Before I get started, let me just say thanks, my dear readers! I hit a major milestone this week. In the history of Midlife Moments Blog, you’ve contributed to a whopping 100,000 + views, clicks, reads and smiles. Thank you!
I’m just settling in for the evening. I had a great day. I’ve had several really good days. My Chinese herbal medicine seems to be working to settle down my heart palpitations and anxiety enough that I’ve been able to add a little green tea to my morning routine with NO…. I repeat ….. NO problem! The liquid golden drink has in turn provided me a long-lasting kick of energy and a gentle lift to my mood. I am hopeful to say the least. But, the best part is that I’ve had enough energy to run on Monday and do a workout this evening. For the past few months, I’ve had very little energy in the evenings due to lack of sleep and fatigue or lethargy. It’s felt great to come home and want to move.
I’ve started a couch to 5K program with Jessica “the B*tch” Sprenkel on Live Streaming Fitness. She was my running coach for several years – first in Memphis then virtually from Austin. Last year’s budget cuts forced a RIF package for her. I was injured over the holiday and had to abort my half-marathon training. Plus, I was insane for several months. Working out became sporadic and mainly consisted of walking, which is great, but it’s not my usual routine. I’m just really proud of myself that I kept going with some consistency even though I was struggling mentally and physically. I get a gold star.
I have been a regular exerciser my entire life. My Dad was a runner before running was cool. He used to drive over to a little country road in our hometown in Louisiana and run for exercise while us kids rode behind him on our bikes. He wore this plastic suit to make him sweat. I can’t even imagine that because I’m suffering in this heat here, but back then everybody thought that sweating was the way to lose weight. It gave a whole different meaning to a ‘sweat suit’. Momma actually ran, too, and I grew up seeing regular exercise modeled as an important component of life just like brushing your teeth. I am really grateful for that. So, my entire life I’ve exercised. One time I focused on weight training and indoor cycling at home. I did that for a long time, then I got bored with it. I switched over to exercise videos. When I got bored with that, I joined a gym and got a personal trainer. Another time I got really focused on my yoga practice and walking. For many years, walking was my core activity. Then, I started running again. The key for me is to keep it interesting. If I get bored enough to stop working out, I make a change.
So, I’m bored with long-distance running, and I’m bored with the gym. I also want to spend less time working out but with the same results. Jessica has taught me that efficiency is important. Strength-training with heavy weights is more efficient in building muscle than light weights. Doing quality runs with a goal is more efficient than lots of mileage. I was thrilled when she called me one day and said she got a job with a streaming fitness video company in Tulsa. The price was really reasonable. It was about $100 a year, and, at that price, I could justify spending the money even if I only did classes every once in a while. I figured there might be some yoga and aerobics – if they even do aerobics anymore – and maybe some floor classes. So I joined!
Now, I’m planning on dropping my gym membership when my contract is up in March. I am absolutely loving the convenience and the quality of workouts in my living room. I rarely attended classes at the gym because the times never really worked out, and I thought they took up too much time. It was more efficient to go in, knock out a weight workout, and go home. Eliminating the drive time gives me back at least 20-30 minutes of my life not to mention not having to wait for a class to start. They have live classes all day long, but I mostly use their ‘On Demand’ classes. I can work out whenever I want. The other night I was waiting for a phone call. I decided to throw on some workout clothes and do a 30 minute workout. It was so convenient, and I got to work out with my friend Jessica.
I love the yoga classes at 6 AM. The timing is perfect. It gives me time to get the animals fed, throw on some yoga clothes and eat a light meal. I do those classes live, and I love the instructor Theresa. Monday is a Vinyasa class, and Wednesday is a restorative class. For the past two weeks, Jessica has been joining Theresa in class. It’s been so cool to get up and practice yoga with my friend who lives across the country. She can’t see me, but she knows I’m logged in. This morning she looked really sleepy when we first started. Then, Theresa offered up a 15 count Chaturanga. Jessica made this really funny face as I was on the verge of telling Ms. Theresa what she could do with her long Chaturanga. I busted out laughing at her. In fact, she’s pretty funny on these videos. I text her quite frequently and share a laugh over her comments on air. One time she mentioned a move that was a Tai Chi Ninja. You probably had to be there, but it was pretty funny. After the classes are over, I can go on the site and leave comments for the teacher. It’s fun to be able to type Namaste even though I can’t say it. Gotta love technology.
I’m surprised at how much I like the site. I thought it would be convenient to do a class every now and then, but I really feel like I’m part of a community. I never felt that way at the gym. They have an internal social media platform, so I get to talk with other members and the trainers. I’m getting to know the trainers more than anybody, but I see new members coming on every day. This is a start-up, so their member base is not huge. But, I think they will continue to grow. It’s a great concept, and it was featured on Good Morning America. I’ve watched keynotes on nutrition where I actually learned quite a bit, watched a video on how to make a nutty granola, done resistance training, yoga, high-intensity interval training and a grueling workout called Power Play. They run classes all day during the week, and all of those are added to the On-Demand section. I can’t imagine that I will ever run out of classes to try. I know there’s a boot camp, tabata class and pilates workout that I haven’t even tried yet. Tonight I did a fun and interesting workout called the Functional Matrix which is designed to strengthen and stretch all your joints and help prevent injuries. It took me exactly 47 minutes, and I was out the door to my meeting. NO DRIVE TIME!!
Tomorrow is run day. I already have my running schedule for the week, and I post in the Running Group page to record my stats. Technology rocks. I’m going to save about $50 per month on my gym membership, so that will free me up to run some races or attend a few local yoga classes if I want some face-to-face time. But, I’m pretty happy with the variety and the interaction I’m getting now. I feel much more connected to other people than I did going to the gym. That 5 AM crowd is pretty hardcore, and I was always in a hurry to get done so I could get to work. This is so much more civilized, and I get more variety and information than I ever did at the gym. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something new. And maybe I’ll get to Tulsa and actually meet Theresa the yoga Ninja soon!