I truly have a love-hate relationship with exercise. Once my heart is pumping, the endorphins kick in and life is good. Some serious problems arise when I can't actually do the workout (hello weird yoga poses and impossible ball exercises).
I've always loved running and biking, but these two options do not help in gaining any upper-body strength. I decided to try yoga a few years ago. I found an excellent yoga studio and started taking classes with some inspiring instructors. Unfortunately, quite soon after I joined there was a change in staff and the classes began to look more like a training camp for Cirque du Soleil. If I can barely do a real push-up (yes it's really sad), I doubt I can hold myself in a handstand while balancing on someone else's back. Really.
The spin and trim class that I've been doing since January seemed like a great answer. It involves 1 hour of cycing (YAY) and then 1/2 hour of toning. The spinning I can handle: sprinting, climbing, standing, sitting, you-name-it. But then out comes the exercise balls.
I don't know how to explain how terrible I am using these balls. Let's see. In the second week, I pulled my abdominal muscles doing crunches (how is this even possible?). It was so bad that I couldn't sit up to get out of bed in the morning and I had to do this weird rolling thing off the side of the bed.
At the last class, we had to hold a plank position with our feet on the ball, hands on the floor and then balance while we pulled alternate legs into the chest. In the first set, I fell off the ball about 6 times while the instructor tried not to laugh. When this happened again in the second set, she came over and held the ball for me. I could barely do half of the number of reps while panting like a sick pig before I collapsed on the floor and felt like I was going to expire. It was not a pretty sight.
I'm sharing these stories with you to let you know that it's okay to make a fool of yourself. I know a lot of people who are afraid of embarrassing themselves at the gym. It might be a little comical at the onset, but it does get better with time.
I've been trying to keep up a weekly schedule of 2 spin classes and 1 or 2 Zumba classes. This is in stark contrast to, well, nothing in the fall. Having a weekly schedule has had a really positive impact in all aspects of my life.
Thanks to this exercise, my body actually functions properly: I feel tired at bedtime, I digest food properly, I feel focused on my work, and I feel more energetic in the morning (even if I have to do a weird dismount to get out of bed). Treat yo body, friends!
Photo credit: here