The Changing Seasons: February 2019

Still life with gym shoes, water bottle, towel, keys and muscle rub. Image: Su Leslie 2019 Still-life with gym shoes. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Ok, let’s just get it out of the way. I’ve joined a gym.

It wasn’t entirely by choice, but I finally sought help to manage my arthritic knee, and this is part of the programme.

I don’t like gyms. Even when I wasn’t middle-aged and overweight, I was still uncoordinated.

And philosophically …. people getting in their cars to drive to a brightly-lit, air-conditioned building full of expensive equipment designed to simulate the exercise humans evolved to get doing that thing called living? I know that’s simplistic; I am genuinely concerned about the environmental costs.

But it seems to be working. After just a few weeks, I have significantly better flexibility and strength.

So having more or less captured my month in one image, here are a few shots that haven’t made it into other posts.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share whatโ€™s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Donโ€™t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Donโ€™t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.

Please visit these amazing bloggers for their accounts of the month just gone:

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind — this is divided between two posts; so make sure you see both Part 1 and Part 2.

Marilyn and Garry at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Judy at lifelessons

Jude at Life at the Edge

Little Pieces of Me

Sarah at Art Expedition

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Gavin at Firehorseworld

Ju Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

90 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons: February 2019

  1. Ah, Su, so glad to hear positive things about that knee! Must say I share your concerns about gyms and exercise. Am literally surrounded by car parks over here, as one of my U.K. friends exclaimed whilst I was showing her my window “views.” It has made me realise just how much car usage is preprogrammed into living over here. Even more so as I supposedly live outside a city, where cars are even more necessary as there’s no mass transit. So disheartening… but your photos continually bring me lovely views of Nature, and I am sooo grateful! ๐Ÿ™

    Liked by 1 person

    • NZ is much the same. Outside the main centres we donโ€™t have the population for good public transport, and in the cities years of neglect and destruction of infrastructure means itโ€™s only now being rebuilt. I could get to the gym by public transport, but it wold involve two buses (which arenโ€™t scheduled to connect) each way and there would still be a lot of walking. The car is the most viable way โ€” unless I try to go during rush hours โ€” then It might actually be faster walking the 18km there and back. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear the knee is feeling better. Increasing physical activity sounds counter-intuitive, but you can’t argue with success ๐Ÿ™‚

    You know I’m a huge fan of photos with great cloud formations, but this month, the aviary photos win! They are just the cutest! ๐Ÿ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanne. I love the birds too, though I was quite sad to see them cooped up in the aviary.
      My chiropractor friends have always said movement is a great way to treat lots of pain, and I knew they were right. Iโ€™m just a born slug.

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Corgrats on getting yourself to the gym, Su. So much hard work represented by that first photo. I’m with you on sweaty awfulness of gyms. But at least it is an escape from the heat and humidity, and you can do those strength exercises safely. And it is working for you, so that is fabulous.

    Your other photos are just lovely. Those parrots look like they might enjoy a few of those sunflower seeds. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I once joined a gym. I was 45. Kept it up for a year and went three times a week at 6:30 am for an hour to help tone my flab and increase my stamina. It was OK. I rather enjoyed how alive I felt whilst driving to work at 7:30 am. And then my hours changed and I couldn’t fit it in except after work when I was tired and sluggish and the gym was full with skinny young people who didn’t need to be there…
    I couldn’t use the treadmill though as it caused me pain in my knees. My favourite implement of torture was the rowing machine! My least favourite the hoop whatchamecallit for sit ups!

    The still life is fab! But I am not going back to a gym ๐Ÿ˜œโค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mornings are definitely the best time for me too. I wonder at 24 hour gyms; who decides at 2am that a workout is a good idea (except maybe shift workers)?
      I used to go fairly regularly in my 20s and 30s and did actually quite enjoy it, but they tended to be women-only places, and it is quite intimidating watching huge men hefting huge weights.
      Iโ€™m ok on the treadmill as long as itโ€™s at walking rather than running speed. In fact the physio has me walking backwards on it โ€” which Iโ€™m convinced will lead to one of those โ€œhilarious when itโ€™s not youโ€ moments that end up going viral on YouTube.
      Heigh ho.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I used to work at a gym and dreaded that ever popular question: “want to work out when you get off?” Ugh. I prefer exercising by myself…with the cats nearby to distract me. I do love that succulent photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I actually told them when I signed up that Iโ€™m an introvert and the idea of exercising with people around is really uncomfortable. But so far people mainly seem focused on their own stuff (and taking selfies on the treadmill โ€” I kid you not) that itโ€™s like weโ€™re all introverts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Someone constantly watching me exercise is my idea of absolute hell. If I had the money, I’d build a gym at home so I could sweat in complete privacy — with the music of my choice. ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. Wish I could more of the comments but time for bed and I want to comment –
    First – congrats on the gym memebership. I have loved mine and have had seasons of going a lot and then less.
    As far as the envrionmental impact- whew – I see it as little compared to retirement centers and hospitals (omg the gloves that are high tech material – and have you seen folks have to change full outfits after visiting a patient ? And the water cups and plastic spoons for meds – the other trash – the medical waste – makes most gyms look mild (at least here in the states) and our gyms keep equipment for years at a time and then sell stuff to church’s gyms and places that want used stuff (sometimes folks want them for their home) – and speaking of home gyms – think about the impact one person has with 20 machines in one of those big ol home gyms – so in a way – the modern gym is possibly more enviro friendly (or not – just thinking out loud) – I just don’t see a lot of waste st ours-

