Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm through with the old school, so let's commence the winning.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is Friday and I am in a great mood. And though you may concede this mood to the fact that Friday is my most favourite day of the week, I am also quite chipper because I've just started going to the gym...for the past two days.

I know - ME. If you know me, you know I don't "do" gyms. This is the first gym I've ever joined. I'm much more of a "walk around the city" workout kind of girl. And even occasionally kickboxing DVDs or Wii Fit from the comfort of my home. I tend to be awkward in many situations, and I logged "going to the gym" in that category as well.

However, a gym opened up a block away from me (no need for extra motivation in winter: it's steps away!) and I got a great deal signing up early. I'm way cool with any situation in which I get called a "VIP" (in this case, for signing up early!). And for the past two days, I've gotten up at 5:45am and walked over for an hour workout. Of course, my first visit was a little out of the if-my-life-were-a-sitcom files:

Me: Hi, this is my first time here since I signed up before the gym opened...

Receptionist: Great, let me just give you your official card then.

Instructor (standing by): Are you here for the spin class?

Me: Um...well, I...I have to leave by 7am for work...

Instructor: That's NO problem! We do 45 minutes Spin, 45 minutes you can stay for the spin and stretch out after in the locker room!

Me: Well, I, uh...I've never taken spin?

Instructor: It's okay! Your butt will hurt but you can totally go at your own pace!

Me: Well..... okay!

Then she fixed up my bike thing and I was a bit uncomfortable on that seat, but I was ready to go and her first workout song was "Hella Good" by No Doubt, so I was like, YES! LET'S DO THIS!

Cut to ten minutes later and I can't breathe and if the bikes weren't stationary everybody's going at a speed that would have lapped me about 10 times on a normal track.

Yet - I lasted 35 minutes and got to watch the sun rise over Brooklyn through the windows. The music was good, the instructor was VERY nice, and though I almost fell flat on my face when I got off the bike, the point is: I didn't. Yay! (Small victories.) I have also never felt so good throughout a day in terms of energy levels than when I worked out. I know people always say this, but since I've never had a gym membership nor worked out very early in the morning, I can now attest to this fact.

I decided to go again this morning - but not to spin! My body wouldn't be able to handle that again so soon, methinks. Instead, I worked out on the elliptical for 45 minutes while listening to the "This American Life" podcast. It was fantastico and I sent a post-workout picture of my incredibly red and sweaty face to Jesse, because, yes, I don't think my own husband has seen me post-workout. And no, I'm not posting that atrociousness here.

And you know what? I may do that spin class twice a week. I'M FEELING INVINCIBLE! And I wanted to make sure I wrote this all down, in a public forum, so that I won't renege on my newfound health-kick. Also, I'm not doing this for any weight-loss reasons: I simply want to be healthy and not run out of breath when I walk up three flights of stairs or jump around at a No Doubt show. I mean, this is who I have to keep up with:

There you have it. I've got "working out" into my routine, what's next? Cooking! Maybe. I flip through recipes almost daily, I have the awesome Epicurious iPhone app, and I have a subscription to Cooking Light magazine (thanks to my lovely mother-in-law!) - I just need to dive in, I suppose. Maybe I'll try one new recipe a week. Just typing-out-loud here, don't mind me. Check check CHECK, as my mind tends to sound when I think of these things.

As you can see, without a wedding to plan and with Jesse out of town, I set my mind to TASKS! I think I'm looking for a lot of self- and skill-improvement to get better use out of my time. It's "working out" just fine so far! Got any tips?!


  1. The first time I tried spin class, I thought I was going to DIE! For some odd reason, I continued to go back twice a week for nearly a year. It was amazing to see my progress and I got to the point where I was kickin' butt in spin class. I loved it!

  2. Spin is super tough!! But it's so worth it. I just like that I can zone out and listen to sweet music. I've been taking Zumba - not sure if your gym offers but alot do - it's SUPER fun and an insane workout.

  3. NO WAY could I do spin! I can't last five minutes NORMAL on an exercise bike! (Which is weird, cos I used to love cycling but it's just not the same!) Kudos to you for managing 35 mins of torture!!!

    I myself have just finished doing level 1 of The Shred for the first time ever and my legs won't stop shaking. Time for some wine to make it all better methinks.

