COMING CLEAN: Getting Back to the Gym

No more excuses! I must get thee to the gym.

After we moved this summer, I realized just how close we’d be to Life Time: Once you exit our neighborhood, it’s practically right across the street. And yet, I couldn’t quite make an appearance till now.

Maybe you know the feeling: You’ve been away from the gym for a while and don’t feel as strong as you did before (if I can’t hold my own on the weight rack, what would I do instead?). Or you’ve made friends in a class and feel like they’ll give you a hard time for being away so long. Or maybe you need an entirely new program, or would like to try a new group fitness class, but aren’t sure if you’ll like it or can keep up.

These thoughts have been floating in my head since July. While my old club is still easily accessible (it’s in the same building as our office, just two floors below), working out mid-workday usually puts me a bit off task. Don’t get me wrong, I looooove a midday workout — it feels good on my body, I have plenty of energy, and my spirits are highest — but I have yet to master a Speedy Gonzales–like workout that’ll get me in and out of the gym in record time. When I go, I tend to linger, moving slowly in my post-workout stretching session and craving some time to relax in the sauna. Suddenly a planned 45-minute workout has become an hour-and-a-half.

There’s nothing wrong with my dawdling (hey, we love when members want to spend their afternoons or full days at the club!), but knowing this about myself, I usually fare better, in my schedule at least, to workout before or after my workday. Of course, that would mean that I have to leave the house earlier and get stuck in rush-hour traffic, so work out and get home later in the evening — both options presenting faults.

You see how maddening my mind, yes? And how good I am at making excuses and finding reasons not to work out? To me, these are real and frustrating hurdles, but to my time-efficient counterparts, it reads as if I’m dragging my heels.

Do the Work

So yesterday I said, fine. I’ll just go! Isn’t that what I learned when I started this process. Just show up. Do the work. Feel your body get stronger and faster. And soon there will be no debate on whether or not you’ll go because it’s habit.

I decided to pick a Group Fitness class, having so much success in previous classes and with T.E.A.M. Boot Camp. I opted for Ballet Body Fusion. Sounds sexy, right? I imagined it as some sort of ballet meets African dance meets yoga.

I was fully suited up for a cardio-style class, and once I tracked down Studio 1 (because Studio 2 is for yoga, and that can’t be right, can it?), I discovered from some students that Total Conditioning was about to start.

Hmmm. Back to Studio 2, where Ballet Body Fusion was indeed being taught.

We started with some mat Pilates, then moved into footwork. I was definitely overdressed (yoga clothes next time, and bring socks, as our instructor suggested), and while the class was slower-paced than I expected, it was still challenging on my legs, feet, and core.

Once the class was complete, I felt like I had a nice warm-up, so I decided to put together a my own circuit:

  • jumping rope
  • TRX rows
  • kettlebell swings
  • kettlebell clean and press
  • band pull-aparts (to open up my chest and relieve my computer-desk-position syndrome)
  • Alpha makers (renegade rows with a pushup + burpees)
  • TRX pushups

I swapped a few moves out on round 2 (jump rope and Alpha makers — whew!) but finished three solid rounds with minimal rest to give my heart a workout too. After a steam and shower, I felt extremely proud of my accomplishment.

It had been, however, two hours since I arrived. But I like to take my time. I’m just happy that I showed up.

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