    And glad your knee is getting better ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I have shared “magnesium choloride flakes” with numerous people and one of three
    Was a lady who had double knee surgery – and she ran up to me months later to say how good it helped – the flakes (I buy life flo brand) get liquified in a bowl and then I add sweet almond oil (or any carrier oil) and theee drops of DMSO (helps deliver it thru skin) and even my mail lady had god results with her hip.
    Just an idea
    Lastly / when I saw the still life in the reader I saw a baby show at first – but then saw your cool workout set up ๐Ÿ˜‰ bueno

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Yvette. I do use magnesium in baths, etc and I think it does help.
      My problem with gyms isn’t that I think they are necessarily worse for the environment than other things (like hospitals and retirement homes), but that it’s a tragedy that our lives have moved so far from what we evolved to do, that we have to create artificial ways to get the exercise we need to survive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • oh I totally see what you mean. And sorry if my comment was long-winded. I do feel comfy here and write from my heart – and I think I have been disgusted by the waste I see at these places.
        and you are so right about the “artificial ways to get the exercise we need to survive” – i love how you added that word survive in there – it added an extra element.
        and really a topic that gets deep –

        Liked by 1 person

        • Donโ€™t apologise; I totally agree with you on the waste thing. We need to realise that by addressing (ill)health we also address waste (not to mention over-consumption, pollution, etc. . Imagine if people could stop taking masses of individually packaged pills because their bodies actually worked like theyโ€™re meant to.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is another good point – wouldn’t need the pills if they took better care of their bodies
            – and it is not just the white-collar body that has demise- some of those muscle heads at the gym are over training and harming their body with weights – and then there is the cardio junkie that needs tons of fuel to make up for the over exertion.
            I am not judging but it has been lightbulbs coming on for us (hubs and I) and can workout smarter and not harder….

            And then don’t even want to get started on the pills and pharmacy-minded care so rampant in the States here. I was flabbergasted to find out what some friends spend on monthly prescriptions – omg

            Liked by 1 person

          • Agreed.
            If I wanted to take pain-killers or have surgery for my knee, the public health system would give me the former, and my insurance would cover the latter. Because I want to take control of my actual health โ€” physiotherapy, exercise, good nutrition โ€” i have to pay for it all myself.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh that is exactly how it is here.
            And I was just reading (well over the holidays) about how terrible it is that medicine today is so quick to slice into the human body as opposed to letting it heal up!
            So many times our boys can heal and restore if given the chance.
            My mother had a kidney transplant (years ago) and I am convinced now (knowing what I have learned since then about health and healing) that she could have cleansed her body and gave her kidneys a a chance
            But too often people are going to the doctor nowadays and they are told”your kidneys are working at a low percent so let’s keep an eye on it but you might need a transplant in so many years”
            They never say “let’s find what is causing the drain on your kidneys ”
            Never say “let’s restore your terrain”
            And callan Pinckney inspired me in 1991 when I heard her story.
            She was told she needed back surgery – and using exercises she healed her entire back!
            It is horrible that health care is quick to cut and slice into people
            I know car accidents and certain deformities might need surgery – but IMO 90% of the time doctors are too quick to use the knife and scalpel and then get huge money for it.

            Liked by 1 person

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  13. That’s a great still life, Su!! Really looks like something out of a sport magazine. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s wonderful that the exercises help you so much! And kudos to you for going to the gym! I can understand the reluctance involved. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve never been to a gym, I don’t really like the atmosphere, and as you said, it’s funny how we spent time going to a place like that when all we have to do to stay fit is maybe walk more and drive less. But in your case it does make a lot of sense, those exercises should be supervised by a professional at first because it can do a lot of damage when you do it wrong. I used to be much more sporty than I am now, joined a gymnastics club when I was little, used to row for my school and did also lot of Jazz Dance. But once I was out of school that more or less all ended. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now Iยดm only riding my bike every now and then and that’s that. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Love your photo gallery, such joyful moments in life! ๐Ÿ˜€ xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not even remotely sporty, and never have been. I guess it’s a sign of how desperate I am to be healthy that I even considered this. I don’t even dislike exercising, just doing it in a huge public space surrounded by other people. And … this is the bit I can hardly believe … some of them were taking selfies as they exercised. I mentioned it to the boy-child and he seemed totally unsurprised by it.
      I am such a dinosaur.
      It’s a shame that so many girls give up sport when they leave school (or sooner), but I guess the structures to make it happen disappear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When it comes to selfie-taking people nothing seems to shock me anymore: you can see it just everywhere, my guess is – even on a toilet seat! ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL!
        It’s such a weird development for sure, I’m just happy I’m not into that! ๐Ÿ˜€
        Whenever I go to my local library I come across a gym and watch those poor people slaving away on the treadmills, and I become instantly happy that I’m not doing this. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I used to go jogging during my studies but had to stop because me knees didn’t like it at all. And I’m way to lazy to go to the nearest public swimming pool.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Someone asked me recently If I jogged. I had to seriously wonder if they were blind!! My standard line is that Iโ€™m built for comfort, not speed.
          I have heard that bathroom selfies are a thing โ€” though I think it means the wash basin area rather than the actual business end. But who knows. Like you โ€” nothing would surprise me anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Totally love your standard line and will adopt it in my repertoire from now on!! ๐Ÿ˜„ We should design a tee with this slogan “Build for comfort, not speed.” I’d definitely buy it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

            Liked by 1 person

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  19. Su Leslie, you’ve captured some of my favorite scenes: Flowers, birds, clouds, sunsets. I’m an artist but not a photographer so I really admire the work of those can handle a camera and get beautiful images. And good health as suggested by the shoes and water bottle – clever way to represent joining a gym.

    Liked by 1 person

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