I wasn’t looking forward to another winter of solitary workouts in the basement. I miss my friends at the indoor fitness center; the ones who help me sweat on a stationary bike while chatting female to escape the snowstorm whirling outside the windows. But I’m not ready to return.
“We should get a treadmill before winter,” I said to my husband last fall. “We need to turn the basement into an exercise sanctuary. A space we look forward to being in, not a place to dread.”
“We need a TV,” he replied.
“A TV?” I thought, “Another piece of equipment yes, but why a TV?”
“Do you want to help me pick one out?” he said.
“No, I trust you.” Big box stores with too many oversized screens are sensory overload. I never know where to rest my eyes.
“It’s how big?” I questioned as he showed me a picture of our new screen. “85 inches? That’s 11 inches longer than me!” I can never understand the male’s need for big.
Until 85 Inches arrived.
It landed on the wall equipped with smart, loud, and loaded with cool features. The picture is so well defined it’s almost 3D, minus the paper glasses. With the press of a green button the apps are up and ready to take my workouts to places I’ve never been. Morning walks with Netflix’s Moving Art decline into canons of Australia and over snow covered wilderness in Japanese forests. Increasing my heart rate on an incline, blood circulating to background music mimics the release of endorphins I feel under a canopy of trees, a practice the Japanese call forest bathing, shinrin-yoku.
85 Inches has sparked a nerve of winter escape that travels the length of my body. I can feel myself grow (almost 11 inches) as I lengthen with Deborah Kowley’s flow class. A beautiful California coast line fills the room as I pull up Tom McCook, a favorite pilates instructor, who I’ve watched many times on my phone. He appears so life-like that I feel the need to introduce myself. PillatesAnytime.com.
Sunday morning bike rides take me to Venice as I ride the gondola with Cathy McCabe, Prime Video and ski down Austrian slopes on the Travel Channel, leaving endorphins lasting the entire day. I’ve reacquainted with a favorite yoga instructor who now lives in Bali, and bought her 28 day series on the mat. I smell the Nag Champa from her studio of years ago and am comforted by her voice as I grow stronger with movement. Alchemyofyoga.com
I now look forward to slipping downstairs for 10 minutes to declutter between Zoom meetings or after dinner which helps keep me away from the cookie jar.
My husband loves exercising to classic rock concerts. He emerges from the basement looking like a marathoner who just crossed the finish line. “You have to watch it!” he shares, energized by David Gilmore’s guitar solo in Pompei.
“After I finish Bridgerton.”
He looks confused.
“And thank you.”
“Selecting our newest piece of exercise equipment.”
A gift of escape for me to rest my eyes.