Mind Over Matter.

By Zerline Hughes

zerlineWhat’s the big deal? I’m a Zumba Fitness instructor, after all. I remind my students to breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth. I tell them to monitor their heart rate. And at the end of class, I tell them the best time to eat is within 30 minutes of their workout so their body can burn the calories while their body is still amped up.

But I’m sitting in the car right this very minute as I write, eating a cookie – it’s 8:51 a.m. – debating if I’m going to make it to the gym.

There’s really nothing to debate. My schedule is free and clear. The gym is offering me a $40 monthly fee as a Zumba instructor (my last few gym membership rates were $70 and $120, so that’s a BIG plus right there). I’m wearing sneakers, workout pants, two work out shirts, and I even have on a workout bra.

In my head – or at least part of my brain – I actually do want to go to the gym. So what’s the barrier? What’s the problem?

By the time I get in mid stretch, mid peddle on the spin bike, mid huff or puff, I’m always, ALWAYS, glad I’ve decided to walk through the doors of the gym. I want so badly to look like Serena. I love her fit thighs and abs and how she can pull off looking great in her fitness gear and a party dress. I want Michelle Obama’s arms (I mean, who doesn’t?). And I want to be fit and fine as I enter year no. 40. I want to be the healthy, in shape mom, wife and friend that everyone compliments. And I want to fit in that white, tight, layered halter dress that I wore at that Howard Homecoming party the night after I met my husband in October 2011. (I looked damn good and my arms were tight!)

Ironically, the one barrier is the same as the motivator: it’s my mind. My mental spirit is tugging me in both ways. One is saying “tomorrow.” It’s saying “go get the breakfast special at Attman’s Deli in Potomac. Or your favorite $13.49 lox and bagel sandwich.” (Don’t worry: it’s worth every bit of that $13.49 plus tax. It’s got about a pound of lox, a ½ pound of cream cheese, enough onion for me to remember what I ate for breakfast three days later, a handful of capers and several tomato slices.) … But I digress.

The other mental spirit is telling me to go to the gym. Work on some new Zumba routines for upcoming classes, do a few reps of anything for just 30 minutes.  Simple. Right?

Wrong. At least for many of us out here.

How do you decide to do the right thing? How do you make your barriers – made up or real – disappear? What got you in your sneakers or yoga pants today?

Share the wealth … and check back in to see if I made it to the gym.

One thought on “Mind Over Matter.

  1. I have COMPLETE confidence that you made it to the gym!!! But I will check back in because I’m loving the suspense you created and appreciating our SHARED struggle. I love the feeling after working out and always wonder why I drop off when I do!!! Wish I could conclude with I’m getting uo to go the gym vut work calls!!! I will walk to a farther away train stop! Inspire me to go by telling us about your great workout Ms. Serena in the Making!!! Go Girl!!#


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