Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Now that I've got that Village People song in your heads (mwahaha!), I promised to tell you what I've been up to the past week, a new adventure. Yes, I joined the YMCA. A couple of weeks ago, I toured both a gym and the local YMCA to see what each could offer me in my journey to becoming healthier and more fit. Each had pros and cons.

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.


Sally Kilpatrick on June 2, 2010 at 7:46 AM said...

Trish, this is so awesome! I applaud you for getting in there and trying something new. I'm a huge fan of lifting weights as well as cardio, and I think you're going to love it. Now, I only wish that I had a Y close enough by for me to try Zumba and to have spin classes.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on June 2, 2010 at 9:19 AM said...

Sally, sometimes it's a challenge to force myself to go, but I always feel good physically and about my decision after I do the workouts.

As far as Zumba goes, there are some videos on YouTube. You could watch those and Zumba in your house. :)

Michelle Butler on June 2, 2010 at 9:22 AM said...

How exciting, Trish! One of the reasons I love classes so much is that the instructors push me more than I would push myself most of the time.

It sounds like Zumba was a hard workout. Was it any fun? Have you gone back?

The only way I've ever enjoyed weight lifting is through the 1-hour body pump class. I have done circuits that trainers have put together for me, but most of the time I want to rush through it and get it over with bc it bores me. I will say that going to the body pump class regularly from June - October of last year changed my body more than any other form of exercise. I really got toned and smaller. I literally felt like I was getting smaller every week, and that felt great. It was also unexpected bc I was so sure that lifting weights would bulk me up and make me bigger. Not so in my experience - to my shock.

I can't wait to hear how your YMCA and exercise adventures continue!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on June 2, 2010 at 9:50 AM said...

Michelle, I haven't been back to Zumba this week because it conflicted with when I was meeting with the wellness person. I've been looking at the schedule and trying to pick out another class or two to try -- there's still Pilates, sculpt, step and group cycle.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on June 2, 2010 at 9:51 AM said...

Oh, and I've been working out while listening to books on my iPod. I finished listening to a Sarah Dessen book yesterday while on the bike.

Michelle Butler on June 2, 2010 at 9:58 AM said...

Step is my first love. I think it's a harder workout than Zumba. Give yourself a few step classes before you decide if you like step or not. There is a little bit of a learning curve and coordination required.

Sculpt might be a weight lifting class like body pump. Really - it'll make you smaller! I like Pilates and body flow (combo of pilates, yoga and tai chi) a little bit more than straight yoga. I've never done a spin class. Again, looking forward to all your takes on these classes.

Did you watch Losing It with Jillian last night? I posted the ratings in yesterday's comments. They're replaying it tonight. Wondering if I should watch it - though it is against Zumba, and I'll probably go to that. :)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on June 2, 2010 at 4:22 PM said...

I recorded Losing It with Jillian but have not had the time to watch it yet. I'll probably post about it when I do.

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