    (I know it defeats the purpose, but baby steps...)

  4. I will totally serve as a cooking guinea pig.

  5. As for suggestions on skill-improvement... have you thought about taking up an instrument? Actually, I'm not sure if you already play one. I took piano lessons as a kid and last year, treated myself to a wonderful digital piano to practice more. It's very fulfilling when I can learn some of my favorite songs, for example songs from Amelie which are amazing! Next on my check-list is guitar, but my puny fingers are quite the obstacle.

  6. Ah like the time a cute personal trainer gave me a free session and told me it wouldn't be that hard and then i couldn't walk for five days. At least you know you worked out hard right?!

  7. Man, I need a gym to open up next door. THIS is what I'm missing? Boo.

    PS My mother-in-law got me a subscription to Cooking Light magazine. This has significance for us but I don't know what.

  8. Good for you! I'm starting a crazy yoga class on Sunday, but I'm hoping at some point I'll get the motivation for cardio. I also get out of breath from a few flights of stairs. So sad hahah

  9. Are you referring to one of my tweets? because that came out of nowhere haha. I have 4 guitars and an electric bass in my room from my high school days of playing in a basement. It was horrible self taught stuff, but I want to learn for real, I'll have to get on that. Might hit up Dan Smith.

  10. look at YOU! i'm so proud :)
    spinning is the shit. you'll learn to love it. also, if they have any dance classes - like zumba or dance fusion, try them. SO much fun. you laugh and just have fun and get an amazing workout.

    just look through my shared items if you need some recipe ideas. ha ;)

  11. My closest friend here started out as a yoga instructor and now she practically runs the gym, so I've been to her classes quite a bit. I really love yoga. Spinning...not so much. My feet cramp down the middle and then go numb, which means I DID fall off when I was getting down--like a ton of bricks a la Bridget Jones. Good for you, though! It really does help your energy levels when you work out in the morning.
    I love cooking. I don't know how much you know, but for me it's easier to learn something new if I watch someone else do it as apposed to reading the instructions. Maybe a cooking class for technique? Or I bet you can find a ton of instructional videos online. Good luck in your new endeavors!:)

  12. Hi Jessica! I am so proud of you! Did anything, um, feel numb after spin??? I noticed the first 5 or 6 times I went I was numb for like an hour after! Weird!

    Re: cooking. Here are my tips!

    1. Just dive into it. Don't let any recipe scare you- just go for it! I am sure that you are way talented in the kitchen even if you are sort of new to it. Just don't be afraid to try a new technique or recipe or food item.
    2. Don't let mistakes discourage you. When I first started cooking I served undercooked chicken and overly garlicky spinach at times. In time you get your touch and figure it out.
    3. Channel your childhood self! If you had a childhood anything like mine at some point you helped your family in the kitchen. Channel those moments!
    4. Ask your mom and MIL! When I am unsure about cooking something (like the freaking roast I made last week- there is nothing to scare you into asking for help more than the thought of ruining $130 worth of groceries) I call my mother in law or email a fellow food/recipe blogger or ask my auntie. Especially the aunties and my MIL. They have years and years of cooking experience under their belts and are always more than willing to share.

    Good luck jessica! And congrats on the gym membership!

  13. P.S. Gwen's abs are ridic. I am jealous!

  14. Congratulations and best of luck to you! When I was training for a 5K I had a whiteboard calendar where I pre-wrote when I was running, for how long, etc. I always put my clothes out the night before so I had no excuses!
    Cooking Light is a great resource. I've had a subscription for years. Their recipes are almost all very simple and of course, delicious!

  15. I recently started working-out too and I'm in love with it!

    I usually do 30 minutes on the elipticals and aim to burn 200-ish calories on there, followed by squats with five-pound weights on each shoulder, and exercise bikes for about 45 minutes after.

    The only time I work abs is when I have my brother around. We do this exercise he learned in the marines. One person lies on the ground while the other sits with their knees pulled up. The person lying down hold the one sitting's ankles and pulls their legs up to the other person's chest. The person sitting then pushes the person lying down's legs back to the floor and then you repeat it about thirty times before switching positions.

  16. I just posted about my first spin class too and it was horrifying. My butt still hurts, no joke.

  17. I think I misunderstood the last part of your blog AND I confused your friend by sharing the same name. Sorry.