Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Get off your butt and move!!!

I joined a gym last month. It was time. If I can't diet or reign in this voracious appetite I have while nursing, then I need to move more to make up for the fact that I eat everything that's not nailed down.

Beth and I shopped a few gyms and decided to return to Club Julian. I had been a member there in 2004-2005 and stopped going when I was pregnant with Jesse. It's been a few years and more than a few pounds since I stepped foot in a fitness facility.

Pregnancy and childbirth really take a toll on a woman's body and I feel like they've taken a huge toll on me. I was in physical therapy at UPMC's South Side facility for a few months after Jesse's birth to rebuild core muscles and regain strength in my extremities. After being on bedrest and restricted activity before and after his birth, I was a hot mess! PT helped so much.

This time around I am not as bad off but I desperately need to strengthen and build up my stamina. I am not interested (right now) in dropping pants sizes or being some MILF, I just want to be healthy and active for my boys.

Antonio, my trainer, got me started on a routine and I've actually been able to pump it up from his original plan pretty early on. I usually start by stretching on the (awesome) stretching machines, then I warm up on the treadmill for 15-20 minutes. I am able to do inclines and speeds I wasn't able to do until I was ready to graduate from PT last time so I take that as a very good sign! Off to the circuit training from there. Legs, arms, abs and back. I've modified some of Antonio's exercises to make them more "chiropractor-approved" after Dr. Brian made that frowny face he makes when I described what exercises I was doing. No more ab or back machine exercises, it's all on the floor or on the ball. I cool down on the track, stretch on the machines again and head home!

It's been going well. I've been able to get my routine to fit into an hour and a half so I can be home by 6:30 to nurse Simon. Dan's been great about getting the kids and starting dinner every Tuesday and Thursday since the start of September. I really hoped to work a third day into my schedule and take a fun class on Saturday or Sunday but so far that hasn't happened yet.

Last week I was on my way to the gym from work and I really just didn't feel like going. It would be so easy to turn up Seventh Street and head home to my boys instead. I remembered I had a class schedule in my bag so I looked to see what was offered at that time of day. Zumba. 5-6. I perked up a bit.

I had heard of Zumba a few times. My mother-in-law said something about it once and I saw a short segment with some overly peppy chick on the Jennifer Antkowiak show (No, I don't watch the Jennifer show! It's filmed here at work though so sometimes I come into contact with it when I choose not to.). It looked a little neat since I do love all things Latin (Hello! Gipsy Kings, anyone??? LOVE them!). But it was all in passing and I never gave it a second thought.

Anyway, I decided to try it out. Worst case scenario I hated it and wouldn't come back. While waiting for the class to start I met Mandy, a very tan and peppy girl who told me what to expect in the class, the difference between the two instructors, etc. She's a really nice girl.

So into Zumba I ventured. Within 10 minutes I was sweating and all red in the face. I looked at the clock on the wall and couldn't believe I had to do this for 50 more minutes! There was no way I'd ever make it!

Then the music got a hold of me. Goodness, I love Latin music! Gets me every time! I tripped through salsas, merengues and cumbias, usually moving the opposite way as the class and finding the entire class facing me more than one time when I didn't realize I was supposed to be turning around.

And then the music stopped. It had been a full hour! And I was disappointed it was over. I wanted more! Me! Joelene. Fat Ass Extraordinaire. I wanted to exercise more!

I haven't done my circuit training since. I know! I know! I should mix it up and do my strength training also. Afterall, isn't strength training the reason I joined the gym in the first place? But I love the Zumba far too much. And I figure I should do what I love because anything is better than nothing.

I Zumba'ed last night and I'll be back tomorrow evening too. In my defense, I am checking out other classes like kickboxing, water aerobics, yoga, pilates...

But for now? I'm going to Zumba, baby! ¡Me gusta Zumba!

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