The gym was pretty cheap as it was an express gym (aka no classes), had a racquetball court and a cardio gym (a bunch of treadmills in a movie theater). I liked some aspects, but I was bummed about them not having classes.
Just down the street was the local Y. Here, the down side was the monthly fee being three times as much as the gym. On the plus side, they have several different classes (Zumba, Pilates, yoga, step, spin, etc.) and a pool where I could take swimming lessons. Since one of my goals for the year is to learn how to swim and I felt that the other classes would really push me past what I'd do on my own, I sucked up the extra cost and went with the YMCA. Hopefully, I'll sell some books soon so I won't feel so guilty about the cost.
I joined the Y last Tuesday, and I jumped right in by going to a Zumba class. Ten minutes in, I thought I was going to die! I started doubting that automatic monthly charge on my credit card I'd just authorized. I was dripping sweat, my face was beat red every time I turned toward the wall of mirrors, and I felt like a goob because it seemed everyone else in the class knew all the steps. Thankfully, I'd parked myself in the far back corner. But I kept pushing myself, wanting to see how much of the one-hour class I could endure before I passed out. Halfway through, I'd already drained the bottle of water I'd brought with me and had formulated plans to bring a much bigger one the next time if I lived to see a next time. I can't tell you how many times I thought about quitting, but I didn't. I kept watching the steps the really-enthusiastic instructor was making and trying to copy them. Somehow, I was able to push myself all the way to the end. As I walked (teetered?) out of the room, a feeling of accomplishment swept over me. I'd just survived an hour of really intense cardio workout. I even followed it up with a few minutes on a treadmill. I read somewhere that a person can burn up to 600 calories an hour doing Zumba. Not sure what I burned, but I at least sweat off a couple of pounds.
The next day when I woke up, my first thought as I tried to get out of bed was, "OMG, what have I done to myself?" My muscles ached liked crazy. I thought I might take a day to recuperate. I'd earned it, right? No! That was the kind of thinking that had propelled me into Overweight Land. So I looked at the daily class schedule and forced myself to a yoga class. Once again, ten minutes in I was having big doubts. I'm not limber by any stretch of the imagination, and I was so tired. My arms and legs just simply wouldn't do what I wanted them to do sometimes. But, again, I gritted my teeth and powered through. The stretching even helped with the sore muscles I'd acquired the day before. The yoga instructor said something about a buildup of lactic acid from the Zumba workout. Part of this new YMCA experience is to try different classes and see what works for me and what doesn't. I don't think yoga class is for me. I may continue doing some of it at home, perhaps looking up yoga workouts online. But I'm not much for the "woowoo", touchy-feely aspect of the class setting. That's just me. I know lots of people love it.
I've made use of the 30-minute workout cafe, which is set up similar to Curves, the treadmills, the elliptical and a bike. Yesterday, I had my first consultation with one of the wellness staffers, who showed me how to use several pieces of weight equipment and created a beginning program for me with specific reps, sets and settings on the machines. I'll be doing the weight training three days a week and cardio five days a week.
After I mark a couple more things off my to-do list, I'll inquire about private adult swim lessons. I may brave contact lenses again for the first time in 20 years so I can actually see while I'm in the pool. And I'll have to face the horror that is bathing suit shopping. But I'm determined to finally conquer this crazy fear of putting my head below water.