It’s fun to [exercise] at the YMCA

Important announcement: I have joined a gym! Not just any gym, but a historic, well-rounded center of activity just 5 minutes from my house…the Fogelman YMCA in downtown Memphis. 20140106-150848.jpg

Here’s a little recap of its history. http://www.ymcamemphis.org/about-the-y/our-history/. Nothing makes you feel young and spry like working out in a 105-year old building.

Since my life-changing registration on Friday (aka 3 days ago), I have worked out in some form or fashion every day! High five for me. Today’s adventure: Yoga I (aka yoga for beginners). I’ve practiced yoga only a few times before, although never consistently, and I was a bit nervous. Luckily, today’s class was exactly the stretching, breathing workout I needed, thanks to a kind, supportive instructor, a wide variety of fellow yoginis, and relatively simple movements. I’m nowhere near ready for Yoga II yet (let’s not get too ahead of ourselves), but I can see myself incorporating weekly yoga class(es) as part of my overall “better me” mission for 2014.

After I got my namaste on, I headed upstairs to retrieve the results of the very-embarassing fitness assessment I completed yesterday. Yesterday, I provided entertainment for the YMCA staff member as he solidified what I already knew – this girl needs to get her butt in gear. The staff member who completed my assessment tried very hard not to chuckle at the single-digit number of push-ups I could do (then kindly suggested we try “lady pushups” instead). He pinched a few fatty areas with some fancy salad tongs, then praised (and was probably somewhat surprised by) my ability to do 3 minutes of tall steps without collapsing. I failed miserably at the sitdown-leanforward-touchyourtoes test… hey – I wasn’t told I was the most unflexible girl on my high school dance team for nothing! We did some weird half-sit-ups involving a mini basketball, and guess what – I think I have abs! They are hidden somewhere around my belly button, and now that I know they exist, I’m hoping they will start to surface sometime in the next 10 years.

Today, when I picked up my fitness assessment results, I read in black and white what I already knew – if physical fitness is a 10-story building, I’m hanging out in the tornado shelter below the basement. Where some people might be discouraged from words like “below average” on a fitness assessment, I consider it lots of room for improvement. I’m not expecting to turn into a bodybuilding supermodel overnight, but with a slow-but-steady dedication to sweat (and stretching! lots of stretching!), I will return to the fitness assessment office in a few months and master that ball-grabby-situp-thingy. I will laugh in the staff member’s face as I quadruple my max number of regular man-pushups. I’ll do 3 minutes of double-time giant steps while singing Katy Perry’s “Roar.”

You heard it here first, kids. The Y has so many different fitness classes and workout machines and motivating staff members that I have no excuse for not paying it a friendly, sweaty visit several times a week. 2014 wants my best me – and I’m going to get there, one awkward warrior pose at a time.

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