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!