I recently re-introduced myself to going back to the gym. I thought it might be one way of getting healthier.
Energy is a gift of youth and one that as an adult I am missing lately. I’m 28 years old so there is still hope. Energy bars or drinks do not give me an added boost. They actually have the opposite effect. I tried a Red Bull once and it made my heart race for hours. That was the last I saw of the bull.
During a recent visit to the gym, I had no clue where to begin to get acquainted with the setup. I knew I couldn’t run because I’m not a runner, don’t claim to be and don’t wish to be. I didn’t want to lift weights out of fear of pulling a muscle.
I wasn’t going to swim because I didn’t want to get my hair wet–it takes too long to straighten afterward.
Since there’s no real road map to navigating the gym, I tried to blend in like I had been there before. I went to the locker room and changed into my workout gear. I pulled my hair up like I’ve seen others do and headed for the track.
I walked three miles and one of them was with 3-pound weights. I didn’t know if I should be lifting while I walked, so I just held them as I paced myself. After my walk, I ventured into the nautilus room–an area that harbors the machines for leg extensions and arm extensions and crunches and more.
I did 40 leg extensions and 30 arm extensions. I was so proud of my efforts, but I felt it the next day in my arms and legs. Gym-goers must have thought I was odd as I wrote down everything I did. What can I say? It’s a habit. I also wanted to make sure if I visited again, I knew how much I could do. I was defeated by a machine, whose name escapes me. You put your arms in sockets and are supposed to be able to pull them together as if clapping in front of yourself. Let’s just say I have to work my way up to that contraption.
One piece of advice one often hears when going to the gym is “just try.” Another tip is “don’t overdo it.” I didn’t. Well, at least I tried not to. I rode a bike for six minutes as my cool-down event. Not too bad. Legs were a little heavy afterward.
The second time I went to the gym I had a goal: to share in the group-exercise experience. It always looks so fun on television and movies so I thought, “Why not?”
I took the leap and discovered the phenomenon that is Zumba, the lastest dance craze workouts set to Latin music. There were about 10 women in the class. I arrived late but had I been there for the full hour, who knows if I would have been able to walk the next day. Thirty minutes was plenty of time to show me it’s a great workout all by itself. hat is all I did on that visit.
I might have waited awhile to re-introduce myself to exercise but I’m glad I did. I have always had an excuse. They include, “Work is my exercise.” When I was in college, it was “Walking this campus is exercise enough.” It was, but one can always do a little more. I’m learning that now and trying to do something about it.
I often wonder how working professionals make time to work out with crazy schedules. I guess it’s important enough to them to make time for it. My current plan is to make time for Zumba.
Wish me luck.
Author: TaLeiza Calloway
TaLeiza Calloway is a professional journalist in Central Minnesota. Her byline has appeared in the St. Cloud Times and Central Minnesota Women Magazine. The Ohio native moved to Minnesota about four years ago. She joined the St. Joseph Newsleader staff as a reporter in November 2011.