A few weeks ago I joined a gym at one of the nearby resorts. It’s not really an open gym that advertises for members, but more the type where you have to know someone to know about it.
I decided to join because I have a bit more free time than I’m used to having. To all those folk out there that question if working from home would make them miss an office environment, I say, ‘um, no.’ How could I possibly miss driving one hour into Port Louis and one hour driving back in some of the nastiest traffic I have ever experienced on some of the most dangerous roads.
No. I don’t miss it at all. Working from my verandah and taking a dip in the pool when I need a little break is way better than spending 9 hours crammed into some conference room while practically sitting atop one of my team (sorry, Kamaraj). And it’s far better to not be driving all over the island to head to the chicken plant or to the diary plant or to some other far-flung place that I always seemed to be tasked to go. There’s also been a considerable amount of money saved on gas.
The work now ebbs and flows and I’m really not concerned. During these quiet times, my focus areas have become: learning French, learning to cook, walking the beaches and jumping into the ocean as often as possible. I know our time here will be coming to an end soon and it’s much nicer to live on a tropical island and fall into a relaxed pattern than trying to understand how a dead chicken moves out of the kill room and into secondary processing.
Without the 2 plus hour commute and the 9 plus hours in an office, the day just opens right up into this beautiful long stretch of time that seems to go much quicker than my time at the office ever did; and the removal of stress over deadlines, meetings and presentations leaves space and energy to do so many other fabulous things.
And so a few times a week I attend a day class (just being in the gym during the DAY and not feeling totally exhausted is such a treat in itself) with a trainer and a group of women sweating ourselves into fabulousness.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt this strong physically in my life. The classes and getting back into my daily yoga practice, as well as, teaching yoga once per week have really made me feel amazing. But the classes with the trainer are tough and I’m the youngest one, and also, apparently, the weakest one in the class.
I am now part of the ‘ladies-who-lunch-and-can-kick-your-arse-totally-and-completely’ group. These women are incredible and I don’t know how they do it. The average age seems to be around 50 something and they are strong. Really strong.
During the class and as I’m mentally trying to force my leg off the ground for yet another set of some sort of torture, I will look around and see these women who are not only lifting their legs higher and faster than me, but are doing so with extra weight strapped on while casually talking to their neighbor about last night’s dinner party.
And when we do our pelvic lifts and bum exercises, they are doing so with a large dumbbell placed onto their lower abs. Now, if this dumbbell was placed on my lower abs, I would probably be trapped on the mat unable to move while desperately trying to fight off the urge to pee.
I’ve accepted the fact that I would be the one they would eat if circumstances came upon us to force such a decision. And yet, I also feel like I’m slowly starting to gain acceptance as the young, odd one who is rather scrawny, but shows eventual promise into becoming one of the fit 50 gals.
The conversational pattern has been a bit like a group of seasoned mother hens taking the lone, out-of-place chick under their protective wings. Sometimes after class and while sitting in the steam room, they love to tell me about their past loves, lost dreams and secret methods of meat tenderizing. And I drink it all in. Who are these women and what other secrets of the universe do they have to teach me?
Writing program specifications and coordinating integration testing is always a fun challenge, but these women know things that I could never pick up while having a coffee in the break room or texting during a business meeting. These women have been living the island lifestyle for many cyclone seasons and they have a wisdom that I never knew existed.
A whole new chapter just opened up.