small decisions

om-shanti

Normally on Thursdays I go to spin class and I go to a hot power yoga class. I went to bed early last night, because I was exhausted and my joints were and still are not feeling so good.  I didn’t feel like going to my classes today. I woke up this morning, feeling rested and ready to take on the new day. I’ve packed my gym bag and lunchtime yoga looks like it’s on the horizon still, however, I’m still feeling rather spent.

It’s days like this that I find difficult. I don’t know if I’m talking myself out of attending classes or if I’m trying to listen to what my body needs, which may be some rest.

I had a good friend tell me a couple of years ago, that if I’m feeling tired or starting to feel like I’m under the weather I should go to yoga.  It may seem counterintuitive, but this piece of advice usually works. So I made the decision to attend the yoga class.

It worked, by the time we were going through our flow, I was feeling far more energized than I had since the day before and I was appreciating where I was today, not yesterday and not where I want to be in my practice tomorrow or in a month, but appreciating that I was having a day where I was tired and my joints were reminding me they’re arthritic, but I can still practice yoga.

I made the decision after class to give spin a miss today.  Normally I have a lot of joint swelling in my knees directly after class for about 10-15 minutes and I was concerned that it could have been longer, considering how my body was feeling.

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Play: like but sorta hate

Breathe. Probably one of the hardest things to do in a Ride class.

Breathe. Probably one of the hardest things to do in a Ride class.

There are some things that I like but sorta hate at the same time, but somehow still enjoy.  Best example I can give have been recent ones for me at the gym.

I’ve belonged to my current yoga studio for eight months, however, I decided to add variety to my classes. So on top of doing ideally four to five yoga classes a week (remember I don’t have a home practice yet), I decided it was time to add in two more classes.  I tried three:

  • “Ride” – this is effectively what everyone calls a spin class
  • “Active” – this is one of those classes that has cardio on a step, free weights, balance and stretch
  • “Body Beautiful” – this is based on ballet style workouts

I did one Active class, and knew without a doubt that I wouldn’t ever return.  I was open minded about the class and was really looking forward to it because I’d thought it was a good idea to start including some weights to my exercise. By the time I finished though, I couldn’t ever imagine coming back. Simply put, I asked myself if I would ever go back, and my answer was an unequivocal no. It just wasn’t my bag.  There wasn’t any one thing that stood out for me, but it was the experience as a whole, and it was one that I didn’t want to have again.

I tried Body Beautiful a handful of times, and couldn’t commit. I would do a Body Beautiful class and feel really great at the time of the class, but by the time it was done, I felt completely shattered. I kept on persevering but I had to throw in the towel after my fourth or fifth class.  After the Active class, it reaffirmed that I should be doing the Body Beautiful class instead, so I had to figure out why it was so hard, and I finally came up with the answer.  I was taking the class at the wrong time.  The class I was taking was on my lunch hour, and because the class was kicking my ass so hard, I would go back to work feeling like a zombie.  The solution was simple; go the class at the end of my work day, before heading home.

Ride on the other hand, I had already mentally prepared myself to pull out after one class, but by the end of the class, I was already making a promise to return. This class was tough.  I knew that I really need to work harder on my cardio and that spinning would be good. I also knew that spin would be a good exercise with low impact to my joints. BUT I thought it would be too hard, I’d being struggling to catch my breath, the music would be too loud, the instructor would be a drill sergeant and I’d hate it. AND it was really hard, and I did struggle to catch my breath and the music is really loud, but the coaching along the way is not at all what I expected, the coach was amazing, just when you think you can’t keep your legs moving, “10 more seconds”, is called out and you pedal your heart out.  At the end of the class, I felt completely wrecked, and yet completely happy that I had completed the class.  By all accounts I shouldn’t have enjoyed it, but the experience had left me feeling so satisfied.  The problem with spin that I have currently, is that I still psych myself out of going. I think I hate it, I feel like I dread it, it feels hard to get to class and even once I’m there, I’m sitting on my bike thinking, “why am I here again?”. By the time I leave, I’m so pleased I went. I then made a deal with myself that if I went to 10 classes that I probably did enjoy it, and if I didn’t I would have to swap it for another healthy activity.

Knowing that something is good for me is not enough motivation to continue to do it, it needs to inspire me too (man, reading that made me roll my eyes). I like Ride, I sorta hate it while I’m there, because it’s so hard, but I’m so satisfied by the end of the class, and that satisfaction keeps me coming back.