(This is from my birthday last year, so mid-April 2011. I don’t have any newer “workout” photos. Looking at that, while I think I look pretty good, I can see some difference. Partly because those clothes are no longer compression wear and are baggy spandex on me. But I see a difference in shape and tone too.)
With Drew’s departure last Wednesday evening (yes, I survived the first week), my lack of any real strength training in 6 months since my club membership ran out, and the generosity of parents and grandparents on holidays and birthdays I rejoined Raintree Athletic Club last week.
There have been so many advantages to being back there:
- Strength training equipment of all varieties - medicine balls, resistance tubes, free weights, Star Trac machines and on and on.
- Pool! While I don’t often have terrible flares that would otherwise keep me from exercising, I do like to mix it up and get in the pool every now and then for some resistant cardio, but if I’m really achey it is especially nice. The steam room and sauna can be nice on occasion too, especially with allergy sinuses.
- Yoga classes - which not only help my body, but my brain as well. While I can do the yoga at home, for me classes are more meditative because I’m not having to concern myself with timing my positions (in Yin you hold the positions for 3-5 minutes so you really do have to time things unlike with a flow). I even took advantage of a couple workshops this past week - tennis ball massage and breathing into backbends.
- The free session with a nutritionist upon signing up. I didn’t learn anything new, but it was pointed out to me that I had slipped back into my habit of under eating. Since the bronchitis I just never really got hungry. But upping my food slowly over the week I noticed yesterday that I did get hungry. Still with a longer time span than ideal, but it is progress. A small sign that my metabolism is ramping back up
- The free session with the personal trainer. My session with Tracy this time around was amazing. She was my preferred water aerobics instructor last time around so she had a feel for my fitness level to a certain degree and we already had a rapport. But most importantly, she called me the night before to confirm the appointment and find out what I was looking for in my session so she could prepare ahead of time. Since I already knew how to run the basic equipment - treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and the Star Tracs I asked to learn more about proper form on the rowing machine and for some non-Star Trac strengthening. She delivered! My arms and core are declaring it a rest day today.
- Even if I don’t really interact with anyone while working out the staff always says hello and goodbye with a smile and I’m surrounded by people. Sometimes that is all I need to chase away the loneliness.
- If you had asked me before I rejoined if people would remember me upon my return I would have told you that the instructors from the three classes I took most frequently would likely but no one else. But my previous personal trainer did as did a handful of people from the yoga classes that I hadn’t been to since my stint in working full-time outside of the home, so over a year ago. And while progress this past year has been so slow I almost don’t notice it, several of these people were astounded, which is always a nice boost for the self confidence.
I have had an issue with rejoining though — taking my time and wading in! I just want to jump in and try every class that is different since the last time and do this and do that. It has been difficult to keep myself reigned in. As it is, I think I’m teetering on the edge of over training again between my low caloric intake, having been not exercising beyond walking in over 6 weeks and the yard & garden work on top of the workouts. So today, I am really going to listen to and trust my body and have a rest day. I just have to keep telling myself that the classes will still be there next week and next month. None of the ones I’m most interested in are flagged as low participation so I should be good.
Are you a member of a club or YMCA? What are you favorite classes or pieces of equipment?
If you don’t have a membership, how do you strength train at home? Do you have some equipment? The only thing I really did was run when my club membership ran out. Occasionally I’d throw in some traditional crunches, pushups and planks but I was bad about doing it regularly. For equipment, all I had was a 2 pound and a 5 pound dumbbell from a stint of PT for my shoulder - yes, only one each :-/