Friends, I can’t even believe that it’s been over three years since I wrote about starting a new exercise venture. I had started attending a Pilates class at our city gym, and I quit three months later because we bought a house and moved to another town. At that point I was still full of good intentions, so I took advantage of the wonderful sidewalks in our neighborhood by taking brisk walks with Abby. I promised myself that if I would keep it up for six weeks, I’d buy myself a jogging stroller at a garage sale. So I walked for six weeks, bought the stroller, and immediately quit walking. (It got cold.)
Then I got pregnant with Sam, and didn’t think twice about an exercise regimen until about a month ago, when I weaned Jem. I noticed that the pounds I had shed so effortlessly by breastfeeding a baby with the appetite of a college linebacker were slowly starting to creep back on. I realized I either had to cut back on my Dr Pepper/ice cream intake or start making an effort to burn some extra calories.
It was an agonizing choice. But true love empowers you to do all sorts of crazy things, so I’m back at the gym.
It helps that I have some friends who go faithfully, who have encouraged me to join them. From my vast and varied experiences with exercise routines, I do know that peer pressure AND peer support is a powerful motivator for me. (It’s no coincidence that the times I stuck with a program the longest were during the years that I lived in the same town as KarenD.)
Then I read The Lazy Nerd’s Guide to Weight Loss at Conversion Diary and Real-Life Health and Weight Loss by Sara at Our Best Bites and I was convinced that now was as good a time as any. (Contrary to what these blog titles might lead you to believe, these posts are not ONLY about losing weight but about fitness and strength generally, which is what I’m going for.)
So I bundled the kids up on a cold day and went to my friends’ gym. I told the muscles at the counter that I wanted a tour of the facility, but here is the truth: I know what the inside of a gym looks like. What I really needed to know is what the gym rats are wearing these days so that I could fit in on my first day there.
I knew I’d have to go shopping for at least one pair of workout pants; the one pair still in my closet has been ruined since I repurposed them as painting pants. It’s just as well, because they are loose-fitting and cotton, and these days everyone is all about the Spandex at the gym. In my soft, baggy pants, I might as well be showing up to class wearing one of those billowing Victorian culotte numbers.
So I bought a pair of stretchy capris at Ross, which I wore with a t-shirt on my first day (didn’t want to look like the new girl trying too hard). (And to those of you who don’t think so hard about what you look like at the gym–or anywhere– well, it must be nice.)
I was so thankful to be able to meet my friend for the first class this morning (Pilates again, which seems fitting and poetic, as if the last three years of pregnancy and sedentary living never even happened), because there is nothing I hate worse than being somewhere new and not knowing what to do. So like a little puppy I followed my friend through the door, retrieved some equipment, and settled in to our little corner of the mirrored room.
(The class itself is the least interesting point of the story. It was fine, I did not die, and I’ll be going back.)
I’m hoping that this will be the magical formula that will stick, and eventually exercising will be such a normal part of my life that it won’t occur to me to blog about it any more than I’d write about taking a shower or doing laundry.
But for now I’m energized by a new beginning, and it’s like a tree falling in a forest: if I do something fun and don’t blog about it, how can I even know for sure that it happened?
And if you think I was too self-obsessed when I picked out my outfit this morning BEFORE class, you do not even want to be anywhere near me tomorrow, when I’m feeling the effects of using my wimpy muscles for the first time!