Two weeks ago, I wrote a post seeking help finding some kind of workout plan that could help me get fit before I turn forty next year. I am truly grateful that so many people took time to make suggestions – most of which fell into a couple of broad categories: 1) walking and 2) finding what I like and doing that.
These were more problematic recommendations than they seem on their face. Walking shouldn’t be a difficult option, but I already walk a lot. A lot. I don’t own a car, so I commute, get groceries, run errands, and do most everything else as a pedestrian the majority of the time. I realize that walking for exercise and walking to get places is not exactly the same thing, but I feel like those are the only muscles I use regularly so I wanted an exercise plan that got other parts of me involved.
The “do something you like” idea was even more complicated. The problem is this: what I like is sitting on my couch eating ice cream, and that’s not really working for me anymore. (So sad. It used to.) I honestly don’t know what exercise I like, other than yoga, which is not enough in itself. Pretty much every fitness activity sounds vaguely torturous to me – those that I understand. Others are even more confusing, like the “zumba class” that several of my friends mention in their Facebook status updates.
The answer, then, was in the question… I need to figure out what I like. Even though I suspect it’s all painful and boring in equal parts, I don’t actually know that. Trying out different options is the only sensible way to figure out what I like, and – conveniently enough – they store virtually all of the myriad fitness options at the gym. And so, that’s what I did. I joined the Washington Sports Club by my house. (And “by my house” is about a mile walk, thus covering the walking thing, too, as it turns out.)
I’ve never belonged to a gym in my life, and find it terrifying. I had my orientation session with the trainer today and honestly thought I might vomit I was so nervous. It never occurred to me that I would react to the gym like a kid who got picked last for kickball. Or had to stay after school to run extra laps for being slow. Or who almost didn’t get the fitness certificate for not being able to do push-ups. (Yes. All me. No fictitious examples there.) Even though I am a grown-ass woman, I managed to drag every single bit of Phys-Ed class anxiety I’d ever experienced in there with me today, which was about as awful as it sounds. (Worse, actually.)
I survived, however, without crying, and even did all the reps of squats, crunches, and modified push-ups that the trainer made me do. I didn’t last as long on the not-the-eliptical-nor-the-treadmill-but-something-similar machine as I planned to, but that’s mostly because I forgot how to slow it down and I had to get off or risk turning my legs to such jello that I wouldn’t have been able to walk home.
I’m planning to go back on Wednesday, since the trainer said the strength training stuff should be every other day. For the time being, I am going to alternate it with some yoga at home, though I’d like to eventually go back to taking classes, since the yoga studio is not the stress-inducing environment that the gym is. I think I might want that balance.