02 April 2014

On Topics of Exercise and Nudity

I've had some crappy nights of sleep recently, my friends. My MA is in full swing and if I thought the first term was tough, then I'd like to meet me then and just point and laugh. Stress has always been something I've courted in life and now it seems to be a full time resident. It has gotten to the point that when I reach a breaking point (not too often, but enough to take note) I tend to wander around my house crying and sniffling like a toddler who's lost their favourite doll, while I talk myself through my troubles. This sounds absolutely ridiculous and it is. Surprisingly effect way, though, to bring high levels of stress down quickly. When I get over-dramatic with my emotions, I tend to really throw myself into it and then have to take a moment to laugh at my ridiculousness when it comes to an end. That's the way I deal with things when they build up and get to be too much, like a pot of soup boiling over. However, my usual way of dealing with stress and keeping it away from this point has been exercise.

Oh, glorious, glorious exercise.

My fourteen year old self would die of shock to hear my say that out loud. I've always hated exercise until my lovely and amazing friend Caitlin got me into running. And then something clicked. I started to find the benefits. More so the mental benefits than the physical ones. In all honesty, there's more of shift in my life with how I deal with things, rather than a shift in belly fat.

But not something to focus on.

Running has been therapeutic and helped me get through a lot of rough moments last year. Training for the two half marathons I did was the best thing I could have gotten hooked on...and let's just ignore the fact that I have issues with plantar faciitis...stupid feet.

Lately I haven't been able to fit in daily exercise like I normally would like to do in times of high stress, but when I do....it is glorious. And the warm weather here in London is something to celebrate.

Depending on how I pose, my boobs disappear. Weeeeird.

 Sometimes you just gotta dance in excitement for a run (I can hear my fourteen year old self gagging at that sentiment. Go back to your goth lifestyle, your Wicca, and your secret love of Spice Girls, 14 yr old self. It will get better. Especially your taste in music...)

Don't you wish you could have these dance moves. KA-POW, goes the booty. We're blowing it up in here. (I don't know what that means, but it just felt right.)
 I've been hard core falling in love with Bikram yoga as well.

Say whaaaaat? Yes it's true. It's 100% the fault of my studio and their amazing instructors. If you have a bad studio and an instructor that's not going to give you corrections, you're screwed. Bikram, like crossfit or any other type of exercise really, needs to have an instructor that knows what they're doing and knows how to show you how not to hurt yourself.

Hot Bikram Yoga studio. If only I could see them on a daily basis.
 A really fun personal hurdle, that I didn't realize I had, I've overcome thanks to my Bikram studio and their open showers. I wasn't aware I still held onto a lot of my Catholic school girl tendencies when it came to how I felt about my naked body. In all honesty, I've done enough plays in my underwear, or undressing, that I felt I was totally in the exhibitionist arena.

Not at all the case. I balked at the open showers when I first saw them at the studio. I can't even remember ever being in a situation where I had to shower, naked, in front of strangers, with strangers, or not shower at all. All the gyms I've ever been a member of have had private ones and in all seriousness, one of my great talents in life is being able to change clothes in a locker room without showing any skin from my neck to my knees. TALENT, PEOPLE. I should put on a showcase of just that little dance. Sexy.

All my international friends laughed, with their European mentality, they took no issue with this open shower business. So I worked my way up to it. First couple of times was a dash in, dash out scenario, towel kept very close at hand, and choosing the shower in the corner. But damnit, I've done it and I'm proud. Strangers have seen my naked ass. SHOCK....AWE....You can all be impressed now. Where's my gold sticker?

I can't quite say I saunter in proudly, and nakedly, just yet....but someday. Also, sauntering is really, really hard after 90 minutes of Bikram.



  1. It will get better. And then when your MA is done you'll wish you could go back to the good ole days of class. (Maybe that's just me?) And if it makes you feel better a girl from my MA course didn't even like getting changed in the dressing room before a show in front of everyone. She'd go to a toilet stall to do so. (She was English born and bred) xx

    1. Also- teach me how to love running. Because everything about it I currently do not like. x

    2. Well I am applying for another MA just to try and stay in the country, so I don't hate it too much. And every time I think of my working life, I'm happy I'm stressing with school stuff instead. Also, I do feel behind in the 'comfortable being nude in the locker room' mentality, so it's nice to know I'm not the only one haha. And I would love to help you get into running, it's my absolute favourite form of exercise!! Addicted and I would do it more if it weren't for silly foot issues. x

  2. Oh, Linds, I had to laugh! Reminded me of when I was on the sports teams in high school. Same scenario except you were braver than I was. I just changed, went home stinky and took a shower at home!

    1. Yeah, that's how I was in my high school at home too....although I never worked out enough to sweat. But after Bikram, it feels super gross to wait until I'm home to shower, so I just had to over come!

  3. I've never encountered a group shower, but I think I could handle it. I like being naked! I actually didn't realize that open showers were still a "thing." They always seemed like that old-fashioned thing in movies that never happened IRL.

    1. I always thought I was comfortable with being naked...but I also think I'm easily intimidated by really svelte bodies surrounding me. And the Bikram chicks are fit. But c'est la vie. I'm getting better! And the open shower thing is huge here...it's not common in my area of New York at home. My international classmates say it's the norm where they come from. Nudity and people's comfort level with it is definitely interesting.