Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spinning on the Exercise Wheel

I was headed out bright and early for a 5:45 (yes, in the morning!) spin class when I saw a note left by my precious daughter the night before: “Have fun, mommy!” In case you haven’t tried spinning yet, it is simply a form of working out on an exercise bike with a twist: the instructor guides you with his/her suggestions as you adjust the intensity and speed of your bike riding during the workout to follow the pace of the blaring music to move you along. Is it fun? I choke when I try to use the word “fun” and “exercise” in the same sentence. I could not honestly say “Ok!” to my daughter’s suggestion, but I made a mental note to try.

Quick history: I am a successful weight loss story, having lost over 100 pounds for a full-body and life transformation. My anchor: prayer. Seriously. You can learn more about that in my talks and upcoming book, but for now, I want to discuss exercise specifically. You thought I’d say my anchor on this weight loss journey would be exercise, didn’t you? It’s not. I exercise only because I have to exercise. Sometimes, I have fun with it, maybe, but I don’t mind missing out on fun because I fully believe in the health requirements related to the discipline of exercise. As for my workout routine, I am a serious at-home exerciser. The less time I use traveling to a gym, or planning to get together with someone else, or any other form of coordination equates to more time to do the exercise itself and get it over with. Nice attitude, huh? Nice or not, this attitude keeps me going, and I get the chance to experience better health as a result.

With all that said, you realize by now that the spin classes are a stretch for me. Every once in a while, I have a crazy notion to kick up my exercise challenge to see what else I can do. And so I tried spinning for the first time last year…and I blogged about it too…you can refer to it on this blog (check it out here). Today's spin class, however, was just another crazy notion and I decided on a fluke to take up my friend’s suggestion to try out her class.

Kudos to Kris, my friend and spin instructor, who took me on a journey like never before. It was her suggestions that kept me going for the full hour at that insane time in the morning, when she said things like: “This mountain is yours: you can take it!”, or “Don’t let the bike control you; you control the bike!” and, my favorite, “Recovery makes you strong!” (yes, I was looking forward to the end of the workout, also known as “recovery”!)

The bottom line, I finished the class---intense and all. The intensity was apparent with the dripping sweat I wore as my trophy for a job well done. Even more rewarding was the smile I wore when I realized that some parts of this particular workout were fun after all. Taking the time to challenge my mind, body and spirit in a way that required such focus that I forgot about all my troubles: not only is it fun, but a gift.

There are other ways to boost up your intensity, and particularly if you are an at-home exerciser like I am, you might want to go all-out with the famous P90X system. No, I haven’t tried it…yet…but my courage might increase enough to say it’s worth a shot. I like the fact that the products seem to deliver what they promise: an intense workout that gives intense results. I appreciate that they tell me it’s intense; they tell me it will take time; they tell me it will require consistency for some period of time. There’s also an Insanity workout program; don’t you just love the name of that one? It’s great that these systems include food suggestions to go along with the programs. If you’re ready to check it out, here are the links:
For the P90X, click here!
For the Insanity workout, click here!

As for me, I’m taking things one day at a time; one exercise at a time. You may be more courageous than I. Go for it! For now, I’m headed to the showers.