Weighty Matters

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Cruise Day Two-Fitness For Sure

on January 29, 2014

My room didn’t have a clock and I’d turned off my phone. Thankfully, my internal clock woke me up at 7:10 a.m. This was a full day at sea so I wasn’t rushed to get anywhere. The cruise-related events started later in the morning. I rolled out of bed, ate a banana in my room and headed for the promenade deck for a morning walk. Most cruise ships tell you how many laps equal a mile. On the Eurodam, they said three. I turned on my iPod and walked four laps for good measure. Off to a good start, I took the steps up 8 decks to the buffet restaurant.

Whether one has an eating disorder or not, buffets are a challenge. Buffets on a cruise ship are feasts waiting to be consumed. Everything looked and smelled delicious and temptation was very hard to resist, but I managed. It was also a bit of a challenge to get the servers to accept that I really did want only half a scoop of scrambled eggs. I guess they’re used to people filling their plates and stomachs. I stayed with the half scoop of eggs, a single sausage patty and a mini croissant. I ate slowly and mindfully and realized that I didn’t want everything on my plate. I took my tea and left, heading for the morning Wellness Program.

A trainer from the gym led our group through a series of moves that incorporated stretching, a little aerobic activity, some yoga and Pilates and just plain breathing and moving. I will admit that I was very happy to see that I could do all of the moves without strain but still felt like the routine gave me somewhat of a workout. Just to keep the movement momentum going, after that program, I found space on the aft deck to do a set of Tai Chi. This was my first attempt to do a full set on a moving ship. The gentle roll threw off my balance. The movement of other passengers around me, along with the plain beauty of the sea, distracted me and I messed up the sequence. I feel it was quite possibly the worst set I’ve done in months. I ended up repeating the kick sequence to work on my balance issues.

Like I said, I thought I’d done a terrible set, but when I finished and was putting my socks and sneaks back on, a woman came up and asked if I was a Tai Chi instructor! She’d thought that my moves were beautiful and graceful! We talked a bit about Tai Chi and its health benefits. I gave her the Taoist.org website URL and encouraged her to look for classes. (She and her husband both have issues that Tai Chi could help.) I also pointed out that if she can’t find Taoist classes, she should still ask at local hospitals, senior centers, etc. Many offer classes in some form of Tai Chi.

This was a great lesson for me. I was embarrassed by my mistakes. The woman helped me remember that, errors or not, I was still benefitting myself by practicing. Even more so, I was demonstrating the principle of making Tai Chi available to all by doing the form out in the open and being willing to chat about it later.

After a morning of fitness activity and exercise, I showered and got ready for a full day and evening of cruise activities. First up, the Gospel Hour featuring performances by a young bluegrass duo The Roys, followed by Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. I’m a huge Gatlin fan, not only for their music but also for something that I observed more than 20 years ago. I feel like the whole story deserves its own post, so I’ll tell it all tomorrow. I promise!

For now I’ll just say that the rest of the day included more exercise via line dancing, taking the stairs and just roaming around the ship. I continued to do well with my food choices at lunch and dinner. I also rewarded myself with a wonderful lime and ginger scrub and massage. Bliss! Andy Griggs performed in one of the smaller lounges. Patty Loveless was the star of the Main Stage show. After that, I called it a night and went to bed.

On this first full day on the ship, I learned, or maybe reconfirmed, that old habits can give way gladly to new, healthier choices. I’ve never tried to be so physically active when cruising. I was never so happy to consistently eat more healthfully and mindfully. Sometimes the old resentful diet mentality can kick in where I feel deprived and whiny about the things or amounts I can’t or shouldn’t eat. When I went to bed I spent some moments just feeling the gratitude that I was happy about how I’d chosen to spend the day being active and eating right. I think this set me up for more success the following day!

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3 responses to “Cruise Day Two-Fitness For Sure

  1. Hope says:

    I think I’d find a day filled with moving, fresh fruit, music, and a massage waaaay more relaxing than a day filled with over-eating.

  2. Skye says:

    That sounds like a terrific day! Good for you for doing a Tai Chi set on a moving ship, too! I’m glad you were able to answer the woman’s questions and guide her toward further explorations.

  3. Susanne says:

    Sounds like a perfect day in so many ways!

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