All sorts of weird things have been happening to me since I turned 35. I feel like I have entered a new chapter of my life or something. One of the biggest changes is that I am suddenly finding that I enjoy exercise.
I know. It’s almost impossible to believe as I have never, ever, ever, ever enjoyed exercise in my entire life. Sure I was a skipper, a swimmer and a figure skater, but that never seemed like exercise to me because it was EASY. It was, at least, easy for ME. If it’s easy, I don’t consider is exercise.
In gym class in both elementary and high school I failed. If there was a ball at all associated with the sport, I’d always catch it with my face (I kid you not). Running? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! Nope. After 10 seconds I was doubled over and gasping for air. Anything that involved upper body stregnth? Nope. Fall flat on my face. (My face got a lot of attention whenever exercise was in play).
When I gained all this stupid weight in my early 20s from anti-depressants I gave up on all forms of exercise. I no longer skated, or walked or bicycled. I just couldn’t move. I lost what little balance I used to have and I felt like crap all the time. Having the breast reduction in 2006 helped a little, but I still couldn’t find anything that I felt comfortable doing and that didn’t bore me to tears.
I have joined the Women’s Y, I have joined Curves, I have started and stopped the Staff Fitness Yoga classes at work, I have a home gym set up at, er, home (duh) and yet none of these things helped. Curves was the most successful once I started going with a friend from work, but still, I was bored to tears and I wasn’t having fun.
All sorts of people have told me that they enjoy exercising, that they enjoy jogging. I always though them messed up in the head to be honest. Working out is not fun and I have zero attention span so I can’t even count my reps without getting distracted. 1… 2.. 3… 4.. 5….oooh! What’s over there? Is that a bird? …um… 9?… 42?… 13? Crap.
When I started Highland dancing in the fall I was shocked by how much I enjoyed it since it was incredibly difficult and painful and I sweat like mofo. And yet, I went every Monday night and I enjoyed myself. I haven’t gone since January though and due to everything in my life feeling overwhelming I just couldn’t find it in me to want to go.
But I did start a new Staff Fitness course this semester (when you work at a University your life is always divided up into semesters) and I have been loving it. Not only have I been loving it – it has made me excited to exercise. Seriously. I want to do more when I am at home. I feel horrible if I miss a class (it’s only twice a week) and if I miss an entire week my body seems to protest.
The course is taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s 45 minutes long, it has different instructors for each day and they both have a different method but we use the same equipment. The worst is that it’s at the McGill gym and it’s up a bloody steep hill and that is only reason I have never taken a class up there before. And yet, here I was this semester walking up there IN THE WINTER (when they don’t plow the stupid sidewalks). There are about 6 of us from my office that are taking this course.
We use the following: balance ball, dumbells, medicine ball, setp, floor mat and my newest obsession, the BOSU (which stands for Both Sides Up). On Tuesdays, we are all about balance and strength training. We do weights while on the ball or the BOSU and we do lunges (ugh) and squats (ugh) and pushups (UGH). On Thursdays our instructor always starts us off with jogging.
Now, here’s where I almost though “Well, maybe this isn’t for me, I can’t run. I just can’t!” But I do. And we do about 10 minutes of jogging around the room interspersed with random cardio-insane exercises (jumping jacks, crab walks, skiiing, walking squats, walking lunges, burpees (UGH!)) and once that is over we head on over to our ball or BOSU and start with the weights and whatnot.
Thing is, the running? It’s made me WANT to run. Regularly. I used to not be able to go around the tiny room once. Now I can jog almost the entire 10 minutes, but I get winded with the exercises. This last was my best workout ever and I almost made it jogging up until the sprint at the end.
The class is over in a week and a half and they are offering a 6 week summer session that starts May 2. Once that one is over I won’t have this course again until September. I am going to miss it dearly, so I have decided I want to try and jog.
I know. It’s almost as if it’s the end of the world.
I have been researching running apps for my iPhone. I currently have a cool free one called Runkeeper and it tracks your time and your speed and your distance. But I need to start out from nothing. So I am looking at the two Couch to 5K apps that are offered at $2.99 each and trying to gage which one is going to be better for me.
There’s a longer walk that we’ve been taking Jinx on and it is 3.1Km in length, my goal is to be able to jog this by the end of the summer. I am giving myself a lot of months to work up to this, even though the C25K program claims it can get you running 5K in 9 weeks. I am worried that is to lofty a goal for little ol’ me.
Whereas I have gone from not even being able to hold myself up in push-up formation to being able to do 10 pushups with the balance ball and BOSU (it’s not easy!) I am building muscle but my fat isn’t vanishing (ok so its only been 13 weeks!) I want to up my cardio because I know THAT is what’s going to make the difference. Also when I am activley pursuing the exercise routine I have my tendon pain isn’t nearly as bad, so I want to make sure that I don’t have a flare up of this fancy fibromyalgia during the summer and go back to not being able to do ANYTHING.
So, I am hoping that tomorrow (Monday) I can start this. Of course it’s supposed to be raining and 21C, which is not ideal for me and outdoor exertion. I want to try to do this Mon-Wed-Fri since I have my Body Design course on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Normally when I talk about doing something on my blog I never end up doing it. But I am going to try and make an effort to journal my progress (or lack of) so that I can challenge myself