Friday, October 1, 2010


Tonight I got to do something I've been looking forward to for a few weeks now... go to the weight room and start strength training. I was lucky enough to have Tenshing and Brad come along, too, and Ms Abe was there to help me out with the machines.

Now, the first few months I was here, I used the weight room a few times a week. I was convinced that if I just went and worked on the machines, I'd be fine and fit as a fiddle, but it didn't work out that way. My visits became increasingly sporadic, I got bored with the routine, and eventually I convinced myself I didn't really need to build muscle, anyway. So in the end, I stopped going altogether, and I hadn't even achieved any noticeable toning.

This time, I'm convinced that the key with strength training, at least for me, is to get some people in place to hold me accountable and bug me if I start to slack off. I think part of the problem with my initial foray into the sports center was that I expected to meet some other fitness-minded people who might be interested in working out with me; I know better now... the patrons don't really talk to each other, and the staff are either shy or busy doing their jobs. So one has to set up fitness buddies on one's own, if one wants them. I really hope Tenshing and Brad and I can keep each other motivated.

What are my goals?
1. Develop some upper body strength-- be able to do 5 "real" push-ups and 1 pull-up by 2011.
2. Overall toning and tightening.
3. Get rid of the belly bulge I developed this summer.

Honestly, that belly bulge has pushed out people and mechanical failures to become my biggest annoyance. It's no surprise, really: I was in poor health starting in October of last year, leading to a gradual slowing and then standstill to exercise; then in the late winter I had a series of sicknesses that reduced my diet to white toast and honey, sugary sports drinks, and jello. I got a little addicted to that diet, so I stuck to it longer than necessary, and so it's no wonder that one day, the waistbands just got too constricting.

Furthermore, this particular piece of anatomy was several months in the making, so it stands to reason that it will take at least a few months to get rid of it. It's awfully hard to be patient, but I have to keep telling myself it'll pay off if I keep working out and eating well, instead of throwing in the towel and watching movies all weekend with a stash of snacks from the convenience store.

Ultimately, I know I'll get the better of my body, because my big goal is to become a certified group fitness instructor, and to get a specialty certification in Turbo Kick. Other formats I'm interested in teaching are Hip Hop Hustle and Zumba, but I'm going to take them one at a time. I love the workouts, I love that feeling of strength and agility, I love sharing it with other people, and I love motivating people and seeing their radiant smiles after a great workout.

A healthy body isn't built on aerobics alone, though, and that's why I've started strength training. I'll start by going to the weight room once a week, and then build up to two, maybe three times. In the meantime, I'll keep reading the fitness leaders' book Aunt S sent me, and when I finish it I'll think about ordering study materials for the ACE and/or AFAA fitness instructor certification courses.

Why blog about all this? Well, the saying goes that the goals you fail to write down are merely wishes. Wishes are nice and poetic, but I'd rather live a life I love than waste time only dreaming about it. Here's to planning and accountability!

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