Something happened when I turned 40 last September, my interest in running/jogging evaporated. All of a sudden I had a desire to slow down, take it all in, not tune out and pound my knees. Now that the extreme cold of the polar vortex has left Madison (even with snow in the forecast for overnight) I've been finding myself paying a dollar to walk the Lakeshore Path on the UW-Madison campus.
I leave the office, park, pay $1, walk, and then pick my kids up from their pre-school perched on the edge of campus. No fancy work out clothes or special shoes. No need for my MP3 player. Just me, my breath and my thoughts.
During my last walk I noticed the majority of those on the path were 20 years my junior. Nearly all seemed tuned into their own private world. Intense and in mighty fine shape, but not a lot of smiles. Then there was me, dressed in clothes from the office, strolling the path. Did we burn the same amount of calories? No, but my stressed melted away. I felt the wind on my face. And I was happy. With 40 has come a desire to be an active adult, not someone competitive with others or themselves. I was that way a year or so ago, but not now.
My gym is a place for yoga class and laps in the pool. Weekends I hike with my children. Soon I hope to start patting around a tennis ball again. And when I can, bike to work or run errands. Take the stairs at the urban Target, as I did today. I can do these things with my children, and a priority of mine is to spend as much time with them as I can. Now that they are in school most of the day, I realize how little time we have together to simply "be". And I know that time will only decrease as they mature and develop lives of their own. And I know it sets a healthy example for them. Lastly, it is a great way to stay fit without spending tons of dollars on exercise gear.
How about you, what are your frugal ways to stay fit?