It’s still early enough in the new year for this to be a new year’s resolution, but really it’s something that I have been thinking about doing for a long time.
Today I went to a gym.
I was a regular gym-goer for many years. In college my then-boyfriend now-husband and I took a weight training class together, working out on some very primitive Nautilus equipment in what I recall was a dark basement space somewhere near Cameron Indoor Stadium on Duke’s campus.
I’ve taken all the exercise craze classes through the years: Jane Fonda’s workout, high impact aerobics, low impact aerobics (not enough “pain” for me), step aerobics, kickboxing, spinning, power flex, Zumba, and probably a bunch more that I can’t remember. I’ve never owned a treadmill because I hate to run inside, but sometimes weather has forced me to do my cardio on an elliptical or other device at the gym.
At times I’ve used a gym religiously for weight training, but it’s been a long time. Too long. I had to stop going to the gym when I broke my foot. And at the same time the gym I belonged to closed. But that was more than four years ago. More than four years too long ago.
I know, I know, strength training is really important. Especially as you get older, which I don’t seem to be able to avoid. Especially when you have small bones, like I do. And I know that I should do something for exercise other than just running. I’m not getting any younger, and I’m not getting any faster, and I don’t seem to be getting any stronger or more flexible without taking action.
My husband and I are season subscribers to West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park theater, and our subscriber gift at the last show (Lend Me a Tenor; it was excellent!) was a 1-month membership to Excel Fitness in West Hartford, along with a complimentary personal training session.
It was just the incentive I needed.
Excel owner Jeff Roux took me through the personal training session today. He first asked a bunch of questions. (Yes, I really do have all of these goals: gaining core strength, increasing flexibility, dropping a few pounds, firming up muscles, helping to boost my running speed.) We discussed nutrition, and he advised that while I eat a fairly healthy diet (no criticism of the coffee habit, likely because I drink it black) I probably don’t get enough protein. And waiting to eat breakfast until I have been up for a few hours is probably not helping my metabolism or energy level.
Weight and body fat measurement did not make me smile. He wouldn’t let me take my shoes off or use the bathroom first. And although my BMI looks good, I have more body fat than I should. Yup, need to add some muscle mass.
On to the personal training. After a quick cardio warmup I started with the leg press. My legs proved pretty strong (years of running) but Jeff pushed me a level where I started to fatigue my muscles. I did some arm weights, but balanced on my knees on a Bosu ball to work my core at the same time. I did abs. I did shoulder work. Jeff was very understanding of my Type-A nature and challenged me.
It was fun.
It’s been a few hours, and I am tired. And I think I am going to be sore tomorrow, but it will be a good sore.
I’m going to keep writing about my progress, because I think that’s fun, too. And it will keep me a dual incentive to keep working out. And it may inspire someone else!
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