Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Take a Half-Decade Hiatus from the Gym.

When I was in college, 24 Hour Fitness was all the rage.  They were popping up everywhere and all the cool kids were going.  As soon as I got my first "real" job as a teacher, I made up my mind to invest in a lifetime membership.  It's a pretty big upfront cost, but once you pay that you only have to pay $50 a year to continue your membership.  Almost 15 years later, I can definitely see the value in this...the only issue was when I started having kids around 5 years ago, I had the world's greatest list of excuses to put off going to the gym.

Then I started to notice a pattern.  I must've enrolled in March because every year in February I get a statement in the mail reminding me to pay that 50 bucks.  And every year I do it because I'm cheap and I seriously don't want to have to pay another registration fee and monthly fees on top of it.  And then every year I feel guilty because that statement reminds me that it's been another WHOLE year since I've stepped foot in the gym!

So this year I made up my mind to stop making excuses.  And I went.  This morning, in fact.  I went back to the gym and not only that, I went balls to the wall (as they say) and walked right back into a Turbo Kickboxing class (which may not have been my wisest decision ever, but we'll get to that).

Heading back into the gym after a half a decade hiatus was like traveling back to the future.  The world around us has been changing and growing, but inside this 24 Hour Fitness, it looked at first glance as if time had stood still.  Until I saw the new finger print reader that scans you in instead of that damn card that I could NEVER find in my purse. (Love this change...how long have they been doing that?!)

I walked into the group exercise room and here's what I learned:

1. I need new gym shoes.  The sweet little 80 year old lady next to me had more stylish shoes than I did.  Neon is in, people.

2. In addition to #1, I need an entirely new gym wardrobe. Apparently there's a new dress code and I was the only one who showed up in something that only made good fashion sense back in the early 2000s.  (Wait a second.  Say that out loud:  The early two thousands.  CRAAAAAAAZY!!! I'm so old.)  Everyone in this class looked like they just walked out of a Lululemon catalog and I was like, yeah...I got these yoga pants at Target...in the early two thousands.

3. There is a whole genre of music that I didn't even know existed prior to this class.  It actually felt like I was attending a rave. Add to that all the neon colors and the sweaty, gyrating people, and you have me questioning whether or not I actually DID just attend a rave.  The verdict is still out.  I'll go back next time with less dayquil and see if it feels more normal. ;)

4.  Standing in the back of the class will not prevent you from being seen.  In fact, there's a window back there and every time you do a "kick and turn" you get to see all the other gym rats staring at your sorry ass struggling to keep up.

5.  The terminology is the same, but it's not like riding a bike.  I was kind of a health nut right after college.  Pre-marriage, pre-kids, pre-Spray Pal...I had all the time in the world, right?  And I'd go to kickboxing at least 5 days a week.  I could pretty much teach the classes if the teacher called off sick.  NOT. ANY. MORE.  I've never felt so uncoordinated in my life trying to figure out what the heck they were doing!

6.  While the terminology is basically the same, there is a whole new lingo to go with this new music...bumping, shuffling...something about string cheese??  I don't even know.

So the bottom line is, don't go back to the gym unless you want to feel like a dinosaur.  I can't even believe I'm writing this.  I used to be SO COOL.  If you need me, I'll be icing my joints and watching "This is 40" as I cry over my lost youth.

Just kidding.  I'm excited for Thursday so I can do it all over again!  Just need to get myself some new neon "kicks" first. ;)

Anyone else out there working out?  I'd love to do some sort of check in to hold each other accountable, maybe on Facebook or Instagram?  Thoughts?

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