Thursday, July 17, 2014

Exercise is Hard

Exercise is hard.  And, of course, I mean that literally--it is literally hard to do the things you are doing for a prolonged period of time when you are exercising.  But, I also mean that mentally--perhaps even more so.

It is so hard to get out of your warm bed when that alarm goes off no matter what you're doing, but it is especially hard when you are losing precious sleep to exercise of all things.  You would think that it would be easier to get out of your warm bed in the summer, when it's 82 degrees outside, your apartment faces the sun, there are no trees in front of your place, and no air conditioning in your bedroom, but somehow, it's not.  It is just as hard to drag myself out of bed, get ready, take Cash for a walk, and then drive my lazy ass to the gym, park, and walk into the gym in summer as it is in fall and winter.

It's rough.  So, I got my gym membership last February.  No, the February before that--February 2013.  And I, like everyone else, when they join a gym, convinced myself that I would totally use it. I would definitely take advantage of all the group fitness classes! Of course I would. Fast forward nearly a year and a half, and let me tell you: that is not the case. While I have been to two fitness classes (read about that here), I have not taken advantage of the multitudinous unique classes my gym offers.

So, why haven't I quit?  Well, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that hope springs eternal.  Also, because of this (if you're on your phone and it won't link it's "I want to quit the gym" from Friends): 

So, I never quit the gym.  Instead, I've been paying my monthly fee, and many nights I go to bed with the thought 'tomorrow' running through my head, promising myself that tomorrow will be the day. The day I use the gym!  Of course, it never is.

This past week, however, I finally started going to some classes that I've always wanted to try.  While I am limited in the ones I can attend (I can't get there at 6:45am, and I can't go at 6:45pm because of work), I have finally started going.

My [gym provided] Yoga Mat for Ashtanga
Saturday, I attended Power Yoga at 12pm.  This is a 90 minute class billed as good for 'all fitness levels.'  I lasted the entire 90 minutes, so I know that must be true.  But, it was hard.  This wasn't just stretching yoga.  This was power yoga, and I was super sweaty and sore by the time the class was over.  But, I also found out that I really love it.  It was basically the antithesis of my Spin Class experience (again, here), where I didn't stare longingly outside of the classroom wishing I was anywhere but where I was.  In fact, I didn't even look at the clock ONCE during the entire 90 minutes. I really enjoyed pushing my body, and even though I am sure I looked ridiculous doing some of the poses, I am so glad that I went. I know I'll definitely be back to a yoga class at my gym.  Maybe I'll even join a yoga studio, who knows! For my first class in Yoga since my Sophomore year in college, I think I did pretty well!


Mat & tools for Barre Assets class
Tuesday, I attended Barre Assets (which several people called 'bare assets,' but it's actually 'Bar'), and this was a nice little mix of aerobic activity and light weight training coupled with bar work (think plea, etc.).  I liked it, and I only looked at the clock once.  I am finding that how many times I look at the clock during a fitness class has a direct correlation with how much I enjoy the class.  After class, I stayed for a little cardio in the Zumba class right after Barre Assets.  I had been to Zumba before, and it's pretty fun.  So, each class was a 60 minute class, so I spent 2 hours at the gym for the first time since I'm guessing college.

Thursday, I went to Barre Assets, with a different instructor who was a sub. It was good, and we did a few different things than we did on Tuesday, but overall I enjoyed the other instructor more. 

Surfset Board
Then, since I was already at the gym, I went ahead and stayed for H2-OM, which is an integrated yoga class where you do some floor work, but then you also do some work on the 'surfset,' which is basically a mock surfboard.  This class was only 45 minutes, but it was such a good mix of floor work and work on the surfboard.  The surfboard (which is basically set up on three balls and strapped down--see below for a picture from the side) is pretty hard to balance on (at least for someone like me who hasn't done yoga since college), so you really had to concentrate on tightening all the muscles in your body in order to stabilize yourself.  The instructor for this class was pretty great, because he kept repeating that we should go at our own paces, and sometimes while people were doing crazy stuff on the board, I was just trying to balance myself (even so, I could feel all of my muscles burning with the effort).  I think this is a class I would definitely like to try again.  I'd like to see myself become fully stabilized on the board and able to stop wobbling.

Surfset from the side.


Now that I've gone to a few classes, a bit of the nervousness and apprehension has worn off, and I will continue to drag myself out of bed to partake in group fitness merriment (or torture?).

Has anyone out there tried any unique fitness classes?

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