Today in the afternoon I sat in the library, as usual, trying to study. Monday was a productive day, Tuesday was alright, but today…today I lost all focus. Maybe it was the mediocre scrambled egg set I had in the cafe, maybe it’s the lack of caffeine (I’m not a coffee addict, though), or maybe it’s just one of those days.

I already planned to work out in the gym after work, but with the poor progress with my studying, I considered cancelling that plan. After all, they said we need to leave everything else and get focused for this (super expensive) final part of exams.

Late afternoon we had a teaching session with a dear friend of ours. I had so many flaws and obviously am not ready for the exams, but I felt good because I could scrutinise myself positively. Now I could see where I’m lacking and how I could improve myself.

Then I decided, as the studying progress had improved a little, I could spend some time in the gym.

The traffic was super good, I got my favourite parking spot, but the gym is (as Dato always complained) warm and crowded. That’s fine with me. At least people are moving towards healthier lifestyle.

I put on my Sony walkman (I don’t carry my smartphone around, a habit since endocrine rotation days), then I started my routine on the treadmill.

As I walked faster, my heart pumped more quickly, a smile begin to appear on my face.

I put on more upbeat songs (it seems that I have more slow ballads in my playlist…erk!); one of those is Shanti and Marcel’s Hanya Memuji.

By the time I reached 15 minutes, I had Lady Gaga’s Born This Way on. My steps faster, I put the inclination higher, I was so happy that I thought I could dance and jump on the treadmill itself.

I was also pretty sure that I could work hard enough to pass this exam.

“Believe capital H.I.M….I’m beautiful in my way, coz God makes no mistakes….I’m on the right track, baby, I was born to SURVIVE!!!”

Of course, I can!

I came down from the treadmill after my targeted time finished. I had a bit of a drink, and continued my workout on another machine for another 15 minutes.

As I came down, Michael Buble’s Haven’t Met You Yet was on.

“I might have to wait, I’ll never give up,
I guess it’s half timing, and the other half’s luck.”

I felt so cheerful like I could start dancing on the gym floors itself.

Obviously I did NOT do that.

“I’m in the room, it’s a typical Tuesday night, listening to the kind of music she doesn’t like. She’ll never know your mommy like I do..you’ve got a smile that could light up this whole town..”

Evil. Heheh..THE big joke of the year is on me.

Anyway..

I’ve worked in medicine for almost 8 years now. I’ve seen people suffering from diabetes-related complications, obesity complications, and I have to say, personally, I think they suffer more than cancer patients. Their quality of life is worse, and it gets worse when they are admitted to the hospital.

I looked around the gym and I won’t be surprised if any one of them suffered a heart attack, or end up with diabetes anyway. Even for myself, in fact.

But at least we tried. It’s that part in us that whispered to us to be thankful of the health we’re rewarded, to take good care of it while we can. It’s that survival instinct, and perhaps, in some of us, belief that it will all be taken away especially when we take it for granted.

In Islam, it’s the effort that matters, Allah will decide on the endpoint. Whatever He decided for us, is His will. Everything is good, as long as He’s happy.

* * *

I have to say, the euphoria that I experience during workout (be it in the gym, or playing squasy with my dear friend, or swimming with my little sister and cousins), I’ve never felt anything like it elsewhere, doing some other things. It’s that endorphin surge while we exercise, and focus on it, that makes us cheerful.

And studies showed that the feeling lasts long after exercise.

Multi-level marketing people might sell their health supplements claiming that they could get healthy without exercise. They could slim down and get that wanted muscle bulk without having to work it out. “Avoid all those injuries,” they say.

They could all drink and eat whatever vitamins they want, but I’m pretty sure they have never appreciated the mood and motivational surge that we feel during and after exercise, to be saying all that.

For a person like me, I definitely need all that motivation and mood lifts I could get.
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