It’s been about a week since I started going to the gym again, and I look forward to my time on the treadmill and the strengthening machines. During the pandemic lockdown I tried to exercise at home with YouTube videos. I enjoy exercising at home, but it’s just not the same. I missed the machinery.

There are four long rows of treadmills, which are the most popular machines in the place. I have a favorite location: row 2, end machine on the right. I also enjoy going to the ballet barre in the back corner of the stretching area. No one seems to care about the barre, so I usually have that to myself. I have favorite weight machines too: for arms, shoulders, back, legs, and butt.

I enjoy making exercise a regular part of my life again. My preferred forms of exercise were usually taking a ballet class or walking outside. But I always had excuses when it was convenient. “It’s too hot today.” “I don’t have time to go to class.”


I prefer to use the term “movement” when talking about fitness activities. Adding movement to my life sounds so much healthier. It implies moving forward, progressing.

I’m going to the gym for the obvious reasons of improving my health and keeping my body in good working order. I also want to look good and feel good in my clothes. After years of sitting at a desk in an office working a high-stress job, followed by two years of pandemic boredom, my body’s condition has slowly deteriorated. I’m older — as we all are — after this pandemic, and I’m starting to feel older. Got to get back to it. Got to get some juice in the joints, as Leslie Sansone would say.

Now that I have my own business and am my own boss, you’d think that stress would be less of a factor. Ah, if only it were so. I don’t have the high-pressure deadlines of my former job. All of my projects and deadlines are self-imposed. But there are other stresses that come with striking out on your own. Here are a few that I’m dealing with at the moment:

  • maintaining a certain level of income
  • dealing with taxes four times a year instead of once
  • family and friends who don’t understand what I am doing
  • building a reputation in my field
  • I won’t bore you with all the details


The word “exercise” always sounds to me like “exorcise” which is also fitting in some way. I can’t get the word exorcise out of my head when I go to the gym — as in exorcising my stress demons. Aerobic activity helps me relieve stress.

I have a friend who is a fitness trainer and she says when you are going through a stressful time, to make sure that you stretch and do some type of aerobic activity. And to do it in the morning. Because as your day gets underway, the chance of you doing any type of movement gets less and less.

I find that when personal stress hits, I look forward to getting out of the house and onto the treadmill. I get my heart rate into a comfortable zone and feel my tensions, annoyances, anger, and stresses start to melt away along with the calories.


In the dictionary the opposite of exercise is inaction. I could choose to do nothing, but then I’d be a bundle of nerves and would probably age much faster.

The opposite of exorcise is to maintain, which implies a lack of progress. I’m all about moving forward. I don’t need it to be easy. I know I can handle it. I am a woman who can do hard things. I tell myself this often. Going to the gym is definitely not the hardest thing I do all week.

What is your favorite type of exercise or exorcise?