Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I joined a gym - again

I belonged to a gym about 5 years ago.  I lifted weights, used the elliptical, and the weight machines.  I got into pretty good shape. I was never interested in the group classes that were offered.  I was too shy to walk into a class where I feared I would be the only person who didn't know what was going on.

About 4 years ago, I hurt my neck, stopped going, and lost my motivation.

Last January I started taking a Bollywood dance class.  I have always wanted to learn to dance and this seemed like an inexpensive way to learn, have fun, and get a little exercise.  I was a little concerned about not knowing anyone, but I got over it and had fun.  And the class motivated me to start using my treadmill again.

This year, the instructor changed the day of the class and the new day just didn't work out for me.  I kept walking on my treadmill, but I knew that alone wasn't enough.

Last week, Fate nudged me into taking action.  I stopped at the lab to have blood drawn for my regular doctor visit.  While I was there, an 86-year-old man came in.  He was bent over with dowager's hump and each step that he took covered only 4".  Now, I commend him for being up and about and without a caretaker.  But I don't want to end up like that.  I aspire to be like my former mother-in-law.  She is 96 and still drives "the elderly" to their appointments. 

That was a small nudge, but not enough.  Then I went to Target.  Now, Target is not my normal shopping venue.  So it was fortuitous when I ran into a friend from Bollywood.  We chatted and she mentioned that she belonged to my old gym, but didn't go any more.  She said if I started, she would go with me to classes. 

The next day, I went to the gym and reinstated my membership.  The day after that, I took my first class.  Alone.  It was a yoga like class and it emphasized to me how out of shape I've gotten. 

But I felt really, really good about myself when I completed the class.  And I realized that if I hadn't been in a class with several other people, I would have quit much sooner.  So the structure of the class works for me. 

Last evening, my friend and I did our first class together.  I would have skipped class if I hadn't promised my friend I would be there.  So the buddy system is working as a motivation for me. It was a weight lifting class.  I've never done barbells before, but it was a great workout. 

I have become a convert to group workouts.  I find the variety and energy, and the enforced time period, to be very motivating.

I hope I can stay enthused.  I want this to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary fix.

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