Tuesday, November 22, 2016

So About That Training Thing...

When I first started this blog, my intent was to track my successes and failures training for a 5K run. I would follow the trusty Couch to 5K training program and in no time at all I would be a runner! There was only one problem: my body. It didn't want to cooperate with my surefire plan. Like, at all.

I think I've attempted the Couch to 5K ramp-up three times. Each time, one of my body parts said: "uh-uh, fool." One time it was a foot. The other two times, a knee. And all three times, my brain fought me tooth-and-nail.

Apparently, I do not have the mentality to be a runner. Despite my romantic desire to be a runner.

So out the window went the original intent of Life In Training. That's not to say I gave up on my fitness...erm, goals (I use the term loosely) but just as we all must adapt to our physical limitations, so did this space.

I've belonged to the local YMCA for close to eight years now. Attendance was irregular, as the demands of work and home ebbed and flowed. Once I was no longer working outside of the home, I was able to get back in with some regularity.

I'm not sure who recommended it, or if I just stumbled upon it, but around Thanksgiving three years ago, I took a Circuit Training class. I'd been introduced to the concept of circuit training some years earlier, although in an open-gym environment, it was nearly impossible to execute. Inevitably some rando was on the next weight machine in my circuit, using it at his leisure. Plus, the bit about alternating between cardio and weight training exercises was never really a mental hurdle I could surmount (Yep, I'm totally going to run in place here for 45 seconds before moving on to the next station that's being eyeballed by that random dude over there. Totally.)

But this Circuit class blocks off the entire hour (I think at the time, it was more like 45 minutes) to use the area in the gym. So if you want to use the equipment in the area, you join the class or wait until it's over. If some rando is in the way, he gets the boot! And it forces the alternating issue because that's how we do! And it was in no way intimidating like some group fitness can be.

I became a devotee for awhile. After awhile, the trainer who spearheaded the Circuit class at the Y talked my into trying the Tabata/High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class, which was even shorter in duration and the first time I took it almost puked (so you know it had to be good!) But timing was an issue so it didn't stick.

Then a wave of introversion engulfed me, during which I didn't much feel like being in a group fitness setting. Because group = social and I was not feeling it. And then too much life happened and things just didn't work out (ultimately, yours truly) and before I knew it was 2016 and I spent the greater part of the late winter/early spring in a dark corner of my mind, but vowed to pull myself out after Easter. You know, like resurrect some dead part of me. You know, like, WWJD?

So April 4th was the day. I got myself to the Y and took what was formerly a bootcamp class, re-branded as Outside the Box (OTB), and earmarked as a track to Crossfit. And it was good. Really fucking hard, but good. Come the end of the month, I let another OTB'er talk me into another Crossfit track class: Body Conditioning.

"It's [trainer's] birthday. It'll be fun!" she said. It was not and she apologized for her naivety, but I survived and even came back to it on Fridays.

Life started interfering again, as it does, so I'm not able to show up as much as I would like. But throughout this process--this training, I have of course become physically stronger, as expected. What I didn't expect was how it would strengthen me from the inside. To have people I hardly knew cheering for me and at times running along side of me, long after their workout is complete, as I am routinely the last person finishing the most grueling of workouts. And it has built and strengthened a number of friendships as we slog through day after day, week after week.

So today, I am thankful for my YMCA. For the community that I have found there and the challenges that I have faced there. Even if I still haven't metamorphosed into that runner I always fantasized about.

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