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Mishmash: My eye, the gym and signs of spring

I once went seven years – 1995 to 2002 – without a single illness. Not a cold, not a flu, nothing.

But that was then and this is now. Now I’ve got a head cold and the epicenter feels like it is centred in my left eye. Have you ever had that? It’s a first for me.

I keep going and looking in the mirror to see if I look as bad as I feel, and I don’t. Thank God. I expect the eye to look all bloodshot and rheumy, but it doesn’t. It just looks surprised.

I joined the gym today and this is my plan: Get up at 5:00 every weekday morning, leave the house at 5:30, walk downtown to the gym, change, work out for an hour, shower, and be at the office by 8:15.

I know. It’s crazy.

It takes 21 days for most people to adopt and entrench a new habit, but 27 days for me because of some quirk of personality that the Fly Lady identified. I have enough willpower to adhere to this workout schedule for a week. That leaves me with a deficit of 20 days. Not only that, but I’m going away for five days at the beginning of May, so even if I adhere to the schedule until then, it’s not long enough to entrench the habit. (This doesn’t mean I can’t do it; just that it won’t be easy.)

I know at least half of you are thinking I should just go to the gym two or three mornings a week instead of five. I thought of that. But wouldn’t it be even harder to entrench the habit of waking up at 5:00 a.m. every other day?

Anyway, I start tomorrow. Wish me luck. I hope I don’t just shut the alarm clock off at 5:00 and wimp out because of the cold in my eye. Speaking of which, I just had a bath with eucalyptus oil in it and it smelled really good but maybe you’re not supposed to put essential oils in your bath water…my skin is burning. (Don’t mind me. I have a tendency to turn into a bit of a hypochondriac when I’m sick.)

Aside from that, the highlight of my day was that Spring sprung and opened up my favourite walking route to work. For almost five months, I’ve had to take the pragmatic route rather than the scenic one, because the sidewalks on the scenic route don’t get plowed.

The emerging bike path!But today enough snow had melted that I was able to walk through the Experimental Farm and the Aboretum and then up the O-Train path. It made me very happy to be able to walk this route again and pretend I was in the country.

Here are some of the signs of spring I saw along the way:

The Canada Geese have started coming home!

My geese have come home!

There’s a new lake on the Farm.

New lake emerges between the Civic Hospital and the Experimental Farm

The Canada Geese like the new lake on the Farm:

Life on the new lake

I used to think earthworms came out of the ground because they loved the rain so much. But no. They do it so they won’t drown when the earth is saturated. Poor refugee worms.


This is the Dalhousie Community Centre garden on Somerset Street. I could tell this morning that Ida had been in there cleaning it up, and now there are shoots!
Shoots in Ida's Garden at the Dalhousie Community Centre

The forecast for the rest of the week is phenomenal. The highs are climbing steadily throughout the week till Friday, when it will be twenty degrees.

Happy Spring to all of us – we definitely earned it this year!

13 comments to Mishmash: My eye, the gym and signs of spring

  • Oh good luck with your workout plan. I can never seem to get past 1 week of steady working out.. once, several years ago I had a membership at the local Y and managed to go for three whole week.. (3 days a week) so I guess that’s only 15 days adn I was 6 short…. anyway hope it works out for you. I’m not a morning person either, so kudos for getting up at 5 a.m.

  • Deb

    I found that I am better when I go six days a week than only 3…don’t know why, but that’s my story. Good luck tomorrow am

  • If you’re going to go 5 days in a row – workout smart. Your muscles need to rest between weights or you do damage instead of building them. See if you can do weights 3 days a week and in between do an early bird stretching class or something.

    Essential oils in bathwater are okay as long as you don’t overdo it, how many drops did you add?

  • Or go do the gym every second day but still get up and do a yoga routine at home at 5am on the alternate days.

  • My plan is to do weights and cardio every other morning and an exercise class on the alternate mornings.

    As for the essential oils, I don’t know how many drops I used – I couldn’t see too well because of my eye, so I just held the bottle upside down for awhile. I might have overdone it…

  • gramps

    Merle say that those Canada Geese look pink to her :)

  • Your plan sounds great – good luck. Sometimes I have trouble getting to my 9:30 class on time – and I drive!

  • Do you have anyone who would be willing to go with you? If not, maybe you’ll meet someone who will make a pact with you to show up in the mornings so you feel like you’re cheating them too if you don’t go. That used to help me.

    Eucalytus oil is fine, if you don’t overdo it or have any wounds. You don’t want to get it in wounds. Trust me on this one.

  • Malva

    Good luck with the workout plan, you’re way more motivated than I am. :)

    Since everyone piped in about the 5 days and overdoing it, my recommendation would be to alternate days of cardio with days of strenght training and alternate those strenght training days between lower and upper body. So it could look like:
    Day 1-upper body strenght
    Day 2-cardio
    Day 3-lower body strenght
    Day 4-cardio

    rotate like that taking a day off each week. The idea isn’t mine, it’s from the Body For Life book which I read many moons ago.

  • Only the girl geese are pink. 😉

    Merle – I made it on time but I felt like I deserved a medal just for showing up.

    Melinda, I don’t think I have anybody willing to go with me. Hell, I could barely talk MYSELF into doing it. (Thanks for the info on the eucalpytus oil. I think the reason it burned a bit was because I have a slight sunburn.)

    Malva – yes, I’m going to do something along those lines. I’ll figure out the details when I go for my assessment.

  • I can’t figure out which gym is closest or most convenient for you? Once I am done at school this week, then I can find some Body Flow classes I can make during the day (they changed the schedule at the Baseline Loblaws gym). I lurves the Body Flow. And I can bike to different clubs now that it is Spring. So if you want company… although I am not convinced about getting up at 5, even if it IS suggested at Zen Habits. When is the earliest group class you go to?

  • Julia, I’m going to the one on Queen Street, and my first Body Flow class is on Monday at 7:00 am. However, my membership is good at all the Goodlife gyms, so I could probably meet you at the Baseline Loblaws for a weekend class. Which gym do you normally go to?

  • Hmm, Queen Street is all the way downtown. I go to the Baseline Loblaws one because it is a 20 minute walk from home (less than 10 minutes on the bike). But our classes only start at 9:30 and yours start at 7!! That’s hugely early for “our” little women’s only gym. :)
    Peter goes to the Rideau Centre when he isn’t injured (computer neck strain) or (as in this week) having a cold. But all their Body Flow classes start at noon or later.

    I was suggesting a Body Flow class together because it can be confusing when done for the first time if you don’t know anything about it. There is a lot of instruction but because it’s a group, none of it is individual. Once you get going, I think you’ll be hooked but I would hate to see you put off by the beginning. All this to say that I may be able to drag myself over to the Queen St. club Monday for 7. Ack. I will try to get there plenty early so I can show you some of the moves in advance, if you like. Depending on many things, I may take the bus. Biking at 6am may be a bit much this early in the game. :)