The other day, I casually confessed to some coworkers that I had taken 400 fitness classes through ClassPass in 2015. Yep, I doubled and even tripled up some days. A year ago, I would’ve never thought myself capable of this.
One of my coworkers asked if my life had changed by any of this. I joked that I couldn’t do a single push-up at the beginning of 2015. I mean, I really couldn’t, but one should hope that after all of this I’d be able to do at least one now. That was expected. But there was also the unexpected.
I stopped judging myself and others
I don’t know what I was on, walking into my first classes, thinking I would be able keep up with everyone. Generally, that’s not a bad attitude to have, but it was debilitating when I became angry at myself for not being able to, and especially jealous of others who could move at the perfect rhythm.
I finished my first yoga class, not being able to do a single chaturanga. I felt like I almost died at my first Barry’s Bootcamp class, where I was heaving up a 6 percent grade hill at 6mph. I silently projected my frustrations onto the barre instructor (“Who are you?! I hate this class. Your voice is annoying.”) when I couldn’t keep tapping my knees for ten more seconds in that plank.
Despite all that, I signed up for more classes. (I didn’t like them, but heck, I couldn’t give up what a great deal I was getting on them?!) I started noticing some of the same people in these classes. They had off days, they had good days. They all worked their asses off every day. These people were truly inspiring. I stopped negatively comparing myself to them. Instead of staring in envy as someone pushes up into a perfect handstand, I celebrate all of the hard work they must’ve put in to achieve that.
I severely cut down on drinking
One of my favorite things to do is 9 AM yoga on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Yoga hungover is neither fun nor rewarding. Naturally, this leads to many early Friday and Saturday evenings. My friends joke that I’ve become a grandma. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I somehow deceived the friends I used to go out with all the time.
I’m now more grateful for all the moments I have been able to share with them, and without the need for alcohol (but also thankful for all the post-yoga, mimosa-fueled brunches).
I love it
What started as a thrill of saving X dollars per class I could book (seriously, I’m the kind of person who trolls five coupon websites before buying anything, and opens nearly every “extra 50% off sale” promotional email), has evolved into the highs of finishing my first half marathon, of holding an arm balance for one breath longer, or sustaining a 60 second sprint interval at 10.5mph while the person next to me is crushing it at 12.5mph.
One of the most meaningful changes has been my attitude about working out being something I should do to something I genuinely want to do every day. As one of the fearless Barry’s Bootcamp trainers emphasized to us,
“We don’t come here for that beach body, we come here and we work hard because it’s what makes us feel alive.”