Old Dogs CAN Learn New Tricks

I went to the Step Plus Abs class again at the gym today. There was a different instructor this time. Apparently she’s the “usual.” She was less intense than last week’s instructor, but she explained the moves better. I felt more coordinated this time and less self-conscious. Lori and Lynn were already there when I walked in. I was happy to see familiar faces being as this was only my second foray into the group fitness arena.

After class, Lori said she was staying for another class, Body Works Plus Abs. I thought, “What the heck? I’m already here.”

I asked Lori how intense the class was and if I was going to bomb out seeing as how I’d just spent an hour doing cardio.

“Just try it,” she encouraged me. “If it’s too much, you can always just quit early. People do that.”

So I stayed for Body Works Plus Abs. And I learned a few things. I learned that in Step Plus Abs, I will think, “Hey! My abs are in pretty good shape!” And I learned in Body Works Plus Abs, I will realize, “Oh my god. I have NO muscles in my stomach.”

GAH! That HURT! But in a good way.

I chose free weights that were on the lighter side for the Body Works class. I had no idea what was in store or how much I could handle, so I played it safe. I’m not even going to tell you how little my weights were. It’s embarrassing. Okay, I’ll tell you. I chose a set of two and a half-pound weights and a set of five-pound weights.  Next time I’ll go for five and seven and a half.

Body Works Plus Abs is a whole mix of free-weight stuff and toning. There were a few times I thought I was dying. I’m not sure what makes up the parts of my body underneath the skin but I think it’s wet noodles. Regardless, at some point I realized we were doing a cool down and when the instructor said to give ourselves a hand, I realized I’d made it through the whole class!

I’ve heard it said many times how exercise releases endorphins in the brain, resulting in a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression. Honestly, I’m not sure that I’ve felt that many times in my life, but I’m feeling it now! I can’t believe it took me this long to try a group fitness class and figure out how motivating it is to be surrounded by others who are sweating it out alongside you. I’m actually excited about exercising again! And this after I seriously contemplated dropping my gym membership a couple of weeks ago.

Winter takes its toll on me. I’m aware of it most days, but never so much as these few times I’ve made it through a group fitness class. It’s like my brain has reached a completely different, higher plane. I’m excited, energized and HAPPY. Not that I spend my days feeling completely miserable, but there’s a definite and persistent sense of BLAH inside of me during the winter. I think I found the cure for that.

I’m so motivated to go back for more! I’m ready to turn these wet noodles of mine into strong(er) muscle. However, since my calves (previously thought to be the strongest part of my body) protested for three days after the last Step class, I’ll have to play it by ear. If I feel like a big pile of ground beef when I wake up tomorrow, I may have to curb my enthusiasm a bit and ease into things.

Now if I could just find this kind of excitement for cleaning the house! Sigh!

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15 thoughts on “Old Dogs CAN Learn New Tricks

  1. Ah, cleaning the house. Don’t know that I’ll ever get excited about that either. However, you are so right that exercise makes you feel great. I workout both for the physical benefits and the mood altering ones, as well. So glad you had a great time. Hope the rest of your weekend is equally awesome–and you can move tomorrow–LOL
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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  2. I would much rather exercise than clean house. At least I know exercise will leave lasting results. Cleaning house works for, oh, about 28 minutes and then the cyclone of kids, dog, cat, hubby, ME;) hits, and the house looks just like it did BEFORE I cleaned it.
    I am thrilled that you found something you enjoy! The closest gym to us is 30 minutes away, which is why running works so well for me, but what you’re describing looks fun! I may have to check into a class or two once I’ve moved south!

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  3. This is great! You’re turning into the queen of the gym!

    And it’s so true about exercise boosting the mood. It helps with my housecleaning too. When my house looks like a dump, I can go for a run and get all endorphined up so that I don’t care anymore!

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  4. You just need to design your own course…House Cleaning Plus Abs. Will help the abs, get the house work done by others, and make you money!

    As a confirmed recluse, I’ve never had any desire to workout with groups. Yech :(

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  5. There is just no comparison between cleaning the house and getting a good workout. Just think how much stronger your abs will be each week. Good for you.

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  6. Hi Terri I thought this post was going to be about Lucy! You did good completing 2 classes back to back. About what de-l said…. I already invented that course. It’s called 6-minute Housework. Sometimes I only manage 2 minutes though….

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  7. Goodness! You have no idea how much I admire you for having the courage -and wisdom as well -to get involve in these fitness programs! Get your system adjusted now to the exercise and you’ll stay slim, trim and fit as a fiddle!

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  8. Endorphins baby!! They really get you pumped and feeling good after a workout. It’s why my injury hurts even more….I can’t go workout!!

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  9. “but there’s a definite and persistent sense of BLAH inside of me during the winter. I think I found the cure for that.”

    I feel THE SAME WAY.

    And I do recall back when I was “Doing Things Differently” how much better I felt from psychical activity. I think this post has inspired me to start walking again.

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  10. Careful now. This could be the start of a habit.
    I think a lot of us hit this spot at this time in winter. Out of sorts, not getting enough sunlight, fresh air, exercise. Too much windshield and cube time. All this exercise may hurt initially, but it is a good kind of burn. It is a great alternative to blow off steam from the day and unwind. Go, Terri, Go!

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  11. Just outta curiosity, do you stretch before and after these workouts (especially after)? I always used to scoff at the notion, but Jules used to be quite athletic in her high school and college years, and she told me that it makes a world of difference (especially after). I humored her one day, and was amazed at what a difference it made. Rather than hobbling around for two or three days afterward, I barely felt anything.

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  12. I normally use either 2 lb or 5 lb weights when I do my kickboxing video at home. the 2lb is easy, but a 5lb in each hand while doing punches and stuff can get tiring, but I just think about the positive potential results and it keeps me going.

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