Jeannie’s Journey – Blog 1

I have now taken the first step by approaching Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre (PARC) to begin my fitness journey. It turns out the stress of meeting up with the membership consultant was all in my head. I thought I was going to be weighed, pushed, pinched, and tested but NO
I drove in thinking I would need to drive around looking for a car park. However as PARC have now opened 2 additional cark parks, it was not an issue and I arrived 15 minutes early. I was greeted quickly and made my way to a designated waiting area to sign up. This was located at the bottom of the stairs where I couldn’t help but wonder if I was going to be fit enough to walk all 23 steps. A young girl of about 12 informed me that I could have just taken the lift if needed, but that was after I had climbed the stairs.
WOW!!! Who knew it was such a huge space up there. I’d only ever seen it from the poolside while my kids were undertaking swimming lessons. I can say that the view from the pool gives no indication as to what can be found at the top of the stairs.
The membership consultant showed me around to 2 large class rooms, a cycle room, and the gym. The floor space in the gym is massive but not at all intimidating as the staff are everywhere and offer help with anything.
The first day I rocked into the gym I told the PT on the floor that I had no experience at anything but mentioned I had walked 5kms already that day. She kindly showed me the exercise bikes and I rode for 10kms. After that I was shown the weight machines and was advised to take it easy until my PT assessment which was booked for a few days ahead.
I have to admit I got stuck in the leg press machine – I had no idea how to get out of the machine and my dismount was laughable at best. I learned to watch others use the machine first and made a mental note to ask staff about dismounting correctly. (I did get the helpful Joel to demonstrate the dismount the following day using the brake).
The next day I thought I would do a group exercise class so I asked a friend (still undecided if they are really a friend) what I should try as my first class. Kate suggested I try the spin cycle class – RPM 45. I had a look at the timetable and noticed it was on that afternoon so I contacted Kate and said lets go! I had been warned it was going to be hard but I was keen and willing.
In walked Mary – the RPM instructor – a grandmother that looked fitter and younger than I, but she was very welcoming. Mary advised that we should try to keep up but it was ok to take breaks if we needed. By the time the warm up was over I was sweating like I was in labour. It was then I thought of my “friend” and wondered what sort of friend they actually are to me. I hadn’t ridden a bike since grade 4 other than the previous day in the gym which had big soft seats…no soft seats to be found in the spin class.
I stuck it out for the entire class and although I couldn’t go as fast or as hard as some I managed to pull myself up off my seat each time the instructor did – on some occasions just to relieve my undercarriage. Despite not lasting as long out of my seat as the instructor, I came away from it thinking I did ok. After the class I felt alright, out of breath with sore legs and undercarriage, but still alright. When I dismounted the bike I was sweating profusely, my legs were like jelly and I was worried I would not be able to walk. However, I was proud I did it and survived the class knowing I shall grow stronger. I had my fingers crossed I could still walk the next day and that some feeling would eventually return to my undercarriage that was now numb. Who knew a bike seat could hurt so much LOL, all you gym-goers would probably already know, but I honestly had no idea.
The following day I walked 10kms because the gym was closed due to Good Friday. Sitting on hard surfaces was still an issue, but like that “friend” of mine said, pain is a friend. She said that when you choose a new life of self-expansion you can’t fall back to old comforts – you have to keep moving forward (did I mention I am not sure if I even like my friend anymore). So here is me moving forward. Still sore at this stage but still moving forward. I will stick with RPM classes but now also looking for something in the water perhaps…
The deep water running class is harder than it looks, but gave me unexpected pleasure. I noticed on my way out that PARC sells suitable swimwear for these classes in the front lobby. Now I totally understand why there is a difference between bather styles which I had never previously paid much mind to. I shall definitely be going back to this class knowing ill be better prepared for the next time.
The Purna Yoga showed me that I was not really flexible at all and many of the poses I struggled with. It also showed me that I have trouble getting my mind and body working together. The instructor had a calming tone and pleasant manner and I felt relaxed. She encouraged participants not to force holds and to return to sitting position anytime a rest was needed. Still work to do with this class.
It’s been great to see so many group members at PARC across the week. Thanks for coming up and saying hi and sharing the details about your favourite classes and instructors. So far my experience with the PARC staff has been awesome. All seem happy to share information, experience, and knowledge. All seem to love working at PARC.
My PT assessment was with Maddy and went really well.  She asked questions about my goals, past experience with gym, lifestyle etc. I then had a body scan and we discussed the results. From this she formatted a routine for me to follow which includes weights, stretches and exercises. Maddy showed me all exercises in my routine and explained the benefits including the muscles they would help develop. I did a trial run of my plan this morning. I enjoyed the exercises and came away with a smile and some sore muscles. Who knew that weights would make you sweat. I thought only cardio work does that – I was wrong.

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