A dear friend contemplating tiny paintings.

When it comes to working out, getting to the gym is 90% of the battle, especially during these frigid, dark and dreary winter months.

Lately I’ve been taking advantage of fitness classes and they’ve been great. We descend into the basement of a very old gym and for 40 minutes, nostalgia from my sports days comes flooding back.

I like to show up, turn my brain off, and just listen to the impossibly fit, unbelievably energetic and absurdly strong instructors. These experts run us though the sessions and make sure we are balancing correctly on the yoga ball, using the right weights, and staying motivated through what would normally be a midday slump.

On an especially cold and bitter day last week, I bundled up, scampered across the snow-covered sidewalks, and jogged down the stairs. I opened up my gym bag, pulled out shoes, shirt, socks… No shorts. I opened the bag once again thinking it must just be blending in with the bag. No shorts. I was so disappointed. On yoga day I might have been able to get away with normal pants, but not on high intensity interval training day—those are the sweatiest of days.

Dejected, I shoved my things back into my bag and sauntered like a slug back to the office.

But hey, count on life to teach you lessons. I now have a week’s worth of items, packed and ready to go. I will bring all of it on Monday, so I don’t have to think about it for a moment longer. Preparation is absolutely key.

Set things up and knock them down. Don’t waste valuable time running around, putting out last-minute fires. Those kettle bells aren’t going to swing themselves.