November 14, 2012 Ch-Ch-Changes
If you had told me a year ago that the first thing I’d be doing on my day off would be going for a run, I would have looked like this:
What.. you don’t run in pearls?
What a home run! (I’m so lame)
As many of you know, I have not always been the most physically active person. Sure, I played field hockey and ran track in high school. I would go on hot yoga “binges” in college. However I’d never found myself in a sustainable work out routine. I never made it a priority. I made things like studying, socializing, sorority and work my main priorities. All legitimate priorities. I’ve always been petite, so it didn’t really seem like a big deal.
Last year, around this time, my roommate and I bought a Groupon for New York Sports Club. It was a month-long membership and we sort of bought them on a whim. After sporadic gym conversations we decided to bite the bullet and try it out. $30 for a month? Cool. While I had access to my gym at work, I had serious gym anxiety and couldn’t get myself to go. Strangers seemed much better than coworkers.
To put it simply, I fell in love with the gym. I was addicted to 6:15 AM spin. Boot camp was awesome. The classes weren’t always full and it felt like a personal training session rather than group fitness. I got into a groove and I loved it. And my body loved it too.
Then… the month long membership ended. The fees doubled and being a bargain shopper, I refused to pay it. Luckily, this was around the holidays and I was home with at my parents’ house which has a treadmill, bike and free weights. When I came back to Stamford in January, I was at a standstill. I knew I needed to do someting. I couldn’t fall back into old habits and stop working out. Lucky for me, New Years resolutions brings a lot of great deals. Kim and I both scored a corporate discount (for another company) at LA Fitness for ~$30/month! And 11 months later, I’m still enrolled and look forward to going for a run there, classes, and just the feeling of being at the gym. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s some sort of confidence boost that you get when you walk into the gym and get ready for your work out.
Another boost for me was my girls trip/reunion in Las Vegas. I know, Las Vegas and fitness doesn’t make much sense. Polar opposites in fact. But for me, the thoughts of pool parties and bikinis was a huge inspiration to keep working out and to focus on strength training. I was successful and ended up being fit for Vegas and inspired to continue working out.
One of the thing that I’ve grown to love about running is the chance to really zone out. The minutes fly because I’m not forcing my mind to think about one thing or the other. Whereas in a group exercise class, I’m concentrating on the specific exercise, going for a run allows me to just release and let my mind wander.
My personal life changed dramatically when K and I broke up. My social life has changed with new friends and visiting old ones in Boston and New York. My family life seems to have improved and I feel closer to my parents and extended family than I ever have. Work? I’m in a new job. A job that has pushed me into a completely new skill set and business. I’m honestly really happy with how things are going right now. But the best change I thought about? Fitness.
Now? I’m in my groove. I change my work outs daily. I never do the same thing two days in a row. I’ll go for a run. I’ll try a Pilates class. I’ll do a day of free weights. Sunday I went for a hike that left me more sore than I’ve been in months. The important thing for me is variety. All that really matters is that I do something. The endorphin release is the best form of therapy that I have ever found. I often wonder if this would have helped me in high school when I really needed it during my phases of depression. It’s just another reminder of why exercise needs to be emphasized in school. Physical Education shouldn’t be phased out as it seems to be.
Anyway, I just felt the need to share the story of my fitness evolution. More for my sake, than yours, yes. I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made and excited for the potential developments in the future. Know what else I’m excited for? Completing a turkey trot with my mother and brother over Thanksgiving! That’s another thing I’d laugh at a year ago!!
Have you made any big changes lately? Fitness accomplishments?