It might surprise you to know that I’ve been on a few cruises in my time. The first was in the late 90’s. It departed from Spain and made it’s way around the horn to Italy, Malta, France, etc. Not a bad first cruise. Since then, there have been others and I have to say, I love cruises. A lot. I know. They’re not for everyone. The crowds, the dictated schedules, and the indigestion medicine ever-present like hand soap in the cabin bathrooms insinuating that someone will be overeating. But on the other side of that coin are the daily made beds, the 24-hour food and the barista who’s never more than a few floors away from your cabin. It’s okay if it’s not your cup of tea. We don’t have to be samesy’s all the time.
But this whole isolation thing reminds me of being on a cruise. Ironic I know.
When I first get on the ship, after I’ve looked at the daily schedule that’s printed up for me so that I know when to eat and when to sleep, I go find the gym. They’re usually a form of something from the 90’s. A little too shiny, a few too many mirrors and there’s just something slick about them that’s hard to describe. But it’s kind of like the dance in high school; expectations and motivation is high and hopes and dreams often go unspoken.
The first day at the gym is shocking. There’s not an open treadmill, foam roller or weight bench. I accept this with ease. Not my first rodeo. The second day, it’s lightened a smidge. Not much but at least there’s an oft used yoga mat and a half-inflated Bosu-ball. You don’t lose hope because if you’re like me, you know how this is going to go. Day three. You’re not really surprised when there’s an open treadmill overlooking the big blue sea. Still crowded but there are gaps in the room. You know what tomorrow will bring. Day four. You walk in and like they say, the world is your oyster or if you’re a vegan, it’s your sandbox. You see, the place is almost empty and no, it’s not because everyone’s on land. We’re not docked. It’s because people have given in. Not given up. Given in.
They’ve given in to sleeping in and lining up (for the second time) for the buffet line and the conga line. I mean, it gets hard after a while to tell Julie McCoy ‘no’ when she tries to get you to do the Electric Slide. And it’s not bad. It’s just how we are. We start out with the best intentions; eat well, floss, tidy, read, meditate, go outside, not yell at the kids…and then it gets hard and we forget the plan.
Listen, you’re gonna yell at someone. If things were tricky before, they’ll be tricky now. You’re going to eat the cheese curls. You’re going to stay up too late. You might even gain a few pounds. You might say things you regret. You might do things you wish you hadn’t. Just try to find a little balance between the conga line and the buffet line. Strike a balance between the cheese and the bicep curls. This could take a while.