I enjoy physical competition!