Sunday should be a day of rest. Mine was not. In a good way.
As I’ve shared in a countless number of posts lately, I need to get back into a training schedule – not only because my exercise routine has been uneducated and inconsistent, but because I will be running in the Dinsey Wine and Dine Half in a few months. As part of my all-around routine switcheroo (ACTUAL strength training instead of just running), I’ve joined my local YMCA.
I went on a tour of the YMCA that is 2 miles away from my apartment a week or so ago to see that the $50/month was going to be worth it. Even though I was paying a cool $10/month membership at a gym in the city of Rochester, I realized that I needed to sacrifice for the distance and convenience of getting to the gym before work if I needed to, and a wider variety of machines (that won’t always be packed) and classes to take.
It was my first time in any YMCA, and I’m not sure what I was expecting, but compared to my past gym experiences (tiny, smelly, and just gross), I was in awe. A massage therapist on staff? Sauna? Wellness coaches and personal trainers? I CAN CHECK MY FACEBOOK ON THE TREADMILL? (Seriously, that’s a thing. Not serious about being excited about it.)
I signed up for a membership and went for the first time today. Old-gym-habit Jackie would have jumped on a treadmill and killed herself running (I hate treadmills, I’m bad at them and give up after 15 minutes), but new Jackie decided to try a bike…with a fancy screen of course. I hopped on next to the guy with an outfit straight from the 90’s and looked at the shiny screen inviting me to “CREATE A LOGIN NOW! IT’S FREE, TRACK YOUR PROGRESS!” If you know me at all, you know I love achievements, gamification, and tracking, so I signed up right on the bike. Expresso.com, if you’re interested. You can even challenge me, I guess?
So, that was cool. I biked on a virtual path in a city that was built unrealistically into the side of an incredibly steep hill, and my legs were feeling it. I’m not sure if it was just the new environment, or the friendliness of the people around me, but I genuinely enjoyed being at the YMCA. Usually, I rush around the gym. Get in, do my thing (or half of my thing because I wimp out), get out. Today was different.
I walked over to the weight room without feeling uncomfortable, as many women do, and did a whole series of upper body workouts right next to the big football-player-sized guys who were benching three times my body weight and didn’t even care. It was such a strange feeling, being happy at the gym. I remember looking around at my old gym and seeing people hanging out and chatting, sitting at the mini-bar that served wheat grass shots, or casually sitting by a table reading a magazine and thinking “what are you doing here? This is where you hang out? Why?” After I finished up in the weight room, I said “I’ll just hang out and walk on the treadmill a bit.” Who am I? Old Jackie would have booked it.
I never realized until today how important the environment I exercise in is for my overall workout. I’m looking forward to getting back into training, and am even going to a spin class at 5:30am tomorrow. Not kidding, 5:30am. On a Monday. Seriously, who am I?