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Today was a long day full of birthday lunch (happy birthday to my (and the best) father-in-law, Bassel!) and work for me – I stayed at home today to work because it’s too cold to venture into the center (it’s 39F but I’ve lived here for six years now and, I don’t know, my blood thinned or something. My dog is in pajamas. I caved.) so here I am posting very late (though not that late for Rami and my “normal” schedule, and thinking about how next week I’ll be even more exhausted, but in a good way, because I oddly like the feeling of painfully sore muscles after a workout.

In Florence, there aren’t many gyms (how many buildings from the Renaissance would you want to destroy to open up room for treadmills?) and the gym culture, in general, is definitely here in Italy, but it’s more exclusive which means it comes with a higher price tag. We decided to ditch the memberships and make use of the awkward corner of our garden for a mini-gym. Thanks to Rami (best husband ever) and help from the best father-in-law ever we now have a little gym corner outside and I am way too excited.

When growing up as a student-athlete in the US, I really underappreciated the amount of access I had to sports teams, gyms, and even just fields. When a culture doesn’t put the same priority into specific things, it gets pretty difficult to keep up with them yourself. A full practice for me here, from the time when I leave the house to go meet my ride, to the time I normally get back home (without staying for dinner at the restaurant after) is from 7:30 pm to about 11:30pm/12:00am depending on how practice goes (there is a decent amount of locker room and travel time included in this calculation, let me be clear – four hour practices would kill me). 

At home in MA, I used to get in my car, drive to the gym, get a full workout in, and be back within an hour or two. My sports teams were built into the rest of my life and to get a workout done outside, all I had to do was run up the street to my high school track. I paid $10 month. A student pass for the gym I used to go to in the center of Florence was 60 Euro a month. 

So here’s to no more excuses and making use of funky Italian garden corners that need imagination. A weight bench is definitely better than lawnmower storage. Plus, New Year Resolution time is just around the corner. Why not start now instead.  




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