Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Group Therapy

Don't know why I feel like it's necessary for me to blog about diet and exercise so much this month. It kind of feels right for this time of year, ya know. So, just go with it.

Today I am going to share my thoughts on group exercise because . . . we all know that I'm an expert on such matters, right?

Trust me, I have a blog.

So . . . Group. Exercise. I am a fan, I have to say.

This is something of a surprise to myself. Before this year I was a huge proponent of the whole a-girl-her-ipod-a-pair-of-running-shoes-and-the-road mentality to physical fitness and I have to say that one does learn a lot about oneself when it is just oneself against oneself with no one else watching and one runs seven miles even though one feels like stopping after two. It's powerful stuff and I still believe in it.

Plus, I kind of am that girl—that weird lurky, loner girl who likes to do things on her own. That's kind of me. And it's not because I'm a misanthrope or anything, it's just that . . . I hate people. Not you! . . . just, those other annoying people.

But there's something equally powerful about going beyond what you think you can do in a group setting. No man is an island, though many men would rather be on an island instead of at the gym. We were created to exist together. There's a reason why we care what other people think about us. We want to stay in the group. We don't want to group to shun us. We need the group. This is no different with exercise.

When I do a strength and tone class, I lift way more and do way more reps than I would on my own, mainly because I feel like if the woman who has just joined the gym can do it, then I have no excuse to not do it. I, literally, feed off other people's energy and motivation. I'm like a parasite. I just show up at the gym to suck up everyone else's good vibes and then use them to my own advantages.

Also, group exercise gives you the opportunity to try things that you maybe wouldn't try on your own. I took a pilates class last week and I was hooked at once. It was phenomenal! Afterwards, I ran around like one of those irritating people who actually LIKE exercise do and ranted about how wonderful I felt. I even danced and sang "Gonna Sweat 'til Ya Bleed" all over the house with Husband following close behind me and nervously checking to make sure that the blinds were all shut really tight.

I would never, ever have rented a pilates video and done it in my living room. Never.

Not everything works out great like the pilates though. Husband and I only thought we were in half-way decent shape until we took a group cycling class. Ha! It was a humbling experience to say the least and neither of us have been back. And my butt still hurts.

Oh, and then there was the Zumba! (I think you have to put an exclamation point after Zumba!) It's not that I can't do it. I can do it, okay. I can do it. I just can't do it sober. And I don't think the YMCA or the highway patrol would appreciate me driving to the gym after consuming the required amount of alcoholic beverages to make me get up and shake my grove thing like that.

But, all in all . . . group exercise . . . it's a good thing.

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