On Trying New Things…..

At some point, I realized something: I’m out of shape.

Okay, quite frankly, it was the day I went to the doctor and didn’t like the number on the scale or the body-mass index number it left me with. And yes, I know, that number does not define me, but I know I’m not in the healthiest shape, I don’t exercise nearly as much as I probably should, and I don’t eat as healthy as I should.

So I’ve decided to try and start changing that. I know it won’t be easy. Habits are difficult to break, especially when you’re used to a certain routine, or eating certain foods, or what have you. But I want this — and so I’ve begun.

Upon doing a little bit of searching around the Internet, I found what appeared to be a great deal, via Groupon. This deal gets you 30 classes through the Yoga & Fitness Passport for just $20 – a normal value of $300! (Note: there’s apparently an even better sale going through 4/14 where you can get the pass for $18!)

You can choose from a variety of locations, and you can use it for 5-10 classes at each location. I bought mine and decided to start with a spinning class at Bikeorbar, as well as a yoga class at Studio Sophia.

IMG_4336I’ll admit it: I was a little nervous when I walked into the spin class. I’d never been to Bikeorbar, never done spinning, and though I’d done my research on the Internet – which mostly told me that my butt would be sore afterwards – I was still nervous. But as soon as I walked in, everyone was so friendly. I picked out a bike for the class, and the instructor (Ren) helped me get set up since, you know, I had no idea how to make the bike fit for me. She gave me some basic tips and told me that the class would try some crazy things and I could try them if I wanted, or I could just watch.

After the warm-ups and stretches, the class begun – and it was 45 minutes of indoor cycling that seemed filled with great energy. The music played throughout the class kept things moving and kept my mind busy, not thinking about my feet pedaling away. I didn’t end up trying any of the more difficult moves – like standing on the bike while cycling, doing pushups on the bike, or cranking the resistance up once, twice, and again, and again.

image1(1)I mostly just stuck around and did my own thing, pedaling away at the third resistance levels with my butt planted firmly on that seat. (Ouch, ouch, ouch.) And in that 45-minute class, I did 10 miles. I didn’t overdo it,  which I think was important – I knew my limit, pushed it just enough, but not too much that I was panting. In the end, it felt great to walk out of that class with some sweat on my and legs that had gotten in a nice workout. And I really enjoyed how it was very easy to focus on the task at hand, and let all my other thoughts/worries/troubles just melt away.

So my first-time spinners: wear comfy shoes. Be prepared for your butt to hurt for a day or two after. Your legs WILL feel funny after you dismount the bike. Grab a towel if you can. And bring a water bottle – but not one with a cap that you need to unscrew, because… well, that’s not easy when you’re trying to bike and hold onto the handlebars.

I’ll be back for my second spin class tonight.

Two days after my venture into Bikeorbar, I headed out for my first yoga class. These classes seemed on pretty much polar opposite ends. While spin class was high-energy with music surrounding us, yoga was calmer, quieter.

Alright, so my first admission: I didn’t know you did yoga barefoot. But apparently, that is indeed a thing. I also didn’t know if I was expected to bring my own mat, which I didn’t, so I was relieved to find that the studio has a wealth of mats for borrowing. And yes, I’m that oblivious that I nearly started class with my mat upside down.

image1The hour-long class was surprisingly easy at times and a little challenging at others. We started off with some basic stretches and basic poses that you’ve likely already seen. From there, we went into some more complex poses, during which the instructor came around and gave out pointers. (Such as, rotate your hips this way, or hold that arm higher!) I found that helpful, especially with it being my first class. Some of the poses were certainly a challenge for me, but I (mostly) got through them. In the end, I walked out of there and said “Wow. I definitely did some poses I never thought I’d be able to” – and it felt great.

Things I picked up here: I’ll probably wear my hair up if I go back. Some of the poses, I was slightly terrified that my glasses were going to fall off my face, so maybe I’d consider taking them off. It was also pretty quiet, save for the instructor’s comments, which may or may not be for everybody. Some people need the noise; others need the quiet. Also, for my first time, it was hard to focus on my breathing while also focusing on doing these poses. That’s sort of the whole key, to get the breathing down so you don’t really have to think about it, but there were definitely times when I was like “Oh… I’m not breathing right now….” as I realized I’d been holding my breath trying to pose.

Will I go back for more yoga? Probably, but not right away. This week, I’m trying ANOTHER new workout with my first Pound Fit class on Thursday night! I’m really enjoying trying some new things and mixing it up to find what works for me.

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