Thursday, January 17, 2008
I am a wimp. I do not like to work hard, especially physically. I was always the one on the verge of puking when we ran the mile in school. Wimpy. I watch The Biggest Loser and hope that I wouldn't be like Neill, always looking for an excuse to take a break or ease up on a workout.
For this reason, I force myself to go to classes at the gym. Having an instructor there pushes me to work out harder and longer than I would on my own. Let's face it--even with my new Zen (mp3) pumping out tunes or conference talks, I still hate to be on a treadmill. It's boring and it's work.
The other problem is that I am highly uncoordinated. I could never do a cartwheel and it took me years longer than most to learn to ride a bike. Kimball was diagnosed a few years ago as having minor Cerebral Palsy, which manifests in an inability to smoothly coordinate both sides of his body. I secretly wonder if he inherited it from me and that I have been undiagnosed all these years. (At least it would be a good reason to be so clumsy.) Needless to say, I am lost and look ridiculous in an aerobics class. By the time I finally get the steps down, they have long since moved on to another step.
For the past 9 weeks, I have been going to a spinning class on Thursdays at 5:30 am. If you've never been to a spin class, it is one of the best workouts I've ever known. One of the great things about it is that you don't have to be coordinated. There are no routines to learn and no tall step to slip and fall off of in the middle of class. You ride a stationary bicycle with adjustable tension and spend the hour "riding" up hills, pushing harder and harder all the time. It makes me sweat like a man. And I love the way it makes me feel. I do not, however, love getting out of bed at 5:00 am one day a week.
But this week, I had an epiphany. If I really want to get to my goal weight, if I really want to be healthy and fit, then I might have to pay a higher price. I might have to get my sorry, wimpy, clumsy butt out of bed before it wants to be more than once a week. Getting up at 6:00 to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill most mornings is not cutting it. I checked out the schedule at the gym and found that on other mornings, there is a 5:00 am spin class. Why does that seem so much earlier than 5:30? Perhaps because I actually have to set the alarm for a time that starts with a 4. That's just plain obscene!
Tuesday night I decided to go to that dark and early class the next day. "Think of it as a last chance workout before your weigh-in," I told myself (you have to watch TBL to get that.) Not only did we go to bed at 9:30, but I wore my workout clothes to bed! The next morning--if you can call it that--when the alarm went off, I wanted to die. Instead, I pulled myself out of bed, put on my shoes, socks, and contacts, and headed for the door. The streets were empty and I wondered if I was being a complete fool on the way there, tempted to turn around and go back to bed. When I arrived at the gym, I was surprised to see at least 20 people on the spin bikes--twice the attendance of the 5:30 class! As we climbed our 13th hill of the morning, it dawned on me that I was in on the secret now that these people already knew. If you want to be healthy and fit, you really do have to pay a price that is painful. But everything truly worthwhile in life requires sacrifice and hard work, doesn't it?
I left the gym at 6:00 feeling invigorated, accomplished, and sweaty. Amazingly, by the time my kids needed me to be their mom at 7:00 am, I had already showered and spent 30 minutes studying the scriptures. Not a bad way to start the day.
I am planning on making it to an early morning spin class three times a week from now on. I'm posting about it so that you'll expect it from me and even follow up with me once in a while. And if you've never been to a spin class, you might just want to give it a try. Just remember your water bottle!