Back in January I took a week off from work because I did not use all my vacation days last year. I decided to take my friend up on her offer to a one week trial membership at her gym. I figured without work intruding on my schedule, I could actually get to the gym. And aside from a snow storm smack in the middle of the week, I was able to get there almost every day.
I took a lot of very difficult classes and some comfortable standbys (like yoga) and it felt so fantastic to be using my body again. It has been hard to take the gym out of this kid. Before my daughter was born, I was in the gym at least 5 days a week (you wouldn’t know that from looking at me but that’s not the point). I really missed the endorphins and relaxation I was getting from a good sweat. It was a nice opportunity to focus on myself for a bit. Not to mention to have the time to actually work out and to get a nice shower in every day (Trust me, with a young child, a full blown shower is a luxury).
The first class I took was an Eastern philosophy sculpting class. I really liked the instructor. He was funny and encouraging without being hyper. He was not a tough drill master (I really don’t like those people). He came around and checked everyone’s form and suggested modifications for some people who were compromising their bodies in order to do the exercises the way he said for people who were at an advanced level. I really liked that because I am fully aware of pain because of misuse of muscles (ahem sitting in a chair all day at work). What I also liked about this instructor is that he just had a very easy way about him. There was no doubt in my mind that he had a dance background by the way he moved his arms and moved from one exercise to the next. The exercises were easy to follow yet challenging and deceptive in many ways. I say this because the day after, I was incredibly sore.
I also took this gym’s version of a favorite class of mine – ballet style workouts. I was not impressed. Yes, I felt the burn but mostly because the exercises are not ones that most people go around doing. Repetition of any exercise will hurt but I didn’t break the sweat I was used to with the other class. The next day I was just a little sore. Soreness is the way I measure most effective workouts.
Overall, by the end of that week, I felt alive and refreshed despite trudging through the cold and hiking over snow hills. It’s always a pleasant surprise that you have a ton of energy during the most miserable of winters. It was a nice break from the real world.