Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Art of Working Out

A couple of weeks ago I marched myself down to a local gym and signed myself up for a membership. Sure, I can continue to hop on my treadmill at home, huff and puff in the privacy of my residence without the thought that someone might see me gasping for air. Why on earth would I want to leave my personal gym for a public one? One word: Motivation.

See, this is not my first time joining a gym. I'm no stranger to these sweat boxes. I know what lies behind those doors. Gym devotees, those who spend hours perfecting their physiques so that not an ounce of fat lie on their impeccably toned bodies. These people sweat much, speak little, and work hard. I envy them.

These dedicated gym goers inspire me to get in shape, tone my buns and all that. They have some sort of built in mechanism that screams "MUST WORK OUT!" Me? I've always had to talk myself into hitting the gym. Alarm goes off in the morning and I lie in bed for five minutes, sometimes more, going over and over all the good reasons to get up. "You'll build muscle," "you will feel better having worked up a sweat," and my personal favorite, "you wear leotards and tights while staring at yourself in a mirror for hours at a time. Get up."

Since I graduated, I haven't necessarily had to wear leotards and tights every day, therefore, my interest in the gym has been pretty scant. Can you blame me? It's been a mental break that I have thoroughly enjoyed and savor every day. For the last two months I haven't planned my meals around what I wear and that may or may not sound weird to you, but let me tell you, it's nice. That's not to say I went completely hog wild, I just took a vacation from my regimen.

Now the vacation is over, it's time to get back in gear. Besides, swimwear is out right now, there's no getting away from it. I've shared with you readers about swimsuit shopping woes last year. It can be brutal. Can I get an amen?

Once I got my plastic member card, I decide I'm going to take some of the yoga and pilates classes. It's been a while, but hey. I'm a dancer, I can totally do this. Yes, that may be, but I'm a dancer whose taken time off. My body is not like it was at fifteen where I could jump into the splits without warming up. It's also not like it was two months ago, a little on the stiff side. Whoops. But answer me this: Why is it that when given a difficult option in life, we take it, attempting sometimes the most impossibly hard levels known to man?

Case in point: Pilates Class. The teacher is great, giving us all sorts of options from baby simple to the hardest of hard. Because I think a good challenge is a good idea and I'm a flaming idiot, every difficult option she gives, I take.

So I'm in pilates, working hard, puddles of sweat all around me, probably the amount of a small water tower, and I am dying. DYING. "For the sake of all that is holy, why is this so hard?! I" My muscles are shaking uncontrollable, screaming at my every move. My poor abdominals have grown accustomed to my easy-peasy conditioning and hate me. It wouldn't have surprised me if they jumped off my body and headed for the hills. At points in time I really question how badly I wanted a washboard set of abs or abs for that matter. 

My clothes are soaked and I'm slipping around my map like I was on a slip and slide. I'm surrounded by all these women and we're all breathing hard, but I refuse to cave. I have to work hard, I am a dancer for goodness sakes! I can do this!

Finally the class ends and I'm just flat worn out. At least I survived though, I made it through and that's what counts. Of course the next day I can barely move because I'm just one giant body of soreness.

You ask, why on earth would you put yourself through such misery? Pride. I didn't want to be a pansy. I wanted to be one of those gym devotees, capable of taking on any exercise. Let me tell you, pansy or not, I am never suffering through a class taking every difficult task when I am that unprepared. I like a good challenge, but man, I should have eased in.

On top of that, I started up ballet classes again. Yes, I broke out the tights and leos. Dancing felt so good and stretching was incredible fulfilling. I was a giant knot for a few days, solid grapefruits for calves. No worries though, I've recovered and have been steadily working out the last few days. It's all part of the process of getting in shape.

Here's the one weird thing about my exercise regimen, every time I work out, all I can think about is food. Is that just me or does anyone else do that? Hmm, maybe I'm just weird.

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