Our Editor's Personal Wellness JourneyBy Abby Gardner
For me (and I'm sure many of you), deciding to start working out more and actually doing it are two very different things. Let's face it: The gym can be an intimidating place—especially if you haven't been for a while, or at all.
How does the equipment work? Which weights do you need for the sculpt class? Why does it seem like everyone here is a pro? The self-doubt you're already feeling about your body suddenly gets quadrupled, and it may be the thing that keeps you from going back the next day. I know; I've been there.
Lately I've found a couple ways to battle through this. When it came to my spinning classes at Equinox, I just powered through, asking for help setting up the bike and just refusing to quit. Now I've even upped the ante by buying myself a pair of spin shoes, which for the first couple classes made me look like a novice all over again as I tried to hook them into the bike. I stuck it out, though, and now I'm there at least four times a week. You might even call me a regular.
The other key is that you've just got to try new things. And as a perfectionist creature of habit, this is very difficult for me. The most important thing I've found is that you need to find a gym or studio that is welcoming and makes you feel comfortable … and you need a support system to stop you from quitting.
I found both (and my new favorite workout) at The Studio (MDR). First, let me just say that it's one of the hardest workouts I've ever tried. The equipment is called a Megaformer (pictured above) and utilizes Sebastien Lagree's SPX/System, which combines Pilates, cardio and weight-training. To say I felt weak at my first class is a massive understatement.
But lucky for me, Lisa Hirsch, one of the owners, is an old friend and a new inspiration. She has taken me under her wing, and I've dubbed her my “fitness sponsor.” You see, Lisa was just a regular girl like lots of us, working as a music executive who also decided to make some physical changes. After trying every exercise known to man, she fell in love with SPX, and now she's even turned it into her livelihood.
Not only does Lisa motivate me during class and give me positive support, but she checks in on me during the week to see how I'm feeling physically and emotionally, how I'm eating, and whether or not I've gotten a physical. Most importantly, she gets why I cried after one of my classes and why staring at myself in the mirror upset me. She's been there.
And the environment she's created at the space itself is one that welcomes newcomers and feels like a real community. I miss it when I can't go, and that's really saying something for a place that I go to get my butt kicked. Lisa's even set up a little group of ladies with like-minded goals who get together for lunch or just a chat to help motivate each other. I know I wouldn't be adhering to my workout schedule if it weren't for my “sponsor” and finding a place where I feel comfortable working out.
So if you're trying to stick to those resolutions, my advice is to find a spot like The Studio (MDR) in your community and a good friend or teacher or trainer who you can be open and honest with about your successes, failures, fears and frustrations. For me, I think that's what's going to help me really stick to my goals this time.
The Megaformers may look scary, but The Studio (MDR) is warm and inviting.Courtesy of The Studio (MDR)