Shhh. I’m going to tell you a little secret. I haven’t been to the gym since May 2. It started out that I had to miss one day because I was busy preparing for the school gala. And then one day became another. And another. And it’s amazing to me how easy it is to fall out of the habit.
When school started again, I had the best of intentions. I was going to not only get back into going to the gym, but I was going to work out using my Kinect, which I absolutely adore. And for the first couple weeks of school, I religiously danced to three or four songs before starting my workday once the wee ones got on the bus. And again, one day I didn’t do it and… I haven’t done it since.
When Mister Man’s tae kwon do school sent an email last week introducing their fitness challenge for the first eight weeks of the year, I was intrigued. They’ve been offering cardio kickboxing for a couple years, but I have never gone, as I’ve always belonged to a gym. And cardio kickboxing is scary – I’ve seen the classes when Mister Man has had private tkd lessons.
But my gym membership expires on February 1, and I think I’ve realized that I love classes. I don’t love going to the gym nearly so much. I forwarded the fitness challenge email to a two friends, and one jumped all over it. The Tuesday and Thursday morning classes work for her schedule, and it’s a go at your own pace class with kettle balls and resistance bands and extra nutrition classes, too. With her in, I had no more excuses.
We went to the orientation on Saturday where they talked to us about what the program involved – and I’m excited that we also get access to unlimited cardio kickboxing classes for the next two months in addition to the fitness challenge classes we’ll be doing twice a week. We also did our measurements to set a baseline.
That’s where it got scary.
The good news is that I don’t have a ton of weight to lose. I’m pretty good about my eating, so I haven’t gained an obnoxious amount of weight, but fifteen pounds gone would make me a very happy person. It will be hard though, because those fifteen pounds are all fat. And I have no muscle left apparently. I used to like looking at my arms. I hate looking at my arms now. They squish. My clothes still fit, but they fit differently, and I want them to fit the way they used to.
But the really embarrassing part came when we had to do as many pushups and situps in a minute as we could. I remember this type of thing from when I was in school and did the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge (I wonder if that even still exists anymore). While I could never do the sit and reach or the pull ups – and I was disqualified there immediately – I could kick out around 70 situps and a decent number of pushups.
I started with pushups, and I did knee pushups since everyone else was doing them instead of “real” pushups. I managed to do 30, which isn’t too shabby. I was feeling pretty good about myself, knowing that I’m still strong. And then we started the situps. I got through twelve in the first twenty-five seconds, which was pretty respectable. I did my fifteenth situp and my abdominal muscles gave out. I simply couldn’t lift myself again. For thirty seconds, I lay there trying to figure out why I couldn’t sit up again.
Fifteen situps. That’s embarrassing to me. I have no core. None at all.
But that’s going to change. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be at this class twice a week. It’s still cold in Chicago, so I won’t get back to walking with my friends outside for a little while yet, but I will do it again. I’m going to try the cardio kickboxing classes, although maybe not this week since I was shockingly sore on Sunday after doing my situps and pushups, and I don’t want to overdo it after my … layoff. And I have another 23 days of membership at my gym where I can do classes for $4 apiece. I’ll be realistic and admit that I probably won’t go there to run or do weights in the next few weeks that my membership is active, but I’ve looked up the class offerings, and they offer Zumba at a good time for my schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I can’t guarantee that I’ll work out each day, but I am not happy with my lack of fitness.
This isn’t about just losing weight. It isn’t just about liking my arms again. I want to be fit and healthy. I want to feel like I’m strong. And most importantly, I don’t want to be embarrassed by myself because I don’t meet the (reasonable) standards I’ve set for myself. So each Monday, I’ll be sharing an update of what I’ve done – or not done – the previous week.
These first eight weeks won’t be horrible because I have the fitness challenge that will keep me accountable, but after that I’m on my own again. Except that I’m not – because I have you. So share with me what your goals are for the new year, and let’s all reach them together!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more water to drink… and my Kinect Just Dance 4 is calling my name.