What a Fitness Class Taught Me

About 18 months ago I walked into a group fitness room at the Y scared out of my mind. It’s a source of anxiety for me to try something new like that alone. But I thought that January was a good time to try something out since there would more than likely be other people checking out group fitness classes.

If you know anything about me or have read this blog any over those last 18 months I have made mention of that fitness class, because it’s been a constant since that time. I have been doing POUND for that long but even more than that, I have developed friendships that go beyond a class at the Y. Female friendships y’all. Which you know is a struggle for me in many ways as well.

 

But these women, well they motivate, support, challenge and encourage like no other women I know. We talk all kinds of life stuff when we can catch our breath, we choose to spend time with one another outside of the gym, and we yell at each other when we don’t show up at the gym (hi, I got a barrage of poo emojis sent to me because I skipped last week).

But most of all, walking into that class has brought me confidence in being me. In seeing that I am more than an elliptical hugging introvert. That my body can and will go further than I set it’s limitations to be. That it does not matter what I look like when I enter, but how I feel when I leave (except for last night and “hot POUND” as we called it). It’s about knowing I can show up and do, or sit back and complain. It is about opening up myself to more by just showing up and being willing. It’s about looking to others to join you on that journey, and wanting other women to know what it feels like to be welcomed.

So this is my ode to POUND today, and the people it has brought into my life, and the ways it’s made me stronger beyond just a physical means. It’s the Rise of the Rebel, and boy are we about that rebel life ’round here.

The Fear of Fitness Classes

Let me admit here among friends that I am incredibly awkward when working out. I may love some music and dance around, but God did not gift me with the ability to be coordinated in those efforts. It’s who I am.

For a very long time I steered clear of anything beyond weight machines and cardio machines. I felt safe there, nothing could make me look utterly ridiculous. Then I hit 30 and my body decided it didn’t really care for doing those exercises with the same results. (PS, this is an actual thing..as you age your body responds differently as your metabolism morphs)

I knew it was time to start exploring other means of working out. Hear me when I say I am not a gym rat, you probably could already figure that out. But the fear of how I would look, not knowing the routine or possibly being in way over my head engulfed me. I refused to take any classes at the Y for two years.

I finally bit the bullet, hurried into a class on campus and camped out in the back. I decided I might be awkward but chances are, someone else in the class was new. I ended up loving the class (while incredibly grueling but completely worth it) and became a regular. I quickly realized that most people are not intense experts at fitness classes, except for the instructor.

I gave myself permission to be a beginner and let everyone else off the hook too. 99% of the time people are not judging us in that. We are vain creatures by nature and are often more concerned with how we are viewed than viewing others. We let fear have power and authority in lives by giving it to a thing (starting a new career, graduating, buying a house) or a person (your spouse, a love interest, your boss, a peer).

Fear will grip you when you are about to step out, try something new or forge a path for yourself. Fear is the flag that waves when you are out of your comfort. Maybe it’s time we burned that flag of fear and instead chose to learn something new. Chose to live out of comfort instead of in it. Chose to put down our own ego and create space for joy.

30 (plus) days later…

January 31st is here. We are 30 days from those resolutions we shouted out on New Year’s Day. What have you advanced on those resolutions? How have you lived into that One Word?

Instead of full blown resolutions for a year, I decided to pursue a change of course. Let’s be honest, 12 months with only four goals would get stale and boring. Hence why we typically don’t keep resolutions. So my commitment was for 30 days, and then after 30 days I would reassess, potentially getting rid of it or adding to it.

January’s 30 Days:New Image

1-Track my daily food and exercise regime. Prior to the holidays I wanted to join Weight Watchers in order to lose weight that I had tacked on since moving to Nashville. I also wanted to be more aware of what I ate, when I ate it, and why I ate it. Instead of forking over $64+ for three months, unsure of if I would stay with the tracking, I chose to use a free app on my phone to keep up with things. I researched calorie intake and set a daily goal. For the last thirty days I have tracked everything from a snack, to my cardio step class, to how many glasses of water I had a day. It’s an eye opener for sure.
Result: Realization of the fact I emotionally eat at times, and that I need to better educate myself about the calorie intake on foods I eat.
Next 30 days? Keep!

2-Workout more than half of the month. I had often defined workout as some three hour regime done in the morning. Then I understood that just being mobile and active for 30 minutes made all the difference. I tracked my habits on a calendar I keep on the fridge (also a deterrent to forage for food when you see that calendar). With one final day left, I have worked out 18 days this month! There were days I didn’t because I just didn’t feel like it, but I didn’t let that deter me from the next day. I took Saturdays off because I didn’t want to overwhelm or guilt myself. I had a motivator and encourager. Most of all, I dumped my gym (where it was easy to excuse not driving there) for the fitness center across from my office. It’s also free, bonus on saving $50 a month now!
Result: I have more energy and a better sleep regime on the days I work out. I have lost eight pounds over the last 30 days.
Next 30 days? Hit at least 20 days of workouts.

3-Pray and read my Bible. Talk about the most impactful of all commitments this month. God’s really used this daily time with me to teach me, discipline me, and encourage me. I was relatively good about having a daily time of reading Scripture or devotions. What I am horrible about is taking time to talk and listen to God each day. That’s where alot of my discipline and struggle come in with relation to God.
Result: I am being intentional in talking but also listening for Him even outside of the time in the mornings. I have come to understand the “Pray Continually” verse more and more.
Next 30 days? Keep, keep, keep!

4-Eat at least one meal, out, alone. While that used to not be a big deal, in Nashville it’s a bit daunting at times. Nashville is a connection city where people use meals out to group and fellowship, more than any city I have ever been to before. I had gotten into a funk of allowing fears to not let me experience great food just because no one wanted to go.
Result: So I went to breakfast on Saturday morning alone. It was this mom-and-pop place and I was encouraged to see many people eating solo there. Great food by the way too…
Next 30 days? Eat dinner out alone at a fine dining restaurant.

 

So what are some of your resolutions/goals for this year? Where are you at in those? What can you quit today (as Thursdays are great for quitting)? February is tomorrow…it brings newness and refreshing….start something tomorrow.

 

I am beyond excited about one of my February goals. I am still eight addresses shy of what I need to accomplish it…so if you’d like to help me out shoot me an email at sarabstacy (at) gmail (dot) com!