So this week’s highlight was Reformer Pilates. A strange class with a bed-like contraption where you pull your body using springs and ropes. I had seen it through the window and of course everything looks easier when watching rather than doing. The instructor Cass was humorous with the class participants – many of whom were regulars – but she was militant in pose formations. My flat table pose was leaning but she came over and helped me to correct my table. After reducing my spring resistance she advised me that an easier spring would be beneficial as she knew it was my first time and she wanted me to come back. I definitely felt some muscles I had not used in quite some time and my arms were weary by the end. But I loved this class and the slightly sarcastic (in a fun way) but ever helpful Instructor Cass and would recommend it to anyone. I can’t wait to go back.
I’ve been coming to the gym at different times so I can see peak periods and when it is more quiet. After work seems busy but I have not experienced any huge delays for equipment use. I think my preferred time is when the gym just opens – 5am on weekdays. It is dark when I get in and workout at this time. It is peaceful and I feel my strength rising with my heartbeat. I come out of these morning sessions with a euphoric feeling and the daylight change seems to increase my positive mind set.
A 7:30am start sees a little less floor space for gym mats but there is a definite buzz in the air like a collective of bees busily going about their day. After all the workers have hurried off to their jobs, there seems a steady arrival of people who do their workouts at a more leisurely pace and it all seems very social. There is a senior’s fit class on the gym floor and watching them at a distance I am acutely aware that many of them are fitter and stronger than I, but it also allows me hope. I still have time to get fitter and stronger, and perhaps some of those seniors were just like me at my age. I guess one is never too old to start. The mind is my strongest muscle and as my mind is firmly set, I can see it is dragging my body along for the journey until my body has the will to do it for itself.
I had to laugh with the leg press machine again this week. I am lifting 40kgs which is the minimum amount. I finished my set and the next member Adrian loads 240kgs onto it! This is the maximum. I asked him how long it took to be able to lift that and he said he had been lifting that weight for a number of years. He encouraged me to keep at it and said I could get there! Seriously not thinking I ever want to get “there” but I would be happy to manage to keep my heels flat on the plate and push out my 3 reps of 12 without the fear of my knees locking or ending up around my ears in the dismount.
What is with the roller? I am told I have fat like chicken skin under my skin and by sitting on this cylinder and rolling my butt, left and right separately back and forth over the roller, will help break down the fat. At first I thought this was some sort of joke but I have seen other members also doing it, so if it is a joke I am not the only one being fooled. The band walking – where you put a rubber band around your ankles then stretch out sideways and do like a crab walk across the floor had me confused. When the staff member Kath showed me how to do it, we both laughed at me attempting to copy her moves then agreed as a beginner a less resistant band was required due to me lacking the balance and coordination required of the more resistance bands.
I have had a couple of delicious detox smoothies after my gym sessions. The PARC café opens at 7am on weekdays so I’m usually in for a workout at 5.30am and then I stop and enjoy a smoothie before heading to work. I find it peaceful and rewarding to sit and reflect about the class/workout session and think about what lies ahead on my fitness journey.
Sunday found me up at 6am as the gym opens at 7am on weekends. I went for a 5km walk and then headed into the gym to do my workout. My muscles are feeling a little tender but I am told by my ever informative friend after 4 days things will ease up. Hmm it is day 7 and all muscles ache. But I will say this – it doesn’t feel as bad as it did day 2 and I sort of like the ache. Is that even possible??
After my walk and workout I decided to try out the meditation class. Here’s what I know about meditation…I suck at it lol. I try to breathe slowly as instructed, in through my nose and exhale out my mouth. In out, in out…suddenly startled by my own snoring!!!. My mind races around, did anyone else hear me snore? How long was I asleep for? What time is it? Was I actually just asleep in a public place? So I open my eyes and just as I do this the Instructor comes over and calmly and ever so quietly instructs me to close my eyes. She then gave a sort of massage where she pushed my shoulders hard to the floor and ran her hands down my arms across shoulders and into my neck. I felt calm and peace return whilst my thoughts were slipping away. I lay there for a few minutes before the instructor started bringing us back to a conscious state.
I’m not sure if meditation classes are right for me as my mind is a busy thing. I find walking along in silence at 5am is easier to get me into a clear state of mind. Perhaps I struggled because that was my first attempt. I will try again for sure, and I apologise to any fellow participants if you heard me snore.