Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Low-Impact Effort"

Well....I did it. Signed up for an aerobics class. Yep. Part of the New Year's resolution thing, and after our first class this evening, I can honestly say that I'm hoping I got what it takes to continue and stick out the six week schedule (and hopefully beyond!)

I haven't joined an exercise class in about 8 years....and the last one was "just" a yoga class. Now aerobics - that's a horse of a different color! Thank goodness I was encouraged by a fellow buddy from church to look into something this year - without a girlfriend to chum along with, I really don't think I could handle the whole experience! After chatting with her one evening after church and discovering that we both needed to loose almost the same amount of weight and had similar health-goals in mind, I knew I had to get into something - anything, and give it my best shot. I thought, "what the hell - I walked my first 5K back in September, completed it and survived - I should be able to handle this, right?"

Supposedly this class is what they call a "low-impact" aerobics class....I think it's just because the floor is nicely padded. I read that the instructors would be incorporating some "Zumba" moves once a week into this 3-days-per-week class. I took this to mean that there was just some Latin dance moves thrown in for a little variety and "excitement." Well...... WOW. What else can I say, except....WOW. I learned that we would be doing this "Zumba" stuff every Monday evening. Let me tell you.....I used to think I was a pretty good dancer. But, holy cow.....after watching the instructor wiggle, jiggle, and literally vibrate her (very tiny, round and firm) butt all over the floor (while exhibiting AMAZINGLY buff arms), I felt immediately and totally uncoordinated! Of course witnessing my now large and mid-life self in the full-length mirrors during this evening's selection of chili-pepper-hot Latin tunes was most encouraging. I would have been melting down in an utter laugh riot, had I not been concentrating so hard on getting the steps down. (but that will take a while!)

I could have left that class feeling very sorry for myself...I mean, after all - several of the other women in the class really seemed to know what they were doing. And that instructor - well, that's what she does for a living, right? She's supposed to look like that! But you know what? Even though I left knowing that I have some serious catching up to do, I felt okay. A little winded maybe, but good. And I'm not the only middle-aged woman in the class with some weight to loose - I'm not alone. A couple were actually quite a bit older than me - "if they can do it, I can do it!"

This is precisely why I needed to join a group to get motivated. Some of us really need the camaraderie of others to help us along a challenge - I'm one of them. Actually, I think most people will benefit from having the companionship of someone else who's experiencing or attempting a similar goal. Whether it be a college course, study group, exercise class - anything - it helps to have another person around to bounce ideas off of and share ideas with. While this doesn't have to be a close friend, finding someone to sharing a growth or learning experience with does merit some important points: they should share some of your immediate goals; be willing to provide you with honest and constructive feedback; and be willing to commit to the entire duration of the project or goal, while encouraging you to do so as well!

While a small part of me was feeling my age and weight-gain (okay, I wouldn't be human and a girl if I didn't), it really brightened my outlook on the whole exercise/weight loss/diet process knowing that I had started to meet some other people who obviously were there working on similar goals. It also occurred to me that they weren't looking at me and what I was doing the whole time - each person was concentrating on their own personal performance and effort. As well it should be....doesn't matter that I don't have cool and fancy workout clothes, no make-up, my old glasses on and contact lenses missing, my desired weight currently off-target. We were all there together focusing on a common effort and desire - though we just met, the feelings of support and encouragement were definitely present.

I'm now looking forward to my next aerobics class....I know I've got some catching up to do, but I know I'm in good company. Combining effort with a partner(s) is much more "low-impact!"

"Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power." - Clint Eastwood
Pay it forward - spread a smile!
Clip Art courtesy of Google images.

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