It's been almost 6 months now since I set foot in my gym. On March 12, I went in for a strength training session with my trainer, Jeremy. The gym was eerily empty. The big TVs were all tuned in to the lead-up to the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament -- where the final pre-tourney games were being played with no fans in the seats. It was weird and surreal. My gym, which is affiliated with a hospital, was already quite geared up for the coming storm: floor staff were constantly walking around spraying and cleaning all the equipment, hand sanitizer stations were everywhere, the water fountains were closed, there were signs all over the gym with various warnings about hand washing. (No one wore masks then. Not yet.) The next day? CLOSED!
And you know what? Here in Michigan, the gyms are still closed!
What's a committed "gym-rat" to do?
In the Before Times, I went to the gym nearly every day. I took cardio classes several times a week. And spinning. I did strength training classes, worked with a personal trainer, and sometimes did a kinda-sorta-yoga-ish kind of class there. I had gym-pals. I liked the instructors and my trainer. I thrived on the energy and enthusiasm and motivation of my gym!
I couldn't imagine . . . life without it.
And yet. Here I am. Six months later . . . living without it, and not missing it at all!
Really, this is one of the biggest shockers of Pandemic Times for me. Because I never worked out at home. Never. I went to the gym. Period. And it took several weeks of safer-at-home living before I adapted.
It took a few (painful and grieving) weeks, but I did adapt much quicker than I expected to. At first, my gym tried online workouts, but they were awkward and filmed-at-home and . . . not really very good (although I appreciated their attempt). When my gym started offering outside classes and set up (essentially) an entire gym outside this summer, I didn't even consider going back.
I'm still working out all the time. I've just shifted my thinking -- and my basement floorplan (!) -- to accomodate working out at home. What have I done?
1 -- We invested in home fitness equipment. Yep. We're now Peloton People. (Tom uses it, too.) I love the Peloton. It provides a great cardio workout -- right in my own little home-gym in the basement. Yep. It's pricey. But, for me, it's worth it because I use it all the time, and it enables me to work out as hard as I did in the gym. (Plus . . . I'm not paying high gym fees anymore.) We also purchased a home-TRX system, a "body tower" (for pull-ups and dips), more dumbbells, and some REALLY heavy kettlebells (for Tom). We're looking into adding a rowing machine. (Because winter will be long . . . )
2 -- I've started doing online workouts. I've already explained about my now-daily yoga sessions with Adriene, but I'm also using the Peloton app for strength training. (There are hundreds upon hundreds of non-bike class choices on Peloton. You don't need a bike to purchase the monthly classes/app.) I'm surprised by how much I like working out this way, although I do miss the energy of the gym.
3 -- I walk. I mean, I used to walk the dogs in a more casual, focus-on-the-dogs way. But now? I WALK. I walk and I walk and I walk. JoJo and I have logged hundreds of miles since the Pandemic Times began. JoJo has never been in better shape!
So. I've adapted. I actually like being able to work out on my own schedule. That's a very nice benefit to working out on your own. Of course, that also means I need to be completely self-motivated. Would I prefer the gym? Absolutely -- if it weren't Pandemic Times. Might I return someday? Maybe. We'll see how things go.
For now, I'm happy. Sweating on my own in my basement!
How about YOU? Are you finding it harder or easier to work out these days? Have you made adjustments to your fitness routine? What's working (or not) for you? Share your tips and tricks (or woes and frustrations) -- and I'll share them here in future posts!
Also -- stay tuned as I check back in with some of the people I've highlighed in fitness posts in the past. I'm interested in seeing what kind of changes they've made in their workout regimens 6 months into the Pandemic Times.
Be sure to check out more Three on Thursday posts over at Carole's today!