Friday, May 9, 2008

Love the Gym You're In

Joining a gym seemed like such a cliche decision, tied to an overwhelming desire to emulate Dilbert with my office job, sedentary lifestyle, and overall geekiness. I hesitated for a while, giving all sorts of excuses for sitting on my bum for hours each night. Deep down, I knew that "heavy lifting" should consist of more than reaching into my chip bag and scooping large amounts of salsa into my mouth. (Who am I kidding? There is no way I would manage not to drop salsa all over myself...) The best reasons I found not to join a gym were that 1) It is too expensive, and 2) I can work out my self by jogging around the block, or getting exercise videos.
Lets start with that second one, shall we? Every couple of months, I found bursts of energy and motivation in which I diligently put on my sneakers after work and ran. These bursts lasted a few days...once. Most times, it was a singular and exceedingly rare event. I also attempted several workout videos which had varying affects on the destruction of my apartment. If you work out in your living room, you need a little more room and a bit less living (the cat is definitely not a fan of workout videos, yet seems to think that lying down two feet behind me is a good idea.) At that time, I also lived in an apartment with paper thin walls, and apparently floors. The clock rattled on the wall every time Richard Simmons told me to shake my caboose. (And yes, I did attempt a Richard Simmons video. It was hilarious!)
OK, on to the other reason for not joining a gym: the $$$$$. I am not saying that gyms are cheap, or that I suddenly got a ginormous raise. But, like everything, it is about priorities. I pay the same for a gym membership (and probably less) than most people pay for cable TV. I ditched the TV, and I haven't really missed it much - I get my South Park from the internet, I get my movies and TV series from Netflix, and I don't mind watching Seinfeld reruns for the 500th time. (Well, Hellllooooo...wha ha ha...)
I do love the gym. I do all the group exercise classes because they motivate me to commit to a specific time, and because they are fun. On Thursdays (today) I do an extremely hard boxing class, which kicks my ass weekly. But I love it, and most of the other regulars do too. I feel great when it is over, and on more than one occasion I have rearranged my social schedule or even skipped out on fun things in order to go to this class. I have also done this for my Saturday morning class - in fact, it is amazing that I regularly attend a Saturday morning class. That one is called "Body Attack" and it is technically aerobics, but for non coordinated people like me. I hate "traditional" aerobics in which I am too busy trying to figure out the moves to break a sweat.
The moral of the story: get out there and MOVE! Find something that works for you, and make it a priority. It feels really great to do something for yourself, and it makes you feel better all day!

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