Hi Sweat Pink Team!
I posted this on my blog (http://pugrunaholic.wordpress.com) on Feb 27th, and wanted to share it with you guys because we all (at some point) suffer from accepting our bodies for what they are. I hope this gives you guys a different perspective than before.
So I don’t even know where to start. Yesterday was quite some day. I think it started when I woke up later than I expected and ended up not going for a run at Snap. I’m really not a morning person. My prime time is between 12pm – 8pm. Yeah, I like to go to bed early too.
So anyway, (with my health program I belong to), I signed up for the YMCA after work yesterday to supplement Snap. My plan was to run on the treadmill and then go for a swim. First of all, the place was so busy, tons of people in and out. The receptionist had a hard time keeping track of who needed to be waited on. Finally, I got in… but sadly, no one showed me around. She did give me a calendar of events. I walked around aimlessly and decided to ask where the locker room was. Then, I became paranoid because I had valuables (my whole damn purse) with me and no lock. But I said whatava.
I got into the exercise room. About 75% of the room was occupied, but luckily I found a treadmill. I ran, but it didn’t keep track of my distance. I think I averaged about 5.5 mph and ran for 20 minutes; so I’m assuming like 2 miles with a 11 min/mile. I jumped off and went back to the locker room. Stupid me, didn’t read over the schedule and got my bathing suit on, walked to the pool and was turned down because of some special training for a school team. Ugh! That’s the thing I was looking most forward to!
So I ended up getting changed again and left. Don’t call me a wuss, but I honestly didn’t feel comfortable there. It was too busy, too noisy, and a little disappointing that no one was friendly or helpful. You see, I’m a very outgoing person on the Internet. I’m a member of a variety of groups and social media. I have no problem emailing, messaging, commenting, etc. But if you get me in public, by myself, with strangers – I turn into a 4-year-old. (At least I learned from my momma!)
So I decided to drive down the road .5 miles, and see what the YWCA was all about. I walked in and the receptionist was super friendly. She helped me get signed up, gave me brochures, and explained the schedules. I then asked about where everything was, and she immediately took me for a tour. She showed me the exercise room – tons of weight machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, etc., and best of all, no one was there! She said it normally doesn’t get used that much, that everyone uses the facility for classes. She then showed me the locker rooms and where the pool was. That’s where I got introduced to Renee. Renee was an older lady, but definitely in shape, and she was cleaning the locker room floors. She said she was the instructor for water classes and asked if I would be interested in the Water Aerobics later that evening. I asked some questions and found out that I would be the youngest person in the class – that most of the ‘ladies’ were above 50. I said “sure,” immediately regretting my answer.
I had about an hour and a half to kill until the class started. So I decided to utilize the exercise room, even if I had just ran at the YMCA. I got changed in the privacy of a quiet locker room and headed into the exercise room. I did a few weight machines to work my arms and legs, and then moved to the stationary bike. I ended up biking 3 miles. Not a single person was in this room. I had all the machines to myself (Horray!).
It was now about 6:15, with a half hour to go. I started having doubts about the class. I got freaked out because all the ladies would have one piece bathing suits, and I had a bikini. I’ve had some malfunctions in the past before. I sat in the locker room for a few minutes, determining what to do. I ended up going up to the instructor and asked her some questions. After a few minutes talking with her, I was reassured that this wouldn’t be so bad. She was the nicest lady. I ended up getting to know some of the ladies before the class started. We discussed my last name, my running and my goals for cross training, and just got to know them.
Then the class started. The beginning was easy – lots of stretches and warm ups. Then she cranked the oldies on (ironic I know haha), and we set off pushing and pulling the water, doing squats and jumping jacks, and then she got the weights out. They were floaties, that didn’t weight much – but when you are required to push it down into the water, oh my god did it hurt my arms. I kept looking over at all the ladies doing this workout wondering if anyone else was having issues. Nope. So I sucked it up and told myself, “If I want awesome arms to go with my awesome legs, then I have to do this.” The hardest part came next – we went into the deep section, hung off the side of the pool, and basically did burpees. But that wasn’t all, we had to grip the upper layer of the pool and do chin ups. Holy crap were these hard. I blame it all on the weight machines done previously.
So all in all, I had a good time laughing and working my butt off. The ladies kept chit- chatting with me while we were getting changed in the locker rooms. It’s funny, but I was more insecure than they were. They were all exposed, no towel to wrap themselves in, not worrying about who was looking at them while they changed. They had nothing to hide. They were proud of who they were. Which got me thinking, why am I so insecure about my body? I have flabby under arms and a bulging belly, but these women had years of experience on their bodies and they couldn’t have cared less. This makes me want to try harder to accept my body for what it is, no matter how many stretch marks are on my stomach from the years I gained weight.
I think everything happens for a reason, and I believe it started yesterday morning. I woke up late on purpose so I didn’t run at Snap. I didn’t enjoy the YMCA and didn’t have access to the pool. All this because maybe I was meant to run into these ladies at the YWCA and learn something that I didn’t expect to learn. Do I plan on going back? Hell yes! I don’t care how old they are vs. how old I am. Some of those ladies were outdoing me! And I got one hell of a work out!
And I’m going to leave you with a picture of Cookie from this morning: