I have never described myself as athletic. I’m not a health and fitness guru and if I’m frank, I think the fitness culture today is slightly absurd. But in honor of #workoutwednesday and the fact that I tired a new gym this morning, I thought I’d tell you a little about my fitness journey. I’m not anti-workout and I think support groups of any kind are uplifting, however, I’m just not feeling it when it comes to the fitness world. In the winter I was in a mall that had a name brand active wear store. I walked in and was greeted by the sales associate. She told me with so much excitement in her voice that their new leggings were on the front table and today they were on sale, discounted at $99. I laughed in her face said “ok thanks” and turned around and walked out. I don’t understand why something you sweat in has to cost so much damn money. I buy my workout clothes, that I believe are still cute, from Target and Old Navy when they go on sale and are under $10. I call that workout winning. Maybe it’s because I’m not “athletic” that I am unable to manage the perfect post workout picture. That’s not really my thing in the first place. I don’t feel the need to post my daily workouts, my bloated belly vs. my flat tummy day comparisons nor do I have someone follow me around to take my picture 24/7. Seriously girls, how do you do it and do you get annoyed asking people to take your picture all the time?! The only workout posts that you’ll find on any of my accounts have been posted in the attempts to win free stuff through the gyms I go to or in this case, for this post. My struggle with the fitness world started long before wearing trendy work out gear and posting to Instagram was the thing to do.
I was always playing outside and in the dirt when I was little. When I was old enough to start organized sports I made some choices that did not work out for me. When I was younger I played YMCA soccer for one year until I got kicked in the shins. I played club basketball throughout elementary school and when it came to try out for the actual team for the intermediate school I chose swimming instead. Turns out I was pretty damn good at it too. I began swimming competitively year round finishing off my senior year as one of the Captains of our varsity team. By that description alone you can tell I was never a gym rat. I hated being hot and sweaty because when you’re swimming you just dump your water bottle on yourself and keep going. Although you are sweating it’s almost unnoticeable. The stress of nursing school throughout college kept me skinny and in the summers I was a lifeguard so again, swimming. Now that I’ve been out of college for 5 years I’ve had to change my lifestyle and I’m still struggling to find my routine.
Being money conscious I tried the Jillian Michaels work out videos. “6 Week Six Pack”, yes I got this! Nope. No I don’t got it. In my opinion the people who can do Beachbody are included in this category. Folks, you are my heroes! Being motivated to workout at home is something I’ve never been able to accomplish. I’d feel good, start working out, it would start burning, I’d start sweating (which I still hated at the time) and I’d pause that video, get a drink, take a break, and then get back at it. Eventually I learned the videos routines. When I knew a move I hated was coming up I’d choose that time to have my water break but this time I wouldn’t pause the video. I’d find myself cheering Jillian on saying things like, “you got this Jillian” and “Push through it girl”. These are all things I should have been saying to myself. I work well with someone telling me what to do and coaching me through the moves, when there’s an option to pause, mute, or just turn off that mean trainer, well I took that easy out every single time. My life bounced around for a while and I continued to maintain my lack of workout routine. My metabolism was still excellent and when it started to slow, what I like to call my “divorce diet” had me dropping pounds without doing a thing!
Just a little over a year ago I was ready to really focus on taking care of myself. The best way I knew to get rid of all these unwanted emotions was to swim. I revisited the idea of gyms with pools and remembered but then remembered the old people. I looked into options and heard about a new gym that had recently opened that was more of a trend gym. I check it out and in July of 2016 I joined Orangetheory Fitness. It was challenging, the coaches were nice and motivating some of which I have become good friends with. I had to sign up in advance for class and was held accountable by being charged for a class if I was a no show. It was one hour of ass kicking that was exactly what I need. Well I’m crazy enough that over a year later I still go regularly. I thought this was a good start to learning how to workout while in the adult world. I would love to still be swimming but lets be honest, trying to do laps in a pool where you’re avoiding the old people doing the dead man’s float is next to impossible. Adult competitive swim teams don’t exist (If you’re reading this and I’m wrong please message me). When I go to these classes my goal is to try not to die. I could care less about the other people in the class, especially on the treadmill. I look straight ahead and focus. I consider this workout my “home base” because it’s the first workout that is not swimming that I can tolerate doing.
Throughout the year I have gone through swings of motivation to add to my workout routine. These swings come for multiple reasons but its mainly due to my love of Luciano’s Pizza and Beer. I added The Barre Code to my workout regimen and it ended up being the right kind of addition to my routine. It’s a different pace, different workout, but still challenging. What I learned most from The Barre Code is that I am not flexible at all! Walking into a room full of mirrors and trying to focus on nothing but yourself is really challenging when you can see everyone in the room from every angle. I must say, damn, some of those girls can lift their legs high! I thought that Orangetheory had me in pretty good shape until I started shaking through the warm ups of my first Barre Code class. I still go every so often to switch it up a little but it never fails I always feel like the graceless ballerina in the room.
I’ve been on vacation from work so this morning I tried out a new place I had stumbled upon through social media avenues. It’s a pilates class on resistance based machines and the studio is called IM =X. These machines are unlike anything I’ve ever done before. At first I thought it was fun. I was pulling myself along, pushing myself up and down, gliding back and forth on the carriage, but then we started jumping. Laying on your back on a carriage that slides while jumping off a platform sounds fun. But for a girl who easy gets motion sick, I was turning green! Thankfully you’re looking at the ceiling so the only person who saw my color change was the trainer. She smiled and said, “the movement is definitely something to get used to.” All I could respond was, “I’ll say”. With that sarcasm we both started laughing. I don’t mean the soft inside voice fake laugh to appease one another. I mean the all out loud, stop what you’re doing, belly laugh. She had watched me struggle throughout the class to get the loops in the right foot, boards in the right holes, and attach and reattach the correct springs. It was my first class so all of those struggles were expected from both of us and will smooth out over time. However, the fact that I managed to make myself motion sick on the machine was something neither one of us could control laughing over. When the rest of the room went silent she simply stated it was my first class and there were small chuckles with the collaborative “been there” census from the rest of the group. Will I be adding this to my workout routine? The answer is I’m just not sure yet. I have a week to trial the classes and see if I figure out how to be more coordinated on the machines! Regardless, today was another step on my journey and another effort made for making myself a healthier person, in addition to getting in a good laugh.
My goal is to continue to be my unathletic self but also keep going. I’ve already come a long way from being the girl who doesn’t like to sweat during a workout to being drenched at Orangetheory. I will continue to try new things, explore new options, and keep my progress to myself. Loving my body is something that only I need to focus on and care about, it doesn’t depend on how many “likes” my pictures get because of how many filters I use. For me it’s about how my clothes fit, how I feel being in my clothes, doing something active that keeps me healthy but is also something that I enjoy, finding people who are there with me to burn, grow, laugh and sweat alongside me. It’s about enjoying the foods I like to eat and living a life of balance. There are so many studios out there and different places to try, this is just the beginning of my journey as it’s only been a year that I’ve consistently exercised since I graduated high school. Swimming will always be my first love and pizza will be my second, followed by donuts, tacos, and beer but you get the picture! Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and have fun doing whatever keeps your mind happy and your body healthy! By all means if that includes wearing expensive athletic wear and posting selfies, in the words of a former dance teacher, “you do you boo boo”!